Operation My Indy: Westwood

I am delighted to serve as the new president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, an organization we both love. Since I am new to Indy, part of my journey to explore the city involves staying at Airbnbs in different neighborhoods. As I share my thoughts and experiences, I hope that you will provide your own suggestions! 

Greetings from the end of my second week at the helm of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. This week, I had a slight detour south—and not because of the construction on I-465/70. Instead of staying the entire week in a new neighborhood, I traveled with 100 of Indy’s leaders from industry, government, universities, and nonprofit organizations to San Antonio as part of the Indy Chamber of Commerce Leadership Exchange (LEX).

San Antonio is well-known for its River Walk, which has 15 miles of paved sidewalk along the San Antonio River. There is tremendous economic, recreational, and tourist activity along the River Walk. How great would it be if we could do the same thing along the White River? 


When I got back to Indy, I jumped into my first KIB volunteer project, the Weed Wrangle Indiana invasive removal in Riverside Park. I had the chance to work alongside a number of our community partners (including the Indianapolis Garden Club, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the City of Indianapolis, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, and many more) to remove invasive Asian Honeysuckle along White River Parkway at the boat ramp. When we started, you could not walk under the tree canopy because every step was blocked by thick branches of honeysuckle. By the end, we had cleared out a giant area that will allow native species to thrive.


While my week in Indy was short, I did stay for a few days near Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Main Street in Speedway is new and exciting, with a dedicated bicycle lane, and lots of restaurants and bars. My favorite, though, is the Famous Soda and Candy Company. The walls and bins were filled with soda pop from around the country and familiar and unfamiliar candies from around town, and from around the world. What a fun place to visit and fill a bag with treats!

I had a chance to sit down with Jacob Blasdel, Town Manager for Speedway. We discussed the giant roundabout as you approach the Speedway, and whether that might be a great place for a joint project with KIB. 

What do you think? What would you like to see on the grassy area around the big Speedway logo?

I’m interested to hear from you about the projects you would like to see in your neighborhood, or near your place of work or your house of worship. KIB wants to partner with people across the city to make more vibrant public places, and we rely on you to inform us on the best path forward. Send us a note, and let us know!

Jeremy’s Neighborhood Recommendations


Anything from The Famous Soda and Candy Company


Check out the flower sculpture in the KIB GreenSpace across from the Speedway … at night!



Please join us in our work to make Indianapolis the best it can be, with vibrant public places and neighborhoods. Find out more at kibi.org!