Operation My Indy: Crown Hill

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! 


I spent the past three months exploring 15 different Indianapolis neighborhoods by staying at Airbnb’s around the city. I stayed in neighborhoods to the north, south, east, and west, my last week of this adventure took me closer to the geographic middle, the Crown Hill neighborhood.

As we launch into a new decade, it is worth noting that the Crown Hill neighborhood is part of the Great Places 2020 initiative. The goal is to transform neighborhoods and spur urban revitalization. The area near where I stayed is one of five of these important places, known as “Maple Crossing.” 

The people of Maple Crossing value diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. The community seeks to strengthen their neighborhood, in part by addressing blight and abandonment. We know from social science research that well-tended lots with more urban tree canopy have less crime and better health outcomes for residents than vacant lots, strewn with litter, and with no shelter. 

Our mission at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is to engage diverse communities, to create vibrant public places, where people and nature can thrive. We are 100% aligned with the goals of the Great Places 2020 initiative, and that’s why we are proud to partner with them to help neighborhoods around the city become cleaner, greener, and more resilient.

On the dining front this last week, I spent most of my time at end-of-year holiday events. So, needless to say, I had my fill of fried things dried out under heat lamps. The Crown Hill neighborhood has a number of burger and fried chicken places, so I opted out, but I read plenty of reviews on Yelp that several places might be worth a try.

My New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2019 was to eliminate red meat from my diet, and I’m proud to report that I was successful! This proved to be a challenge in my new role, as there are so many amazing burger and steak joints across the city, but I managed to find vegetarian or other non-beef options everywhere. For 2020, I’m going to maintain my 2019 diet and pledge to eat only vegetarian options three days per week. It’s like Meatless Mondays times three!

Many of the world’s problems seem huge and hard to wrap our arms around, to feel like we can make a difference as an individual. One great way to make a difference in the environment is to eat lower on the food chain. It requires a tremendous amount of grain and water to raise cows and pigs for protein. By changing our diets, we can all make a difference.

When you choose to help KIB and the City by picking up litter (and of course by not littering in the first place), or by planting a tree, you make a difference, too. Thank you for joining me on my journey around Indy. There will be plenty of other blogs to come. Thanks for all you do and see if you can do a little more in 2020! #BeautifulNeedsYou!

With gratitude,


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!