INDIANAPOLIS- Indy Parks is proud to announce the development and release of a new Girl and Boy Scout Patch program for Indy Greenways.
The Indy Greenways patch is a local patch program that teaches central Indiana Scouts about the Indy Greenways system. The intent of the program is to raise awareness and educate young kids on the design, function, and proper use of the Indy Greenways and to demonstrate the important role that the greenways play in connecting local communities. It is also intended to instill a level of ownership, responsibility, and stewardship for the greenway system. The patch program aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Raise awareness of the Indy Greenways system, what it is, and how it is used.
- Provide a basic understanding of Indy Greenways and how to use the trails.
- Provide a basic understanding of how trails and greenways benefit communities.
- Instill a responsibility for the ongoing stewardship of the greenways system.
- Instill a general interest on how the greenways can be a part of Scouts’ everyday lives.
The local patch program was designed to include three parts. The first part, Learn Indy Greenways is a troop-facilitated learning program that teaches Scouts about the history and development of the greenway system, how people use the greenways, and the benefits of greenways to the city. It includes map exercises and study questions designed to test Scouts’ knowledge of the program elements.
The second part, Explore Indy Greenways, includes a hike on one of the greenways to experience first-hand how the greenways function and how people use them. During this walk, Scouts document and record how the trail is used by residents.
The final part of the program, Stewardship, includes a community service project performed along one of the greenways. Scouts pick a greenway and a project to help demonstrate ongoing stewardship of the greenways systems.
Once a Scout has completed all three parts, they earn the Indy Greenways patch and an accompanying “stewardship” patch for their designated greenway where they completed their community service project. Scouts can earn additional stewardship patches for each of the greenways by completing additional community service projects on different greenway segments.
“It’s so rewarding to empower youth to not only learn about our city’s parks and trails, but also to help them get out and contribute to these spaces,” said Linda Broadfoot, director of Indy Parks. “Our entire team is proud to pass on the rich historic traditions of the Indy greenway system to a whole generation of future leaders.”
The patch program was created for Indy Parks as part of the Indianapolis Greenways Partnership, a public-private partnership that includes Indy Parks and the Indianapolis Parks Foundation. The Greenways Partnership develops and provides creative programming that broadens user engagement with Indy Greenways, builds support for the system, and catalyzes further investment in Indy Greenways. The Partnership’s efforts are based upon the premise that providing broad opportunities for residents to engage with the greenways helps to build lifelong advocates, support, and demand for continued investment in the greenway system.
The Indy Greenways patch program was initiated in March when Girl Scout Troop 2 from Irvington facilitated the first session with Indy Parks Director Linda Broadfoot. During the session, the troop explored the various aspects of the greenways and worked through a series of map exercises on how they could use the greenways to reach their schools, homes, or other community assets. “I think the program opened the girls’ eyes to the fact that greenways could be major connectors in the community and not just a recreational asset,” said Kristin Swick, Troop Leader for Troop 2. “The girls really enjoyed learning more about Indianapolis’ greenways and trails.”
For their stewardship project, Troop 2 joined the City of Indianapolis and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful on April 27, 2019 to plant trees along the Pleasant Run Greenway as part of the Great Indianapolis Cleanup. At the conclusion of the event, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Parks Director Linda Broadfoot, and City Councilor Blake Johnson presented the first-ever Indy Greenways patch to Troop 2. During his presentation, Mayor Hogsett commended the girls on their effort. “As a long-time advocate of scouting, I cannot thank you enough for your service to your community and for making your community a great place to live, work, and grow up. You are making a difference.”
In addition, Cub Scout Den 75 on the northeast side is in the process of completing the first Boy Scout facilitation of the program. They collected trash along the Fall Creek Greenway on April 15 for their Stewardship project.
We are proud to announce the first patches to be awarded for this new patch program and are excited that future generations of scouts will be able to learn about the greenways and adopt an attitude of stewardship for Indy Greenways.
Beginning on April 1, 2019, the Indy Greenways patch is available through the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana and is available to all central Indiana Girl Scouts. The Boy Scout patch will be available through the Boy Scouts of America beginning later this summer.