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Indianapolis Parks Foundation Announces New Greenways Partnership Initiative

September 29, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS- Today, the Indianapolis Parks Foundation announced its new Greenways Partnership Initiative for programming on Indy Greenways.

The Greenways Partnership is a public-private partnership that 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 initiative builds upon the previous research and planning done on Indy Greenways.  In 2014, Indianapolis completed the Indy Greenways Full Circle Plan, a bold initiative that outlined a system of over 250 miles of trail and greenway development throughout the city.  The plan examines the physical connections needed to integrate the greenway network with the city’s proposed transit system, bicycle network, redeveloping neighborhoods, and cultural facilities. User surveys completed during the master planning process revealed that Indy Greenways users are primarily walkers, cyclists, and others that use the system solely for passive recreation or transportation and fit within a narrow demographic.

After adoption of the Indy Greenways Full Circle Plan in 2014, the City funded a Fellowship as part of its 2020 Plan Initiative to explore whether targeted programming could expand the user base of the greenway system.   That study, Program Development For Broader Engagement with Indy Greenways,  used data from the master plan to identify potential demographic groups (most notably the elderly, families and children, and those with disabilities) and identify program opportunities and partnerships that can help those demographic users engage in greenway activity.

While Indy Greenways is widely recognized for passive recreation such as walking, jogging, or biking, the Greenways Partnership programming includes events, functions, or other planned activities for the public that occur along the greenways or in spaces adjacent to the greenways. Programming will be developed within the following four categories:

  • Health, Fitness & Wellbeing- These programs provide activities that address various issues of physical health, fitness, and mental wellbeing for all age groups.
  • Cultural Enrichment & Community Engagement- These programs celebrate and promote Indy Greenways’ unique history, cultural facilities, art, and neighborhoods along the greenways.
  • Education & Awareness- These programs provide learning opportunities and awareness along the greenways. While many of these programs are targeted towards kids, they also provide an opportunities for adult awareness and education.
  • Commercial Engagement- These programs and activities promote the greenways, raise awareness of the system, and further the public ownership of the greenway system through specific commercial offerings.

According to Lori Hazlett, President of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, “we believe that these types of programming opportunities will broaden engagement with Indy Greenways, attracting residents that might nor normally use the greenways and introducing them to all of the great things about Indianapolis’ greenway system.”

The Greenways Partnership is a collaboration between the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the City of Indianapolis, and Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, a private firm providing program development and facilitation.  The Partnership seeks to build relationships with local organizations and agencies to provide program offerings for all age groups and for all abilities.

“Research has shown that the most successful programming partnerships occur when the programming is aligned with the mission statements of partner organizations,”  Hazlett said.  “Indianapolis is blessed with groups that want to provide access and services to its constituents, and the Greenways Partnership provides a perfect opportunity to help them achieve their mission while building lifelong advocates of Indy Greenways.”

The Greenways Partnership has identified five initial implementing partners include MHS, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Central Indiana Council on Aging, Jump In for Healthy Kids, and the Marion County Department of Health.  Additional programming partners include several local and national organizations and businesses.  A full listing of program partners can be found at https://www.indyparksfoundation.org/greenways-partnership/.

The first round of programming is scheduled for October 20, 2018 at Pogues Run Art and Nature Park.

For additional information, please visit our website at https://www.indyparksfoundation.org/greenwayspartnership/.

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