White River Oxbow Pocket Park

While the Broad Ripple RiverWalk Task Force focuses on creating an inspiring pedestrian and bicycle promenade adjacent to Broad Ripple Avenue between the Monon Trail and Broad Ripple Park, the group is also interested in exploring other opportunities to foster engagement with White River.

One promising location is the former Weaver’s Garden Center property that features a singular view of the White River Oxbow. Bryan Chandler, an original Task Force member, acquired the property from the Weaver family in 2014. After the Weavers retired in 2018, Chandler expressed a willingness to entertain ideas for this unique triangular shaped parcel to see if it could be developed as a RiverWalk enhancement.

Task Force members Meg Storrow and John Kinsella accepted the challenge and crafted a conceptual design for a character-establishing hub with a White River Oxbow overlook. Features include a butterfly garden with native plant and wildflowers, educational elements, places to sit, and walking paths that could connect to Broad Ripple Park along the river bank.

This parcel is not located within the public right-of-way so donations for the purpose of establishing a pocket park cannot be applied to the DPW matching grant. The Task Force is sharing the conceptual designs widely in hopes of generating donor interest.

 

Broad Ripple Park Requests for Proposals

The City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, (DMD) in coordination with Indy Parks and Recreation, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the express purpose of demolition of the existing family center and the development of a new family center to incorporate both park and healthcare activities within Broad Ripple Park as outlined in the Broad Ripple Park Master Plan

Parcel 1426 (outlined in blue) is the object of the RFP.

 

The existing bathhouse and outdoor pool will be maintained. They are not included in either the parcel or the scope of this project. The existing boat ramp, however, will be demolished and a new one constructed.

The project must include a “top tier healthcare partner” in order to meet the recommendations of the Broad Ripple Park Master Plan to incorporate both healthcare activities as well as park activities into the structure.

Of particular interest to the Broad Ripple RiverWalk Task Force is the RFP’s stipulation:

The engagement of the White River is a fundamental requirement of the new facility. The building placement will follow the Master Plan and allow adequate space for an outdoor plaza and a river walk experience to occur along the river’s edge. The new building is envisioned to use extensive glass along the river and park sides to enhance the users experience and the interaction of both indoor and outdoor spaces should revolve around engaging the river and park.

Engaging the White River is a key element of the Broad Ripple RiverWalk proposal. While Phase 1a of the RiverWalk is designed within the public right-of-way along Broad Ripple Avenue,  RiverWalk Task Force members advocated for including a trail spur along the river’s edge as shown in yellow in this draft rendering prepared as a result of public outreach during the Broad Ripple Park master planning process.

 

DMD has assembled a review committee made of up DMD and Indy Parks staff as well as community representatives.

Responses to the RFP are due Feb. 19. DMD will begin reviewing proposals Feb. 21 and is tentatively scheduled to make recommendations to the Metropolitan Development Commission at the March 20 meeting.

 

DPW Grants awarded

The City of Indianapolis Neighborhood Infrastructure Partnership has a $4 million pool of matching funds to award to community-based organizations for qualifying infrastructure projects. Managed by the Department of Public Works (DPW), the grants will fund neighborhood projects including sidewalks, street resurfacing, multi-use pathways, and bridges.

Fifteen organizations qualified for grants announced by the City in 2018 [PDF] including the Broad Ripple Village Association which serves as the fiscal agent for the Broad Ripple RiverWalk Task Force.

The grant is an expression of DPW support for the Task Force’s plans to construct a bi-directional multi-modal path along the north side of Broad Ripple Avenue to improve the connection between the Monon Trail and Broad Ripple Park. Conditional approval by DPW was extended through 2019 pending identification of matching funds and site feasibility.  DPW letter confirming the availability of funds in 2019. PDF