Parks Foundation plans east-side farm for Gleaners

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The Indianapolis Parks Foundation plans to use a $150,000 grant from Indiana University Health to start an organic farm on the east side of the city benefiting Gleaners Food Bank.

The farm is one of two new projects the foundation announced Thursday at its annual fundraiser, the Mayor's Lunch for Parks. The other is a $75,000 matching grant from CVS Caremark to build a universally accessible playground at Wes Montgomery Park on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

The playground won't be installed until the foundation raises the remaining $75,000, said Lori Hazlett, community affairs director.

The farm will be on 8 acres off 21st Street, just east of the Interstate 465/70 interchange. Part of the site was previously used for gravel storage and staging during highway construction, and the state donated it to Indy Parks in 2007, Hazlett said.

Gleaners CEO Cindy Hubert declined to comment on the project ahead of Thursday's event. Gleaners and other food banks around the country are trying to put more fresh food on pantry shelves. Hazlett said IU Health made the grant to help fight diabetes and obesity.

The new farm won't be expected to produce any food for Gleaners until this fall, Hazlett said. The two-year grant from IU Health will allow the parks foundation to hire a farm manager this month and cover other start-up expenses. "To sustain it, we're going to have to have funders," she said.

The playground that's planned for Wes Montgomery Park on 34th Street is from Boundless Playgrounds, a not-for-profit that designs and builds playgrounds that are accessible to children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as hearing and visual impairments.


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  1. Why should citizens rates increase forever to basically reduce Dukes cost to operate in the future? They will have no meter readers, no connect/disconnect personnel and will need fewer lineman to handle the same number of customers. Add to that the ability to replace customer service by giving detailed information electronically. Why do we have to subsidize the cost cutting measures of a Public Utility?

  2. In response to Sassafras, I have to ask if you relocated directly from Bloomington to Carmel? First, as you point out, Carmel is 48 square miles. Do you think it’s possible that some areas are more densely developed than others? That might explain traffic density in some places while others are pretty free moving. Second, your comment “have you ever been to Chicago--or just about any city outside of Indiana?” belies your bias. I don’t know, Sassafras, have you never been to Nashville, Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix? They’re not a lot different in density than Indy. One more thing…I understand these comment sections are for expressing opinions, so those of us just looking for facts have to be patient, but you mention “low-density” Indy. How many cities in the US comprise 400 square miles with about 10% of that still being agricultural? Those facts certainly can impact the statistics.

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