Indy plans to use $16.5 million to improve deteriorating city playgrounds

More than two dozen Indianapolis parks will split $16.7 million in federal funding to use for renovations to their deteriorating playgrounds, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration announced Thursday.

The initiative will use funding allocated to Indianapolis under the American Rescue Plan.

“Too many of our playgrounds, basketball courts, and tennis courts are underfunded and in need of repair,” Hogsett said in a written statement. “With the American Rescue Plan funding unanimously passed by the City-County Council, we can bring them up to date and looking better than ever.”

Councilors last month approved about $517 million in spending of the federal allotment.

The 27 parks will get hundreds of thousands of dollars each for play-structure renovations. Playground work could cost $500,000 to $800,000, while repairs to hard courts could cost $11,000 to $85,000, according to city’s announcement.

Indianapolis parks have recently received unprecedented millions of dollars in one-time funds, after years of underfunding. Three parks—Grassy Creek, Krannert and Riverside—will split $25 million for major improvement projects under Hogsett’s Circle City Forward Initiative. Another $25 million from that initiative will fund a list of trails and road projects throughout the city, including trails through Eagle Creek and Grassy Creek Parks. Douglass Park is also getting a $20 million family center.

And Indy Parks & Recreation has kept expanding its holdings, one chunk of land at a time.

“The pandemic has only highlighted the need for safe and accessible park spaces for everyone in our community,” said Councilor Kristin Jones in a written statement. “As a member of the City-County Council and the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, I’m proud to work alongside Mayor Hogsett and Indy Parks to renovate these spaces that have been well-loved through the years.”

Indy Parks plans to use the remaining American Rescue Plan money to add add Wi-Fi at 20 parks, bringing the total to 23. The agency currently runs 212 parks, according to its website.

Here are the parks getting funds for a playgound makeover:

  • Bluff Park
  • Bowman Park
  • Brookside Memorial Grove
  • Brookside Park
  • Centennial & Groff Park
  • Christina Oaks Park
  • Clayton & LaSalle Park
  • Denver Park
  • Forest Manor Park
  • Frank Young Park
  • Gateway West Park
  • Gustafson Park
  • John Ed Park
  • Lentz Park
  • McCarty Triangle Park
  • Municipal Gardens
  • Orange Park
  • Oscar Charleston Park
  • Porter Park
  • Pride Park
  • Ringgold Park
  • Ross Claypool Park
  • Sexson Park
  • Stacy Park
  • Washington Park
  • Watkins Park
  • Willard Park

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