Zionsville’s newest park open for virtual tours

Picturing the new mountain bike trails, 9-hole disc golf course and other amenities planned for Zionsville’s new Overley-Worman Park just got a little easier.

The Zionsville Town Council approved a $3.4 million bond last fall to turn a former 47-acre quarry and fill site next to Eagle Creek, just off Zionsville Road, into the town’s newest park. Indianapolis-based Rundell Ernstberger Associates is the Overley-Worman Park’s lead designer and the architect behind a virtual tour of the park, which is scheduled for completion by early 2022.

“The website is a great way for us to reach the community right now with the pandemic,” said Mindy Murdock, interim superintendent for the Zionsville Parks Department. “Zionsville parks are well known for our natural park areas, but unlike a lot of our others, Overley-Worman is very rec-minded.”

That’s why the town is encouraging residents to log onto the custom-built site to ask questions and provide feedback. The park, nestled between the Starkey Nature Preserve and Lennar Indianapolis’s new Vonterra subdivision, replicates some high-demand features from other parks while introducing some new uses.

Among the features will be more than a mile of mountain biking trails with varying skill levels, paved and natural walking trails, a handicap-accessible fishing pier at the park’s central lake, boardwalks, a playground near a 25-space parking lot in the Vonterra subdivision, and a 9-hole disc golf course.

Overley-Worman is meant to partially restore the woodland property and provide the nearby Starkey Nature Preserve some relief from high-intensity activity.

“For us to clean that up and try to return it to a nature the level of Starkey, the costs would be astronomical,” Murdock said. “They really are meant to complement each other.”

Murdock said she expects the town’s plan commission will review construction documents either in August or September, and the town is working with Rundell Ernstberger to have bids ready for contractors this fall.

Parallel to that process, the town is also planning to spend up to $4.3 million from another bond approved last fall to expand a portion of the Big-4 Rail Trail next to the park.

Tricia McClellan, a principal with Rundell Ernstberger, said the trail project will pave and extend the pathway from a 100-foot bridge over Eagle Creek to complete the trail’s southern leg so that it reaches Zionsville Road.

“The park board is still working with a couple of property owners to see if we can get property on top of that rail bed, and that will determine the particular alignment of the rail trail,” McClellan said.

Overley-Worman Park is planned to have three entry points from the southern extension, including a pathway along the railroad bed embankment, a handicap accessible ramp and an entry bridge leading to an overlook plaza.

Murdock said the town’s hope is that a majority of the park’s visitors will come from the trail, rather than driving and parking in Vonterra.

“It’s not just a win for their subdivision, but because it’s easily tied into the community it will be a benefit for the community as a whole,” she said.

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