City’s Newest Public Asset Increases Connectivity, Walkability, Quality of Life
Story & Photography Provided by the City of Greenwood
Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers, other city officials, business leaders and residents gathered Friday, October 2, to celebrate completion of the reimagined Old City Park. Located in the heart of downtown – known locally as Old Town – the park’s redevelopment is the latest project to drive revitalization of Greenwood’s city core.
“This transformation will impact Greenwood for decades to come,” Myers says. “Old City Park is once again a central cornerstone of Old Town, with connectivity to the Greenwood Amphitheater, Craig Park, Greenwood Public Library, the new Madison Avenue trail and more. The park is also a catalyst for the soon-to-be-redeveloped 19-acre middle school property. It serves as an example for future generations of what’s possible for our great city.”
The reimagined park’s recreational centerpiece is a 23-foot cube tower custom designed by KOMPAN, an internationally renowned playground manufacturer based in Austin, Tex. The tower is the first of its kind in Indiana, and one of only three in the country.
Surrounding the tower is a unique playscape designed to encourage co‐play between children and parents. The elements are distanced to allow ample space for safe play and interactions. Due to the unique topography, the playscape allows visitors to experience the park from several different levels and aspects. Custom-designed urban porch swings were incorporated into the design as well, positioned to observe the playscape and overlook Pleasant Creek.
Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA), an award-winning landscape architecture firm based in Indianapolis, designed the new playscape and reimagined park.
Other features include an 18-foot wide promenade adjacent to Pleasant Creek, seamlessly integrating into the creek’s natural landscape, a custom climbing wall and, for younger children, a custom climbing net, a new pedestrian bridge, foosball tables, bocce ball courts, outdoor fitness equipment and more.
During the opening celebration, Greenwood Parks & Recreation Director Rob Taggart discussed how the reimagined and repurposed park was designed to meet the growing needs of the Greenwood community.
“The distinctive design offers visitors and residents an array of recreational amenities,” Taggart says. “Each of the amenities were designed with respect to the site’s natural topography, drainage and connectivity. We studied every element very carefully and were intentional about creating a space that felt welcoming to everyone. This is truly a community park.”
Taggart also discussed the city’s continued commitment to ecologically responsible designs. Old City Park features significant greenspace with a diverse combination of native and exotic plant material. The park has 180 trees, more than 675 shrubs, 2,750 perennials, 930 ornamental grasses, two acres of native prairie and nearly three acres of open lawn. The Parks Department intends to submit the park for Level 1 Arboretum status.
As with other public recreation spaces, community members can expect to attend various events at Old City Park throughout the year. Ideas being discussed include movie nights, bocce ball tournaments, group yoga and outdoor fitness classes.
Citing the fundamental connection between economic development and quality of life, Mayor Myers says Greenwood must offer current and future generations an attractive and opportunity-filled community.
“We must demonstrate that we understand the changing needs between a young professional looking for their first apartment, a new family searching for a safe place to raise their kids, and a retired couple wanting to downsize and spend their weekends visiting local shops and restaurants,” Myers says. “The new Old City Park offers an experience for everyone, and we could not be more pleased with the transformation.”
For more information and updates on other city projects, visit greenwood.in.gov.