Splash + Water Parks = FUN!

| Joyce Long

Yet this summer, Greenwood will unveil its downtown $800,000 Splash Park, located at 415 Lincoln Street. Motion-activated jet sprays and misting posts will provide children a fun way to cool off. Its rubberized surface will help prevent falls and standing water. Funded partially by $300,000 in city bonds recently approved by the Common Council, this project also received donations from the private sector. Contributions came from founding partners Huntington Bank; Endress + Hauser; Franciscan St. Francis Health; and service organization, The Sertoma Club of Greenwood.

02 Playground

This park will also feature two autism-friendly playgrounds, one designated for toddlers and the other designated for older children. Both were funded by Cornerstone Autism Center (CornerstoneAutismCenter.com), located in the historic Polk Place. These playgrounds will be dedicated as a memorial to David Ide, one of the center’s founders. All children will enjoy their exploratory and sensory activities.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers notes the private sector’s early involvement becoming a vital part of the community who supports downtown redevelopment. “This park sits in the center of where Greenwood is going, in the shadow of the new City Center. We are still $200,000 short of our goal to complete this project and are calling out to the community to support this endeavor and make the park their own.”

Another exciting community-driven venture involves a potential partnership with the YMCA to build a facility and manage the new state-of-the-art water park, located at Freedom Park, 850 Stop 18 Road. Purchased by the city, this water park will feature a lazy river, water slides for all ages, and splash fountains. St. Louis-based Counsilman-Hunsaker, which designed Plainfield’s Splash Island Aquatic Center, will oversee this project.

01 Splash Pad

Mike Tapp, President of Greenwood’s Redevelopment Commission and former City Council member (1988-2004), projects the water park to be completed during 2014’s third quarter. Mike also noted last year’s decision to close the community pool in downtown Greenwood was difficult but necessary. “Infrastructure starts to age and, at some point, it becomes difficult to maintain. So closing the old pool was a sound financial decision.” Greenwood’s pool, built in 1958, was demolished last summer.

To fund the new water park, Greenwood’s Redevelopment Commission has agreed to direct Tax Increment Financing (TIF) toward this project. TIF districts in Indiana allocate this funding to strengthen infrastructure and improve development rather than directing it to usual taxing units like schools, civil city, county, and township needs. The water park is estimated to cost $10 million.


Director of Greenwood’s Parks Department Evan Springer indicated the initial land purchase for Freedom Park, located one-eighth mile off Averitt Road on Stop 18, was bought with the idea that a new pool and more would someday be built there.

“We looked at 20 different sites before choosing the initial 72 acres in 2005. Its location as the center of our growing population, both now and in the future, and its reasonable price were deciding factors.” In 2010, Greenwood purchased an additional seven acres, realizing the park’s expansion potential. Always looking to the future, Evan summarized Greenwood’s governing philosophy:

“The city needs to continue being proactive as it grows.”

Joyce Long, Greenwood Middle School language arts teacher from 1992-2000, has called Center Grove home for the past 25 years. Currently Joyce works as the communications coordinator for Center for Global Impact and is passionate about engaging people to empower the poor.

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