14C: Increase Park Funding
Advocate for increased and sustained public funding for local and state park systems to enable them to offer world-class natural and recreational amenities without additional reliance on user fees. For local park systems, set a goal of exceeding the national median as published by the Trust for Public Land ($88 in 2019). Support efforts for communities to improve their park systems while also focusing on reducing regional funding disparities between local park systems so that all residents have access to quality amenities. Investment models focused on proximity measurements, like “10 minute walk” programs, should be challenged as they result in inequitable distribution of public funding.
Value to the CommunityParks contribute significantly to a community's quality-of-life, neighborhood desirability, physical and mental health, environmental quality, and more. Some regional communities have prioritized investments in their park systems, while others, including IndyParks, have been dramatically underinvested in for some time.
Value to the Hospitality IndustryGrowing demand for outdoor experiences, as well as for authentic, local experiences puts Indy at a competitive disadvantage compared to cities that have prioritized investment in their local park systems. Addressing this disadvantage is key to improving destination appeal and meeting visitors’ expectations.
- January 2023. Lilly Endowment Grants $80m for Indy Parks. The Lilly Endowment granted Indy Parks $80m for investment in specific parks and programs throughout the park system.
- February 2021. Circle City Forward Park Funding. The City of Indianapolis committed $45m in bond funding for targeted investments in Frederick Douglass, Riverside, Grassy Creek, and Krannert parks.
- Partnerships Under Development