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Indy Parks honored with awards

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The Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation recently received three awards from the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) at the 2012 State Conference in Michigan City.

The IPRA is a professional association representing more than 900 parks and recreation professionals throughout the state. Members include agency superintendents, directors, and other professional staff; corporate vendors that supply recreation equipment and professional services; elected officials; students; and citizen advocates.

“The Indy Parks programs honored with these awards provide continuing benefits to our residents in the areas of sustainability, recreation, education, public safety and more,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “The city is committed to improving quality of life and offering creative amenities for those who work in our community and call Indianapolis home.”

The awards for Indy Parks went to:

Indy Urban Acres – Outstanding Park Development Award, $250,000 budget category

Indy Urban Acres is an eight-acre organic urban farm that supplies low-income Hoosiers with healthy fruits and vegetables. The site also serves as an educational resource for user groups, community organizations and Indy Parks’ youth programming to teach the value of the urban gardens.

The farm is a result of a partnership between Indiana University Health, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the Indianapolis Parks Department and Gleaners Food Bank aimed at ensuring that families in need have access to healthy foods.

“Through innovative partnerships on projects like Indy Urban Acres, we can ensure healthy foods are making it into the hands of those that need them the most,” said Robin Eggers, IU Health director of Community Outreach & Engagement.

Wes Montgomery Spray Park – Outstanding Park Development, $500,000 – $750,000 budget category.

The Wes Montgomery Spray Park opened in May 2011 as a destination spot for families across Marion County. The park pays tribute to the great African-American jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, an Indianapolis resident known around the world for his musical ability.

Design and construction partners include WDI Architecture, Whitaker Engineering and Mattcon General Contractors.

Make a Splash/Swim Indy – Outstanding Program Award, $5,000-$10,000 budget category.

The Make a Splash and Swim Indy programs teach community youth and adults the importance of water safety. These initiatives, funded by the Summer Youth Program Fund in partnership with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, give participants the tools and education they need to reduce drowning incidents and create opportunities for children of all economic and ethnic backgrounds.


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