Indy Parks and Recreation: Indianapolis, Indiana

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MUNICIPALITY: Indianapolis, Indiana

POPULATION: 782,000

YEAR FOUNDED: The first Park Board commission was established in 1895. In 1895, John Charles Olmsted was commissioned to create a central area for public buildings, squares, small parks, and outlying parks.

Landscape architect George E. Kessler designed the master plan for the parks and boulevard system from 1908 to 1915, now on the National Historic Registry.

ANNUAL BUDGET: $21.1 million

AGENCY HEAD Stuart Lowry, Indy Parks Director

FACILITIES

Indy Parks and Recreation manages 207 parks spread out across 11,400 acres, with 21 aquatic centers, 16 family centers, 15 spray grounds, 13 golf courses, four nature centers, four disc-golf courses, four dog parks, an ice rink, mountain bike trails, conservatory and sunken garden, arts center, Velodrome, skate park, BMX complex, an urban farm, 59 miles of soft trails, and 60 miles of greenways.

PROGRAMS

* Recently refreshed public pool system featuring 21 aquatic centers with lap lanes, slides, climbing walls, and swim programs.

* Summer Servings--part of the Summer Food Service Program to provide nutritious meals and snacks to low-income youth at summer programming, In 2011, Indy Parks served 165,000 meals at more than 100 locations.

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* Arts experiences featuring more than 80 free summer concerts, Garfield Park Arts Center exhibits; dancing, singing, painting, and acting classes; Arts for All Outreach program.

* Environmental education--two traveling nature trailers for school outreach, an Earth Discovery Center, an Ornithology Center, and a conservatory; hiking, gardening, and wildlife classes.

* Classes, day camps, and program partnerships spearheaded in our 16 family centers.

MISSION/VISION STATEMENT

To create fun, safe, engaging and sustainable parks that enhance the quality of life for individuals, neighborhoods and communities.

AWARDS & CITATIONS

* CAPRA

* Numerous Indiana Parks and Recreation Association awards for outstanding facilities, park development, and essential service. …