October 10, 2013

Indianapolis. Saturday 5th October 2013

Picture credit: Greta Pennell

It was a merry day on the SouthSide of Indianapolis as leaders from the University of Indianapolis, Keep Indianapolis and UHNA neighbours gathered to unveil the University Heights Pocket Initiative. President Robert Manuel spoke about his project being one more way in which the University is serving as a community anchor. He also mentioned his family is excited about getting a park.
Uindy biology students will benefit from the initiative because a greenhouse and laboratory classroom is also planned to be built on the site.

Keep Indianapolis President David Forsell showed excitement about how the green space will help forge community within the neighborhood and the city at large. Uche Unogu, co-coordinator of UHNA spoke about how the space will be used for events and gathering opportunities to bring the neighborhood closer together. There is a long list of people to thank for this project. See list (not comprehensive) after the pictures:


  • We thank Jim and Greta Pennell – whose unyielding belief in this community pushed them, even through initial rejection, to get this grant from KIB and get this partnership going. 
  • We thank Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and the sponsor of this grant, Indianapolis Power and light for recognizing the growing spirit here and funding this project
  • Thanks to Dave Forsell, president of KIB for your leadership 
  • Thanks to Tracy Heaton de Martinez our community engagement coordinator and to Emily wood our new project manager whom we look forward to working with 
  • Thanks to Joe Jarzen the community engagement coordinator for responding to our questions and to Ashlee Fujawa, KIB’s director of public relations, for helping with the arrangement of this event. Thanks to David Wantz for spending too many evenings with us, supporting our neighborhood, ensuring we have a place to meet, increasing our visibility and fostering a positive relationship with the University. 
  • We thank Ken Piepenbrink, The University’s Physical Plant Director for getting us a water supply to water the trees. 
  • Marianna Foulkrod and Stephanie Sachs of Community Programs, we salute you. You recruited students to help the neighborhood get our trees planted. 
  • Thanks to Dusty Bodart, Director of Grounds and Stacie Neuhaus, Director of procurement services for the university who are members of our park committee 
  • English professor Kevin McKelvey was helpful with suggestions on our proposal 
  • The Uindy Alumni board is to be thanked for supporting this project. 
  • We recognize Jeff Mader of Mader Design for his work in bringing our collective ideas to life in his landscape design 
  • We thank Andrew Kocher for helping organize this unveiling. 
  •  A massive thanks to Jerome Delbridge of KIB who has helped us plant 117 trees. Jerome, your love for trees is infectious. Thank you for answering all our questions. 
We can’t thank everyone of our great neighbors by name as much as we want to but we will specially mention those on the park committee:

  • Quinten and Melissa Starks are to be thanked for all their hard work. Quin is a co-coordinator and a big part of the future of this neighborhood
  • We thank Matt Jones, a former co-coordinator, and a distinguished leader in this neighborhood for his tireless efforts 
  • Ruth Soper and Angela Lord, also former co-coordinators deserve special thanks for all their efforts so far. Ladies, we are counting on you more for the future. 
  • We thank Sue Nord Peiffer, Kay and Bruce Stoelting, Shirley Beuoy AND Lucy Fields 
  • We are grateful to Kim Wenning, Ed Stevens, Karen and John Barten, Diana Faris, Mary and Denny Rusher AND MANY MORE 


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