Green Infrastructure in Parks

8 Case Study: Indianapolis Cultural Trail Indianapolis, Indiana The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick is an 8-mile bike and pedestrian path in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The trail, completed in 2013, links the city’s six cultural districts, neighborhoods, the city’s 40 miles of greenway trails, and other areas of the downtown. Each of the cultural districts maintains a unique identity, with various amenities including shopping, recreation, entertainment, and dining. By linking these districts, residents and visitors to the city can more easily enjoy a healthy lifestyle and access both open spaces and cultural activities. Activities such as fun runs and spring cleanups engage the community in being active and in protecting and maintaining the trail. The trail has been recognized with a number of awards, and the New York Times included Indianapolis and the trail on its list of 52 Places to G o in 2014. Figure 2. Cyclist riding the Indianapolis Cultural Trail alongside stormwater planters. (Source: Clark Wilson, USEPA) The construction of the trail resulted in a number of amenities, including: • 5 acres of new landscaping • 86 bike racks • 7 public art projects along the trail • A bikeshare program with 29 stations that includes subsidized passes for low-income residents In addition to new landscaping, designers installed 25,400 square feet of stormwater planters. These planters better enable stormwater to slowly drain into the ground, reducing stormwater runoff, flow rate, volume and pollutants, and recharging groundwater supplies. The trail is the result of efforts by a number of public and private collaborators, including the city of Indianapolis, Central Indiana Community Foundation, and several not-for-profit organizations. Initial planning for the project took place in 2001–2003, with $4 million raised for initial study and design. In 2004, the city gave permission for the trail to be built on the city right-of-way, and the groundbreaking took place in 2007. The total project cost was $63 million, with $27.5 million in private funding and $35.5 million in federal transportation funding (including a $20.5 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation). 1. Identify and Engage Partners Establishing partnerships is critical to determining whether there is interest and funding to incorporate green infrastructure into park lands. The impetus for using green infrastructure can come from elected officials, a park superintendent, a stormwater utility manager, the water regulatory agency, or the department of conservation or natural resources. The following are example partnerships: • A stormwater utility approaches a park superintendent because the agency sees opportunities to manage significant volumes of water on park areas. • An elected official has a vision of a park with water features and a sustainability plan that promotes the revitalization of the community through the enhancement of the park.