Ideas to improve a downtown park in Greenwood are getting resurrected after being shelved for years.
In 2010, city officials formed a plan to overhaul Old City Park by putting in trails, building a plaza or amphitheater and establishing a landscaped walking trail along Pleasant Run Creek. But those ideas were paired with an unpopular plan to demolish historic shops along Main Street and expand the park into that area. When the demolition plans were dropped, the park upgrades were buried with them, Mayor Mark Myers said.
Now, those proposed park improvements are being revived in the city’s new Old Town revitalization plan.
Old City Park, which is between Madison Avenue and Meridian Street south of Main Street, would become more of an attraction for people to visit when coming downtown to shop, eat, relax or exercise if upgrades were made, according to the city’s plan.
Pleasant Run Creek is a convenient location for a new landscaped walking path, similar to the canal in downtown Indianapolis, and could connect the city’s splash park west of downtown with Surina Square and Craig parks on the east end.
The parks department hasn’t delved into the details of improvements to Old City Park yet, but the area has potential to become more of a draw, and the creek corridor would help fill in another gap in the citywide trails system, parks director Rob Taggart said. Right now, Old City Park has some playground equipment and a covered shelter near the library and the bantam league football field.
“It’s very small, almost like a pocket park,” Taggart said. “It seems to be a logical (connection) being we already have trails. It’s always the city’s goal to start connecting and filling in our trails system.”
The city doesn’t have an estimate for how much the
park project would cost, how it would be paid for or when it would be built, Taggart and Myers said.
The city is just finalizing the downtown plan and will break it into projects in the coming years. Construction on any projects are likely three to five years out at least, Myers said.
Redeveloping the park could involve tearing down the parks department maintenance building to expand north and set up a terraced lawn and plaza, with a small stage or overlook at the creek.
The plaza would connect with a circular walking path that would cross the creek, then loop south to connect with the Greenwood Public Library, according to a conceptual design.
Along the creek, the plan suggests landscaping with
grass, flowers or shrubs, and decorative stones to make the creek a more appealing pedestrian feature.
Walkers could stroll along the creek and relax on decorative stone seats at small nooks on
Parks and trails are what people want in their communities, so being able to update a park downtown would help with bringing more people to Greenwood’s downtown every day, plan commission President Trent Pohlar.
“That seems to be the amenities everyone is looking for,” he said.
Greenwood is reviving a 2010 plan to update Old City Park as part of its downtown revitalization plan. Here’s some ideas the city is considering to make the park more of a draw to residents:
Pleasant Run Creek: A new trail along the creek could help connect the city splash pad to Surina Square Park. New landscaping, decorative stones and small seating nooks would be put along the creek.
Terrace: A small plaza and terraced lawn north of the creek, with a small stage or overlook creekside.
Walking path: A new loop would be built inside the park, connecting the terrace on the north side to the Greenwood Park Library on the south side.
Reading garden: Benches and concrete planters with overhead shade trees, located on the south end, next to the library parking lot.