It's about YOU, Charlestown
From the beginning I've always believed that our government works best when the People are calling the shots.
That's why we started this first term off by asking for your help to complete our Parks Master Plan. Your feedback on our surveys and participation in our listening sessions helped us design a plan for a future where everyone gets to play in our city. But we didn't sleep on putting your ideas into action! Here are some of the ways we've enhanced our parks and recreation offerings in the last four years:
New Festivals and Events
We love tradition in the City of Charlestown but we also welcome new opportunities to show off our small-town charm. In 2021 we added events to our Founder's Week activities including history tours, trivia, family fun night, and the Rock & Glow hot air balloon glow and concert. Then we took the things you love about gathering on the City Square and moved them to the fall when the weather cools down with the brand new CommUNITY Days festival. This new festival keeps the focus on all things local and features a street market, bands, food booths, kids' activities, and fireworks - things that both long-term and new Charlestown residents appreciate. Finally, we took the traditional trunk-or-treat model and made it bigger and better with our themed Trail & Treat festival in Greenway Park. Our collaboration with the Fine Arts Department at Indiana University Southeast and many sponsors transformed the park into Candyland for all ages to enjoy. We'll keep the party going this year but go on a little trip to Wonderland with Alice this time.
We heard your calls for more opportunities for kids who don't enjoy athletics, so in addition to keeping sports camps like our MLB training day in April, we added two weeks of science camp, a bi-annual theater camp, e-sports tournaments, painting classes, skateboard clinic, and a Lego brick building camp - WHEW! We also stepped up our engagement opportunities during the year by adding video games and arcade options at our Family Activities Park, including special character visits at all our major park events, hosting Freeze Pop Fridays in the neighborhood pocket parks during summer break, inviting live reindeer to visit during our Christmas celebration, and hosting read alongs and book giveaways at our local elementary schools during Read Across America week. We want to keep you and your family engaged and make sure that EVERYONE has a chance to do something fun.
Improved Parks & Playgrounds
Safety and inclusion are two big goals for our parks and playgrounds. We want everyone to be able to play in our city. This is why we invested in upgraded equipment at our existing play spaces. We installed a new, slip-resistant tile floor at the very popular Family Activities Park Splash Pad and are upgrading all of the play equipment at Greenway Park to a fully accessible playground for children of all ability levels later this year.
More to Come...
We're not finished yet!
Next Monday we'll have contractors breaking ground on an expansion of the Family Activities Park designed specifically by and for teenagers. They've been needing a place of their own for a long time and I'm happy that we're able to fill this gap in our parks offerings and that we did it by working directly with our high school students. They're vested in this project and that's important for building future generations of dedicated community members.
In the next four years we'll break ground on a brand new Civic Center less than a mile from the middle school in the fastest growing sector of our city. With opportunities for a variety of sport play, alternative outdoor activities, trails, indoor meeting space, party rooms, and event venues this mixed-use civic complex will offer a variety of fun for many generations to come.
Where we'll go from here is always a conversation led by our most precious asset - YOU. Let's make sure we're keeping Charlestown First as we grow and that we never lose sight of building with our children in mind.