Nicole Martinez-LeGrand works in the Children’s Museum’s Community Initiatives department as the Community Builder for the Mid-North Quality of Life Plan.
You may know that the Children’s Museum is the world’s biggest children’s museum. But what you may not know is that the museum has the biggest heart for its local neighborhood. The museum spends a lot of time connecting with our neighbors—those who are right next door as well as the broader Indianapolis community. One important way that we’re working with our local community is through the development and implementation of the Mid-North Quality of Life Plan. This plan has many goals, including the improvement of the appearance of the neighborhood through nature and art. What better time than Earth Day to share about all of the projects going on right here in our own backyard?
The Mid-North Quality of Life Plan was created by residents and community members of the six neighborhoods that surround the museum. The museum helps those involved in the Quality of Life Plan pursue our shared vision of creating a neighborhood that is a good place to live, learn, play, work, and grow.
One way to make it a good place to live is improving the environment. One initiative we're working on is called Destination Fall Creek. It seeks to to restore the ecology of Fall Creek and it as an asset and destination. Another project, Reconnecting to Our Waterways, aims to help improve the existing waterways that flow through Indianapolis urban neighborhoods and, in turn, allow the waterways to strengthen the neighborhood. Imagine Fall Creek booming with housing and activity—like people riding their bikes and even boating!
The entire community has been stepping up to make a difference. Eli Lilly and Company dedicated a “Day of Service” on October 11, 2012. 2,500 Lilly volunteers worked along Fall Creek to remove trash, debris, and invasive plant species. They also built and installed bird feeders using the clippings to construct public art, and constructed seating for outdoor classrooms for Ivy Tech students. This year, Lilly volunteers will return for new projects such as planting native species along the creek to restore the ecological balance. Want to see the creek and all of this work up close? The Fall Creek Extension project, which is also underway, will extend the existing Fall Creek Trail from the Monon Trail all the way to Central Avenue: a bikers dream!
In short…one recipe for success is having a plan and having a community that is passionate about it. Watch this video to learn more about how the Mid-North Quality of Life Plan is helping to make an impact in the neighborhood…