City roundup: parks and recreation
The City of Noblesville recently released its year-end annual report. The report details major accomplishments from every city department and within the community during 2016, and each week, Current in Noblesville will be highlighting a portion of the report. To see the full report, visit bit.ly/2lDGclL.
Last year was a busy year with a number of new faces, projects and improvements for the Noblesville Parks Dept.
The construction of Federal Hill Commons neared completion in 2016. The park will officially open April 29, providing green space and another amenity downtown.
The recreation division hired a new assistant recreation director and charged ahead with Noble Kids Camps and new, in-house recreation programming opportunities. The award-winning Recreation Annex at Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County Campus continues to be successful, with more than $24,000 in revenue and the addition of the auditorium.
The maintenance division continues to improve the safety and beauty of our parks. Improvements made in 2016 include replacing several facilities with energy-efficient LED lights, adding automated door locks to the outdoor restrooms in Forest Park and resurfacing the trail bridge on Lakeview Drive.
A bicentennial tree was planted at Forest Park to honor Indiana’s 200th birthday. The “Tree of Hope” was part of an Eagle Scout project. At Dillon Park, a gaga pit was built between the playground and restroom building. Planned park improvements in 2017 include continuing LED light conversions at multiple parks, surface repaving and Shelter No. 3 replacement at Forest Park, seal coating and striping parking lots at Dillon Park and starting phase one of Finch Creek Park.
Even with the nine inches of rain that fell in August, 2016, the two city-owned golf courses – Fox Prairie and Forest Park – fought through a rollercoaster 2016. Forest Park, the oldest golf course in Hamilton County, continues to host the Hamilton County Junior Golf Championships and brought back the Tuesday Evening Choose-Up game in 2016. Fox Prairie Golf Course is rated one of the top public and municipal courses in the county. Fox Prairie was host to more than 40 golf outings and tournaments and was the only location in Noblesville to host the First Tee program. A number of course improvements were made, including bunker edging, which will conclude this year, and bridgework. The driving range had a number of trees planted and received a facelift, which gave it a new and improved visual aesthetic.
In 2016, more than 26,000 rounds of golf were played at Fox Prairie and Forest Park golf courses.
Google Trekker: Through the Indiana Parks & Recreation Association, Noblesville Parks & Recreation was the first parks agency in the state to use the Google Trekker. The department “trekked” local trails, which included three full days and more than 30 miles.
Recreation annex: The partnership between Noblesville Parks and Ivy Tech Community College of Hamilton County to create the Recreation Annex received an IRPA award for “Good to Great” resource improvement.
Finch Creek Park: The first phase, estimated to cost $8.9 million, was approved by the Noblesville Common Council and is scheduled to start in 2017. In addition, a partnership was established with Klipsch/Card Athletic Facilties, LLC. to bring a $15 million fieldhouse to Finch Creek Park.