2022 was an exciting year for Brownsburg Parks, and we’re thrilled to share our favorite moments of the year!
At the beginning of the year, we launched Phase 2 of Blast Off Playground renovations to update the playground structure and add new play features. The community donated over $25,000, helping us earn a matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. In July, 400 volunteers and partners worked over five days to renovate the space. In spring 2023, the playground’s rubber surfacing will be replaced to provide better accessibility to play areas.
This year, we brought several new features to the Brownsburg Farmers Market, including our new After Hours Market with beer and wine. One of our favorite market events was Kid Biz Night, sponsored by First Merchants Bank. Over 15 businesses by young entrepreneurs joined us, selling baked goods, sweets, produce, handmade creations, and more! In addition, the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce made all Kid Biz vendors honorary chamber members.
Our before and after school program, B.A.S.E., is celebrating its tenth year providing care to Brownsburg elementary school students! We’re proud to continue providing exciting enrichment opportunities and a safe learning environment for students.
In the fall, we were awarded a $5,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. This grant, in partnership with the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, will support ecological enhancements at Williams Park.
We’re grateful for our volunteers! Our volunteers supported nature restoration through our spring and fall Weed Wrangles and other critical natural resource projects this year. In addition, IU Health West Hospital joined us for their annual day of service to paint Blast Off Playground.
Thanks to a grant from the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, we brought more inclusive elements to our events. During our annual July 4 concert and fireworks, we provided a sensory-friendly viewing room inside Eaton Hall. For our two-day music festival, Blues in the ‘Burg, we partnered with K1ds Count to provide two sensory tents. These tents provided a relaxing, quiet space for festival visitors. Headphones, special seating, fans, sensory bins, and weighted blankets were available in the tents. We also introduced our new Mobi-Mat at Blues in the ‘Burg, which created temporary pathways through grassy areas for festival visitors. We hosted our final sensory room in the Town Council Chambers in December during Christmas Under the Stars. This room provided a safe and calming environment to visitors who might have felt overwhelmed or overstimulated during the event.
We continue to beautify our park system by blending art and nature. In September, the Brownsburg National Art Honor Society completed two sewer cover murals at Arbuckle Acres Park. A few weeks later, Indiana artist Zach Medler completed a tunnel mural along the B&O Trail at the pedestrian and bicycle tunnel at C.R. 300 N.
In November, Stephens Park won the Exceptional Park Design Award for 2021 projects, awarded by the Indiana Park & Recreation Association. This park was renovated in 2021 to include six pickleball courts, a year-round restroom facility, outdoor fitness equipment, a paved loop path, and a universally-designed playground. This year, we started hosting events and programs at the park, including Parking Lot Bingo and Pints & Paddles.
In December, we hosted our biggest Christmas Under the Stars event yet! Over 2,000 visitors joined us in downtown Brownsburg to watch the annual nighttime parade and Christmas tree lighting. This year, we opened our first outdoor Winter Market with over 20 vendors selling sweet treats and artisan gifts. We’re thrilled to continue expanding this holiday tradition for many years to come.
This winter, we received a grant from the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, in partnership with the Hendricks County Community Foundation, to install picture communication boards at Arbuckle Acres Park, Stephens Park, and Williams Park this spring. The communication boards will help facilitate play narration and language learning in the park.
Next year, we’re looking forward to beginning construction on Virgil Park, starting our five-year Strategic Master Plan process with community input, and hosting more events and programs for the community!