Saturday, December 12, 2009


The Indianapolis Parks Foundation (IPF) announced today that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the foundation a grant of $7.3 million, the largest single donation in IPF’s 20-year history. The funds will be used for critically needed capital projects in parks that serve primarily low-income residents.

On the “to do” list is a new pool at Bethel Park to replace the one built in 1971 that leaks 8 million gallons of water a season. Also included are improvements to Riverside Park Aquatic Center, enhancements of restroom facilities at 12 park sites that serve low- and moderate-income youth, and rehabilitation of tennis courts at 11 park sites used by the National Junior Tennis League for its summer programs.

“Parks are essential community assets. They unify and connect neighbors and neighborhoods across Indianapolis,” said Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins. “This grant is a continuation of Lilly Endowment’s history of providing from time to time significant support for strategic capital projects in Indianapolis’ parks.”

“For the City of Indianapolis, this contribution provides an opportunity to improve many park facilities that are important to children and families in our community. We appreciate the support from Lilly Endowment and are fortunate to have an organization such as the Indianapolis Parks Foundation dedicated to providing the resources that will help make such projects a success,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

“Since 1991, through the generosity of private funders, IPF has provided more than $12 million to Indy Parks for capital improvement projects, land acquisition and program support, and we’ve done so relatively quietly,” said IPF Executive Director Cindy Porteous. “The gift from Lilly Endowment provides an unprecedented opportunity for this organization to become an even stronger advocate for parks and green space in Indianapolis and stay focused on our mission of building parks for life for children and families in this community.”

Included in the grant is $500,000 for a maintenance fund to provide ongoing upkeep on the funded projects.

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