Press Release

City Thanks Garfield Neighborhood and Partners for Initiating Revitalization of Barnes Park; Ribbon Cutting this Sunday Share

Oct 17, 2017  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

A pub­lic park in Mar­i­on is receiv­ing a big makeover thanks to the ini­tia­tive of the Garfield Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion and Hands of Hope, a divi­sion of Fam­i­ly Ser­vice Soci­ety, Inc.

Garfield Asso­ci­a­tion mem­ber and Hands of Hope Direc­tor Lin­da Wilk says the park in their neigh­bor­hood, Barnes Park, is under­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion in efforts to ensure a more safe, nur­tur­ing envi­ron­ment to fos­ter a good qual­i­ty of life. Wilk said Barnes Park for years has served lit­tle pur­pose aside from being a spot for crim­i­nal-relat­ed activ­i­ty. Last year, the park was sig­nif­i­cant­ly dam­aged after some­one drove a vehi­cle through it.

The Garfield Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion stepped into action this spring and approached the City of Mar­i­on. The Parks & Recre­ation Depart­ment removed unsafe equip­ment and offered them an unused play­ground near the go-kart track. At that point, more peo­ple and groups got involved. Kin­well Acad­e­my stu­dents (for­mer­ly of the Cross­ing) paint­ed exist­ing play­ground equip­ment. Vol­un­teers under­took tasks includ­ing dis­as­sem­bling old play­ground equip­ment, prep­ping the park for new equip­ment, and installing fresh­ly paint­ed bench­es. IWU fresh­men paint­ed fenc­ing on a bor­der of the park.

Key lead­ers with the City of Mar­i­on took ini­tia­tive to help with the Barnes Park project through labor, on-hand materials/​equipment, and plan­ning assis­tance. Parks & Recre­ation pro­vid­ed and installed a new bicy­cle rack, wel­come sign, pic­nic tables, grills, trash cans, a dog waste sign with recy­cled bags, and two con­crete slabs for benches.

Cur­rent­ly, Com­fort Land­scapes is installing a berm with wild­flow­ers and land­scap­ing to pre­vent dri­ve-through van­dal­ism. Two large boul­ders have been donat­ed by IMI. Thrivent Insur­ance has finan­cial­ly assist­ed Wilk’s daugh­ter with the mate­ri­als to build and install a mini-library at the park.

Wilk explained the fund­ing source behind the ini­tia­tive. In all, about $24,000 will go toward the park from the Delta Focus grant, a fund­ing stream Hands of Hope/​Family Ser­vice Soci­ety, Inc. received from the Indi­ana Coali­tion Against Domes­tic Vio­lence as part of a pre­ven­tion grant from the Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol. The ini­tia­tive focus­es on com­mu­ni­ty and soci­etal changes that we can make around norms, atti­tudes and beliefs to pre­vent domes­tic vio­lence. Research shows that if we pro­vide a safe, sta­ble, nur­tur­ing envi­ron­ment for chil­dren and fam­i­lies such as revi­tal­iz­ing a park, we can reduce domes­tic vio­lence along with oth­er crimes.”

The Barnes Park project has gained nation­al atten­tion this year. Wilk led two webi­na­rs for the Pre­ven­tion Insti­tute, and the ren­o­va­tion will soon be fea­tured in their magazine.

Wilk will present the project update, thank­ing part­ners, dur­ing the Mar­i­on Com­mon Coun­cil meet­ing tonight at 7pm. There will be a rib­bon-cut­ting on Sun­day at 2pm at Barnes Park, locat­ed at the inter­sec­tion of 6th and E Street.

May­or Jess Alum­baugh explained, The project has had a pos­i­tive impact in the com­mu­ni­ty. I hope to see more neigh­bor­hood asso­ci­a­tions, oth­er groups, and indi­vid­u­als take ini­tia­tives like this one.”

Media Con­tact:

Lin­da Wilk lwilk@​famservices.​com 765.662.9971 ext. 123

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