If you’ve ever walked along Washington Street between Emerson and Ritter Avenues on a hot, sunny day, you know there aren’t many trees to shade the sidewalks in that stretch of Irvington. On either side of Washington, we’re known for our leafy canopy. Not so much along our main corridor.
That won’t be the case a few years from now, as Phase II of the Washington Corridor Streetscape project is implemented. Almost 50 volunteers showed up on a Saturday morning this March, with staff from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to plant 40 trees along two Irvington streets. The tree planting on Washington Street started near Hawthorne Lane and extended west to East Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive, and the Spencer Avenue ran south from East Washington Street into the residential area. KIB’s Youth Tree Team will keep them watered for the next few years to allow them to get established.
We’d like to extend a Great Big Thank You to the organizations and individuals who contributed time, labor, and resources to this project. Thank you, KIB, for donating the trees, coordinating the planting, and training the volunteers on the finer points of tree planting. (There’s really more to it than just digging a hole! Check out this informative video.) Thank you, Hart Bakery, for donating the yumdillyicious donuts that kept everybody going. And thank you to the good people from both within and outside of the neighborhood who spent their Saturday morning helping beautify our neighborhood.
Irvington CSA members benefit from fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit—and community fellowship too. You can be part of it. Here’s how!
Irvington Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is getting ready to kick off its 12th season! A CSA is a partnership between farmers and a local community. The farmers supply the community with fresh, local produce throughout the summer growing season, and the community supports the farmer by pre-paying. Farmers gain economic security for environmentally friendly farming, while CSA shareholders know where their food comes from and how it was grown.
Our 35+ annual crops are farmed by Levi Fisher and family in Montezuma, Indiana. The Fisher family does not use synthetic chemicals on the soil or plants. They practice good land stewardship, sustainable farming methods and respect for biodiversity on the farm. Their produce is delivered to Irvington for families to pick up every week for 25 weeks beginning in May.
Each share is designed for a family that likes to cook or couples or individuals who eat a lot of vegetables. A full share’s value is about $25 per week. (A typical share is shown in two of the photos above.) Our produce includes vegetables (asparagus, carrots, kale, salad mix, potatoes, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, and zucchini, to name a few). We also get fruits like strawberries, blackberries, watermelon and cantaloupe. At first, shares are smaller—mostly lettuce, asparagus and berries. But as the weather warms, your share basket will overflow with corn, tomatoes, peppers and other veggies. Each week’s share gives you a chance to sample Indiana-grown vegetables.
The CSA is run entirely by volunteers, none of whom receive compensation for their services. Only our farmer and driver are compensated. This means our shareholders get great value at a reasonable price, while supporting sustainable agriculture.
Want to learn more? Join us at this year’s meet-and-greet with our CSA farmer, Levi Fisher, on Monday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Irvington Branch Indianapolis Public Library (5625 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46219). Learn about Levi’s farm practices, the produce he’s growing and his predictions for the season. We’ll also share information about Irvington CSA and answer questions. Come meet Levi, your fellow CSA members and the CSA Coordinating Committee. Feel free to invite family, friends or co-workers who might be interested in being a part of Irvington CSA this year.
This year’s share price is $550 for 25 weeks. Members who pay by April 15 get a $20 discount, for a total share price of $530. Transportation is an additional fee, estimated at $100 (to be finalized in May and due in June).
Deliveries are expected to begin mid-May and continue for 25 weeks.
Want more info? Contact us at email@example.com and check us out at www.irvingtoncsa.com. And don’t forget to like Irvington CSA on Facebook.
Andrea De Mink wears many hats. She has administered the Irvington Neighbors Facebook Page nearly since its inception, where she also entertains neighbors with discussions about her electricity usage. She serves on the Historic Irvington Community Council, which holds monthly meetings and participates in events throughout the year. You can see her walking through the neighborhood almost daily. Her deepest passion, however, is in helping people.
Andrea started working with individuals experiencing homelessness 21 years ago, and in 2004, she formed The PourHouse, Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists individuals experiencing homelessness in overcoming barriers to housing, treatment, and healthcare. The inspiration started with a chance encounter. While running her own IT business downtown, she met and befriended an individual who was digging through the trash for food. She devoted time and energy to knowing his goals and the goals of others in similar situations. When she realized how passionate she felt about helping others, she started the organization that, to date, has housed nearly 300 individuals since 2014.
The PourHouse feeds an average of 250 individuals twice per week, but can see numbers as high as 400 some evenings. During the week, she and her team of dedicated volunteers work to address her clients’ broad range of needs.
In January, Andrea was recognized as a Champion of Diversity by the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. And with the help of her local supporters, The PourHouse received the Indiana Members Credit Union Gives Back donation of $6,000.
How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington?
Andrea has lived in Irvington for over 15 years. She rented at New York and Emerson for 5 years. “I knew I wanted to stay on the east side and loved the old houses in Irvington.”
What do you do for fun?
Andrea enjoys landscaping, taking care of her koi, and anything that relates to animals, nature, walking, or biking. She is a Certified Koi Keeper, which means she has been trained to sedate and inject koi, then later revive them. She discovered through her training, when her koi become ill, how they can be treated and brought back to good health.
What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?
Andrea likes to walk nearly every day for her own health. She favors her path from Lowell to Kitley, Pleasant Run to Layman. She also likes to change up the view by going through Ellenberger Park, down 9th Street to Arlington.
If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?
If Andrea were Mayor of Irvington for a day, she would “remove the parking spots in front of Ossip so you can see to pull out onto East Washington and not die.”
What’s your connection to IDO?
As an active member of the Public Safety Committee for the Historic Irvington Community Council, Andrea works closely with IDO on decisions that affect the individuals, families, and businesses of Irvington.
Irvington Green Initiative just kicked off the Resilient Community Building series with a meet-up at Bittersweet on January 28. The group focused on renewability via community recycling and composting. About 30 Irvington neighbors enjoyed communing over Laura Johnston’s light appetizers.
If you missed the meet-up, here’s something you can do right now. Call Mayor Joe Hogsett (317-327-3601) and your City-County Council rep (for many of us, it’s Blake Johnson, District 12, at 317-721-3487). Let them know you want a comprehensive, sustainable materials management plan and curbside service for all of Indianapolis!
Then, be sure to like and follow Irvington Green Initiative on Facebook for neighborhood info, ideas, and action opportunities. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on our e-list for future notices.
There’s much more to Irvington than what we find on the Washington Street corridor. In an effort to highlight those off-the-beaten-path treasures, we’ve created signage that points the way to shops, parks, and trails. IDO’s Public Spaces Committee worked with Lodge Design, who provided the design based on the Irvington logo colors for free. The city manufactured and installed the signs. One sign is installed at the intersection of Washington Street and Audubon Road, and the other is installed at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue.
“The Public Spaces Committee realized that Irvington was becoming a destination, and we needed to do something to help our visitors find parts of the neighborhood that they might miss if they just stay on Washington Street,” said Erika Hinshaw, IDO’s Public Spaces Committee chair.
We thank DPW and Lodge Design for producing and installing the signs.
We have two announcements about the street lights included in IDO’s Streetscape project that has revitalized our Washington Street business corridor with infrastructure improvements, additional lighting and landscaping, and bike racks. IDO is responsible for paying the light bill for the 30 street lights, which costs $12,000 annually.
NAP tax credits reward donors. IDO’s tax credit allocation to help donors to the street lights fund has been extended. It’s a great way for you to help the Streetscape stay bright, clean, and green while also saving some green on your taxes. The state offers Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to eligible programs, including the Streetscape.
For the next two months, up to $1,158 in donations to the street lights fund are eligible for a direct credit against the taxpayer’s state tax liability up to 50% of the donation amount. The minimum donation is $100 and it must be made before March 31, 2017. So for a $100 donation, you can take $50 off what you owe in state taxes. You can also claim the full $100 as a deduction on your federal taxes if you itemize, further lowering your out-of-pocket costs. For more information on how you can help the Streetscape and save money, contact email@example.com.
HICC pledges an annual donation. At its January meeting, Historic Irvington Community Council voted in favor of supporting streetscape maintenance with an annual $2,000 contribution to the street light fund. That’s five streetlights and 17% of the bill! Thanks especially to council Vice President Mike Spilbeler, who introduced the donation to the council for approval.