IDO has great way for you to help the Irvington Streetscape stay bright, clean, and green while also saving some “green” on your state taxes. For the second year now, the state of Indiana is offering Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to businesses and individuals who donate to the Washington Streetscape Maintenance Fund.

When you contribute to the Irvington Streetscape between July 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, you can reduce your state tax liability by 50% of the donation amount. The minimum donation is $100 and all donations can be made in installments as long as they are within the same calendar year. So for a $1,000 donation, you can take $500 off what you owe in state taxes. If you itemize, you can also claim the full $1,000 as a deduction on your federal taxes, further lowering your out-of-pocket costs.

By the way, a round of applause is in order for those who contributed in 2016-2017. IDO collected $5,646, which is nearly half of what it costs to keep the street lights lit. Thanks!

For more information on how you can help the Irvington Streetscape and save money, contact

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owl in progress6More than a year ago, the artwork on the traffic box at the corner of Emerson Avenue and Washington Street had succumbed to vandalism and a hit-and-run collision. Here’s hoping the third time’s the charm. IDO issued a call to artists to re-re-paint the box this spring, and Irvingtonian Andrea Light won the contest with her Peter Max-esque owl image. The Public Spaces Committee is very excited about her stylized design of this creature of nature that could be roosting in the trees along Pleasant Run as she’s out there painting.

The Frank N. Owings Family Foundation gave a grant to IDO for the artist’s supplies and a stipend for her work and creativity. Andrea will also be rewarded with an exclusive exhibit of her work at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center later this fall, courtesy of Irvington Historical Society.

We’d like to thank Frank and Patte Owings, who head up the Frank N. Owings Family Foundation, for their generous donation. These former Irvingtonians offer their time, talent, and treasure in support of the culture of Indianapolis. You can read more about their work in this article from IUPUI.

Look for Andrea at work en plein-air, and please slow down.

And if there are any other artists who’d like a chance at exhibiting their work to a few thousand drivers and many grateful neighbors, two more boxes have just become “available” for adornment. 

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We’re in search of a professional landscaping crew that can maintain the Irvington Streetscape between Emerson and Arlington Avenues. Proposals are due June 5, 2017, and work will commence July 1, 2017. If you’re interested in bidding on the job, please read and respond to this PDF: IDO Washington Street Landscaping RFP 2017.

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We received a lot of helpful feedback in response to the survey about our newsletter. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete it. We’ve compiled a spreadsheet containing all responses and we’re working to incorporate these ideas in future editions of the newsletter. Here are some of the survey results.

Which of the items below would you like to see more of in the newsletter?

  • 38% New business updates
  • 20% Neighbor spotlights
  • 18% Local business events
  • 14% IDO updates
  • 10% Construction updates

Do you have a story, group, or event you want us to include in our newsletter?

  • Focus on sustainability issues
  • Benton House
  • Downey Avenue Food Pantry
  • New Irvington welcome sign
  • Irvington green space and restoration
  • Exodus Refugee Center
  • Irvington CSA

Do you have someone you would like to suggest for our neighbor spotlight?

  • Steve Barnett
  • Sue Beecher
  • Dave from World of Vapor
  • JauNae Hanger
  • Sue Kennedy
  • Ed Myers
  • Jenny Skehan
  • The Sponsel Family
  • Heidi Unger
  • Sara Zollner

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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.IDO Tree Planting c

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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 to get on our e-list for future notices.

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