Trent Taylor wants more places to safely park his bike in Irvington. Trent had mapped where the racks are now and likely places for additional ones. He did a spreadsheet and prioritized the locations. He was determined.

bike racks 2017 dHe contacted members of  Irvington Green Initiative, who connected him to the intrepid team on IDO’s Public Spaces Committee. Jason Koch, who’s on the committee, had an idea of where to get bike racks. He asked Jamison Hutchins, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, who could get 10 racks that promote the Knozone program for free. Knozone is an awareness campaign run through the city’s Department of Public Works, Office of Sustainability to improve our air quality. Riding bikes instead of driving cars is a great way to do that! But you’re not going to ride your bike if you don’t have a secure place to park it. Thus the bike racks.

If business owners are interested in purchasing bike racks at cost (all the free ones have been installed) that can go on either private property or in the public right of way, IndyCog has a program to purchase them. IDO will coordinate the locations and get the necessary permits. And Dan Jones, an Irvington craftsman, is considering designing and fabricating custom Irvington-inspired bike racks. If you want to make a statement, that may be the way to go. Contact

read more

volunteer irv 2017 c

By Lisa Watson

On April 23, seven not-for-profit organizations with a focus on Irvington came together to hold the first Volunteer Irvington event. The goal was to showcase the volunteer opportunities that each organization has available. There was a great and steady turnout, and we all met a lot of wonderful neighbors, including those who are new to the neighborhood and lifelong residents.

Thank you to the organizations that participated, volunteers who helped with the event, and neighbors who stopped by. Congratulations to Malinda Cox Baker, whose name was chosen at random for the $20 door prize.

Volunteer Irvington’s next step is to work with to include links to the organizations as well as the volunteer opportunities that are available. In the meantime, see the following information about the nonprofit organizations that participated and feel free to contact them for more information.

  • The Benton House: This historic Irvington home — built in 1873 in the Second Empire architectural style — is maintained through the volunteer support of The Benton House Association, under the administration of Irvington Historic Landmarks Foundation. Volunteer opportunities include helping with the annual book sale and home tour.
  • Friends of Ellenberger Park: Master landscape architect and urban planner George Edward Kessler designed this park in 1909, with the intent to maintain the land’s mature trees and natural paths. This organization is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the park as a resource for its surrounding communities through effective advocacy, stewardship, and fund development. Volunteer opportunities include beautifying or monitoring the park or lending a hand in coordinating special events.
  • Friends of Irving Circle: This charming park on Audubon Road, with a fountain, mature trees, and a bust of Washington Irving, was once part of the Butler College campus in Irvington. These days, Friends of Irving Circle maintain the park and host summer concerts. Volunteer opportunities include park beautification and cleanup, and assisting with summer concerts and Irvington Luminaria.
  • Historic Irvington Community Council: This organization’s mission is to have a positive, lasting impact on the quality of life in Irvington.
  • Irvington Development Organization: IDO works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood, and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Volunteer opportunities include grant writing, communications, and staffing the IDO booth at events. and @IrvDevOrg
  • Irvington Garden Club: Founded in 1999 is a group of community minded, garden-loving neighbors from Irvington (and beyond). IGC is one of many clubs in the central district of The Garden Club of Indiana. The organization hosts Irvington Farms Market and Irvington Garden Tour. Members maintain the grounds of the Benton House and Kile Oak. Volunteer opportunities include beautification and garden cleanup, and helping with the farmers market and garden tour.
  • Irvington Historical Society: Irvington is one of the few Indianapolis neighborhoods with its own history museum, to the credit of Irvington Historical Society. This organization promotes and furthers the artistic traditions, heritage, legacy, and artists — past and present — of the greater Irvington and Central Indiana community. Volunteer opportunities include helping with events and more.
    On Facebook at

read more

By Cheryl Hizer

IMG_2695George W Julian Elementary School 57, located at Ritter and Washington Street, was awarded a Learning Garden in April of this year. Installation took place on Tuesday, May 16. Students visited their new gardens by grade level immediately following installation, and with the help of The Kitchen Community educators, teachers, and family helpers, students planted crops of cilantro, beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and others. Students as young as kindergarten were instructed on the appropriate way to plant each seed and the best way to care for their new garden, and EVERYONE’S hands got dirty!


Starting with a staff of five in Boulder, Colorado in 2011, The Kitchen Community has installed over 300 Learning Gardens in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. Each installation includes trained educators, three raised beds, seating, shade, art, curriculum, seeds, soil, and necessary tools for maintaining the plants.

CEO Kimbal Musk “co-founded The Kitchen Community in order to create a replicable, scalable school garden solution.” Schools and community centers that receive Learning Gardens also benefit from continued support from a team of educators and replenished seeds each growing season.

This amazing opportunity for our community materialized due to a curious parent and plain old-fashioned teamwork. Tara Elder discovered School 57 in some of her inquiries regarding area schools for her own children. Irvington families shared their love for this hidden gem with lots of history. After some discussion with Principal Ms. Campbell (thanks to an introduction through Brandon Randall, Parent Involvement Educator) Tara and other families toured the school and were blown away by the charm of the school’s wooden floors, ample staff and resources, exquisite library, newer construction, and small class sizes.

In the interest of adding project-based learning to the culture, Tara found The Learning Garden in her explorations. She took her idea to Ms. Campbell, who embraced it. They worked together with Mr. Randall to write and submit the grant in March.

Now that the Learning Gardens are planted, the work has just begun! Because the students are home for summer break, they must rely on volunteers to water the three raised flower beds. Besides feeling good about helping, you can also pick your fair share of ripe produce on your day! If you haven’t already added your name, please visit the sign-up and consider filling at least one slot!
If you have a talent or skill that you would be interested in sharing with middle school students in a club before or after school, please email Ms.Campbell

All grades need athletic coaches. Please reach out to if you would be able to share your coaching experience. If The Learning Garden sounds like an ideal fit for your own underserved school or community center, submit your application today!

read more

By Ed Myers, President, Irvington Garden Club

garden tourThroughout the past 16 years, those attending the garden club’s annual garden tours have had the opportunity to walk shaded paths, witness the flashing shadows of overhead branches on the ground and maybe, if one was nearby, sit on a garden bench.
Others have felt the cooling effect of a fountain or gazed into plant-filled pond and wondered why the koi fish within have grown so big while theirs had not.
Walk slowly, as you visit the eight gardens on this year’s Irvington Garden Tour, so as not to disturb a monarch butterfly, delight in the pleasing color combinations of flower pots on a patio, and stop to smell the honey perfume fragrance of a nearby rose.
This year’s tour is scheduled for Sunday, June 25, 1-5 p.m.Still only $10 dollars (children under 14 are admitted free of charge), tickets for the tour may be purchased the day of the tour at the Benton House Historic Garden, 312 South Downey Avenue.

read more

Quick reminders: In case you missed previous announcements, here are the details for two upcoming events.

Sunday, the beloved Irvington Farmers Market, brought to you by Irvington Garden Club, has resumed its summer schedule of the second Sunday of the month, noon to 3 p.m. in Ellenberger Park. The next market will be July 9.

Discover Irv LogoAnd Discover Irvington, our chance to celebrate and share all that’s wonderful about our neighborhood in warm weather, is Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., sponsored by Irvington Business Association.

Mayor Joe Hogsett will attend at 11:45 a.m. to throw out the first ball for the Black Acre Dunk Tank (no, it isn’t filled with beer), which features Irvington’s celebrities and notorious characters. The merchants will have sidewalk sales, and the community’s not-for-profits will provide activities for the children. Free bicycle cabs, courtesy of Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, Maximum Grow Gardening, and Audrey’s Place will be available to ferry attendees to the outer reaches of the neighborhood and haul all their purchases back. And you can compete in a scavenger hunt!

read more

This summer, join Friends of Irving Circle Park 800pxIrving Circle in celebrating 25 years of summer concerts in the park. All concerts are free of charge and family friendly. Irving Circle Park, one of historic Irvington’s most treasured landmarks, is located where South Audubon Road meets East University Avenue.

The bands play from 7 to 9 p.m. while neighbors serve brats, hot dogs, and popcorn. Bring cash for concessions, and folding chairs or blankets to spread out under any of the park’s many shade trees.

Audio Dinner: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 3; folk rock, acoustic, and blues

Blue Alchemy: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, July 8; rock

The Roundups: 7-9 p.m.,  Saturday, August 5; vintage western swing, hillbilly/rockabilly, and honky tonk

Lightweights XL: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, September 9; rock

Friends of Irving Circle is a nonprofit organization established by neighborhood volunteers who care for the park and host events throughout the year. New volunteers are welcome, and many volunteer opportunities are suitable for youth. If you would like to help out, contact Sue Beecher at
Thank you to the following sponsors who support the park and make these free summer concerts possible: Glenroy Construction, Irvington Community Council, Irvington Garden Club, Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, Irvington Wellness Center,  The Butler Inn, TACS, Inc., Bookmamas,  Jack and Jill Antique Mall, George Thomas Florist, Kemba Credit Union, Central Ace Hardware, and Indy Parks Department.

read more