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Congratulations to the 

2020 Neighbor Power Indy Awardees!

Read on to learn more about each awardee and their incredible projects.

The 2020 Neighbor Power Indy Building Local Economy awardee is Harrison Center and PreEnact Indy. As the Monon 16 area is developing and changing, long-term neighbors are afraid their culture will be erased. Through PreEnact Indy, the Harrison Center used theater as an approach to inclusive neighborhood revitalization. PreEnactment Theater envisions a neighborhood that “ought to be”—just and economically vibrant. Partnering with professional theater and over 30 community organizations, designers activated 3 commercial blocks with 11 temporary buildings. Focused on the Monon16 area (where the Kennedy King and Martindale-Brightwood neighborhoods meet), this neighborhood visioning tool addressed the hopes and dreams of the neighborhood—quality education, jobs, respect for history, and racial equity on a three block stage along 16th street, from the Monon to Andrew J Brown. By engaging neighbors and spurring local investors to invest in and start businesses, the Hillside neighborhood has successfully developed a reputation and expectation of being inclusive.

The 2020 Neighbor Power Indy Connecting Community awardee is People for Pleasant Run. Since 2012, community members who live in neighborhoods along Pleasant Run waterway have been meeting monthly to engage residents and businesses in efforts to improve the waterway through the community-driven effort of Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW). When the community learned of a variance petition to disturb the stream protection corridor at the Community Justice Center (CJC), residents from six neighborhoods formed People for Pleasant Run (PFPR) to advocate for protection of the waterway, while still supporting the CJC development. PFPR hosted a public meeting, conducted outreach, held meetings with City staff and elected officials, and attended and testified at public hearings. As a result, they negotiated a compromise with the City and developer to reduce the impact on the waterway. What could have been a detrimental impact to the water quality, to future flood control and to the quality of life for those living and working at and near the CJC and Pleasant Run, has instead created more engagement, awareness and protection for the environment.

The 2020 Neighbor Power Indy Inspiring Places award went to Shelton Heights Park. Formerly Grandma Lloyd’s trailer park, the property became a haven for crime and littering when the owners died, leaving the property to no one and deeply in debt. Residents formed a Crime Watch, teamed up with Indy Gateway and joined forces with elected officials to advocate for making the property a much-needed neighborhood park and community gathering space. The city tore the trailer park down in 2016 and donated the property to Indy Gateway and Shelton Heights. Major development of the park occurred in 2019, including picnic tables, a walking trail, nature play elements, benches, trash cans, a blessing box and a pet receptacle. More play elements and a Little Library are planned for the 2nd phase this spring. Building the park has resulted in new partnerships, and neighbors coming together. All funds for the park were raised through grants, corporate partners, donations and fundraising event. People are taking pride in the neighborhood, property values have increased, and the crime rate is down 85%!

To learn about previous Neighbor Power Indy awardees, please go here.