A new playspace is coming to the Downtown Canal Walk. Indy Parks, the Indianapolis Colts, the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Downtown Indy, Inc. and neighborhood groups announced plans for a Canal Playspace, a creative and fun playground for children and adults of all ages.
Located on the north end of the Canal near Wabash and Walnut Streets, this energetic space will boast an iconic design that inspires play. Features include a vertical climbing tower and ladder, spinner bowl, twister nets, stepping stones, and spectacular city views.
The project is being funded by the Indianapolis Colts Foundation to support the health and wellness of the communities served by downtown and surrounding areas and add another family-friendly attraction to the city.
“As much as the Colts love to entertain, inspire and unite on the field, we take just as much pride in giving back to the community we call home,” said Kalen Jackson, Colts vice-chair and owner. “This new playspace will be an excellent way to promote health and fitness for downtown residents and visitors alike, and we are thrilled to partner with Indy Parks and others to make this a reality.”
Indy Parks offers 211 parks, more than 11,000 acres, and 135 miles of trails. Most recently, the Colts joined Indy Parks and the Indianapolis Parks Foundation to kick off the Colts Play 60 fitness park at Riverside Park.
To increase recreational options, the Canal Playspace will span nearly one acre and connect to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Construction will begin later this month and plans are already underway to officially unveil the new playground.
“The Parks Foundation is excited to see the Downtown Canal Playspace vision become a reality,” said Parks Foundation vice president Jenny Burrough. “Through thoughtful design and input from community stakeholders, we are excited to see how this new addition will complement existing use of this space, welcome more children and families, and benefit the experience along the entire Downtown Canal Walk.”
My girls love to run and jump and play and climb on everything that they can find. But there isn’t anywhere that is inviting them to do that without them getting in trouble for it. This is going to be just a beautiful opportunity where we can play and we can meet friends and we can meet more folks in the community. – Andrea Hunley, downtown resident and principal at IPS School for Inquiry #2
With Downtown Indianapolis serving as a central hub of commerce, government, education, arts, sports, tourism and entertainment, the Canal Playspace will be a welcomed addition to one of the city’s premier cultural destinations.
In 2014, Downtown Indy, Inc. completed its five-year strategic action plan for Downtown Indianapolis with an emphasis on creating a more walkable downtown and enhancing public greenspaces by activating them with playgrounds, recreational sports, arts, and special events.
“We are so pleased to be moving forward with what will be a remarkable and sought-after new destination driver for our Downtown,” said Bob Schultz, senior vice president of marketing and events for Downtown Indy, Inc. “Downtown remains the fastest growing neighborhood in Marion County with growing numbers of families so creating residential amenities such as this new Canal Playspace is so welcomed. And this park will further activate this beautiful Canal District, not only for our residents, but for those visiting Downtown from near or far. Thank you so much to the Irsays and the Indianapolis Colts.”
The Canal Playspace will open in September as Indianapolis hosts the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Conference, an annual meeting of more than 7,000 park and recreation professionals. A community celebration will occur during the conference, giving residents and visitors a first look at the playground and everything the Canal Playspace has to offer.