Traders Point Gateway Beautification Project

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friends, for several months I’ve been working on an idea to improve the appearance of the 71st Street/I-65 interchange. This has been a New Years resolution for at least five years, and I’m finally trying to move it forward.

The concept is to screen unsightly views around the INDOT maintenance unit with plantings of native trees and shrubs, treating the salt barn as “garden architecture” while drawing the eye away from the chain link fence, equipment, and piles of gravel surrounding it.

Normandy Farms Homeowners Association president Carole Cole and I met with representatives of INDOT and the City in February at the maintenance unit; they were happy to give their verbal approval, as long as we didn’t ask them for funding.

Having developed a preliminary design for the project, I’m now ready to get others involved. I met recently with a representative of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and he thinks they would be interested in helping us if we can demonstrate our neighborhoods’ commitment to the project. KIB’s proposal deadline for 2007 grants is August 18, which is why I’m contacting you via e-mail rather than individually by phone.

I invite you to visit the Normandy Farms website to download a brief PowerPoint presentation that outlines the concept and shows examples of the native plants I think would work.

I hope you will feel inspired to sign on with me to the KIB proposal and to talk up the project to your friends. We will need to commit some volunteers to do the planting and to participate in an occasional work day to pull weed trees. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to people you think would like to know about the project.

And finally, please let me know by return e-mail whether you would like to participate in moving the project forward. It should not take much time, but the benefits to our neighborhoods should last well beyond our lifetime.

Together we can make it happen.

–Wendy Ford, 317-334-1932


About Ross Reller

I am pleased you have expressed interest in learning more about the historic Traders Point area in Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1980 to 1982 I was employed in the PR department at Conner Prairie Museum in Hamilton County. There I learned about William Conner, an important figure in Indiana's pioneer days. A decade later I became interested in the history of the Traders Point area and was surprised to learn that William Conner had been the first land owner in the area. In 1823 he acquired, through the Federal land office in Brookville, a patent for an 80 acre tract carved by Eagle Creek and an Indian trail that was about to be named the first toll roadway through the township (Lafayette Road). Thirty years later a village took shape within this tract. A grain mill on the creek, houses, churches, stores, restaurants, and two gas stations would take shape here in the creek valley hamlet of Traders Point. By 1962 all improvements (except a farmer's co-op) had been removed by the Indianapolis Flood Control Board to make way for Interstate 65 and a new reservoir. This blog is dedicated to preserving evidence of this historic area but I will occasionally use it to discuss related topics. To activate this follow, simply click the confirm button below. If you don't want to follow, ignore this message and we'll never bother you again. I am also a member of the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a non profit association still selling burial plots for those who would like to spend all eternity in Traders Point, and I am an officer in the Pike Township Historical Society and the Traders Point Association of Neighborhoods.
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