City of Fishers to hold open house seeking input on Geist Waterfront park

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The City of Fishers will host two open houses seeking input from Geist-area residents on what they want to see as Geist Waterfront Park develops.

The city recently purchased 70 acres on Geist Reservoir previously occupied by Irving Materials, Inc. for $15.7 million and plans to develop 40 acres of the land.

The open houses will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Indianapolis Yacht Club, 12900 Fall Creek Rd., McCordsville, and at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at Fishers City Hall, 1 Municipal Dr. Fishers Deputy Mayor Leah McGrath said attendees can expect a similar format at each event.

“At this point in the planning, (the park) is really a clean slate. We just want to see what people want to see and do at this new park and hear their visions,” McGrath said. “They will have the opportunity to walk through four different stations while they’re there, and each station walks them through different exercises aimed at helping us learn what people would like to see at the park.”

Displays include an overview station providing images of the park and general information; a station focusing on the vision of the park which will allow attendees to provide input on their version of success for the park; a station seeking ideas for programs and amenities; and a station answering questions.

As for programming and amenities, McGrath said examples could include kayaking or beach access.

“As an example, from an amenity standpoint, do you want beach access so you can go swimming? And maybe you want kayak rentals,” she said. “Those might be some amenities and things we might do there. From a programmatic standpoint, someone submitted the idea of maybe having weekly walks with a naturalist to learn about the land and see the wetlands and experience those.”

Planning personnel, city staff and an engineer will be on hand to answer questions. If unable to attend the input open houses, residents can submit their ideas online at playfishers.com.

McGrath said Geist Waterfront Park is an example of a project the city is investing in for the long-term.

“It’s a really neat opportunity to give this land a second life, a second purpose,” she said. “With that in mind, we want this to be something the residents want.”

In order to receive a wide variety of ideas, the city is partnering with Hamilton Southeastern Schools to hear from students. HSE High School’s Environmental Club will provide  ideas for the park, such as how best to utilize native plantings and how to best rehabilitate the land. Geist Elementary fourth-grade students also will work on projects regarding the park.

“I think engaging the students gives us the chance to hear new ideas and hear fresh ideas and hear from the future of Fishers,” McGrath said.

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