Greenwood, Ind. - This Friday we're checking out the sixth largest city in Indiana. Not only is Greenwood's popular festival this weekend, but there have been some major changes to hundreds of acres of park space.
"It’s kind of that old cliché of if you build it, they will come," said Rob Taggart, Director of Greenwood Parks and Recreation.
And they sure are!
"Oh we’re talking Louisville, Sellersburg, Greenfield, Greensburg and Columbus. It’s truly a destination."
Greenwood Parks and Rec just completely redid its 23-year-old facility.
So why do all that work?
"Become relevant again," said Rob. "We went 23 years kind of stagnant. We wanted to engage in the community better than what we’ve done in the past."
Greenwood Parks and Rec has about 300 acres across the city and five of those acres are home to Freedom Springs. There are slides, a lazy river, a lap pool, a splash pad for toddlers, plenty of shade and a lot more.
The play pockets are also quickly becoming a favorite for Greenwood families. There are now five playgrounds, including a musical play pocket.
The notes on the playground fence are an actual song! They are the notes to Yankee Doodle Dandy.
"The musical playground was a collaboration with my wife, a landscape architect, and my sister who is a musician," said Rob. "They worked together and designed the fence and then my wife and a landscape architectural firm helped lay out the musical playground."
The community center nearby is a dream for kids and adults. From a miniature grocery store for kids to a wall-sized Lite Brite and brand new basketball courts, many families end up spending the day here.
Even after all the improvements, the people of Greenwood still have more ideas!
"Oh we get them every day!" said Rob. "So we’re constantly making improvements and trying to engage in the community, listen to what they want and fulfill those needs and try to be proactive and get ahead of those needs as well."
Next they're working on connecting the 40 miles of trails. Speaking of trails, there is a stretch featuring five sculptures which will be changed out to feature new local artists every two years.
A third dog park should be under construction by the end of the year.
"It’s a dynamic place to live right now and this is where it’s happening. We’re growing at a very rapid rate. We’ve got recreational amenities that would challenge any municipality in the state and it’s not slowing down."
This is a big weekend for Greenwood because the annual WAMMfest is Saturday.
WAMM stands for Wine, Art, Music and Microbrew. The annual festival is August 19th from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Craig Park and showcases artistic, cultural and entertainment opportunities from the community. WAMMfest is organized by the Sertoma Club of Greenwood and all net proceeds are given back to the community to support youth, individuals and community organizations.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children seven and under get in free.