By Mike Rhodes, Editor-in-Chief—
Muncie, IN—Since the beginning of his administration, Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour has made it abundantly clear that improving and expanding Muncie city parks would be a priority. In fact, in many of the mayor’s frequent community update videos on Facebook, he often highlights new things happening at city parks. MuncieJournal.com spoke with parks superintendent Carl Malone, to get an expanded picture and timeline for a few of the city parks.
Cooley Park is tucked away at 3120 S Mock Ave, in Muncie. In 2021, the park will be getting totally new restrooms that are handicap accessible. At the side of the old baseball diamond the city will be building a public splash pad and also a community walking track. There will be a new basketball court along with shade structures spread around the park. The park will also be getting new playground equipment. A few new trees will be planted in accordance with the mayor’s “1000 trees in 1000 days” project.
The city is projecting to have everything completed by late spring or early summer, 2021.
“I am serious about investing in the kids and residents of Muncie through improved parks. Immediately upon taking office in 2020, Carl and I structured a plan to seriously upgrade our parks in order to improve the quality of life for our city. Plus there have been many involved, not just me and Carl. Council person Ralph Smith, Urban forester Kellie McClellan, Brian Stephens-Hotopp and Dustin Clark to name just a few. Cooley Park on the southside is the first step in that plan. I am very excited to see it opened with children laughing and playing. It will be a great day for our city.”— Mayor Dan Ridenour
Halteman Village Park
Halteman Village Park is located at 4205 N Lancaster Drive in Muncie. The effort, which is spearheaded by the Halteman Village Neighborhood Association and the City of Muncie, has been a multi-year initiative centered on turning a blighted, vacant and tax delinquent property into a neighborhood and community asset. In a crowdfunding effort of $30,000, the park generated $46,920 in funds and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2021.
The basketball court will be resurfaced, and the old swimming pool will be removed. A new splash pad will be added in the old pool area. A new walking path will be added in addition to new playground equipment. According to Carl Malone, parks superintendent, it is likely the park will be completed at the end of 2021.
Take a moment to watch an artist rendering of what the park will eventually look like.
Riverview Park is located at the corner of Bunch Rd & E Faulkner Drive in Muncie. The city will begin final design work in 2021, with construction work expected to be completed in 2022. Like the other parks listed above, Riverview will receive a new public splash pad and an all-new playground structure. The existing basketball courts will be renovated in addition to some shade structures.
Future Updates: Thomas Park and others
Updates for Thomas park are scheduled to begin in 2022 and completed in 2023. Currently, there are talks with the local neighborhood association in order to see what they would like to happen at the park.
In 2021-23 new playground structures will be going in at several other parks. Morningside Park and McCullough Park will get new playground structures in 2021. In 2022, Thomas park will get new playground equipment and in 2023, Alshire Park and Heekin park.
Related article below.