Conference offsites are a great option to visit and view some of the host cities facilities and parks. If you have time and an interest, please register for one of the offsite options below.
Riverside Regional Park
Address: 2420 E Riverside Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Five years ago the City began an in-depth master planning process with the goal of revitalizing one of the parks originally designed by George Kessler in the 19th century. The master plan is designed to guide the development of the park over the next 20 years, focusing on an imaginative future while not shying away from telling the storied history of the 861 acres of park land. The park features a number of unique assets including Lake Sullivan Sports Complex, a nature and art park, Soap Box Derby, multiple golf course, a golf academy, and lines one of the City’s most well know natural resources – White River.
Wildlife Encounters & Forest Management at Eagle Creek Park
Speakers: Jenna McElroy, Ornithology Center manager and certified bird trainer; Dawn VanDeman, Earth Discovery Center manager and certified wildlife rehabilitator; Brenda Howard, Land Stewardship ecologist; and Jacob Brinkman, Ecologist
Address: 6515 Delong Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46278 - Free gate admission for registrants
Tour the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center which includes a backyard birding area, reservoir birding room, and an exhibit hall with over 100 taxidermy birds on display. Ornithology center manager and certified bird trainer Jenna McElroy will introduce us to one of the educational ambassador raptors and show some of the raptor housing at the center. Then Dawn VanDeman, Earth Discovery Center manager and certified wildlife rehabilitator, will give a presentation on “wildlife dilemmas”- a quick walkthrough on what to do when unexpected wildlife encounters occur at your park and some advice for fielding visitor phone calls. For the second half of the off-site, we will drive to the Earth Discovery Center (5901 Delong Rd.) to meet with Land Stewardship ecologist Brenda Howard for a short presentation on the park’s deer management program. Eagle Creek Park began culling deer in 2014 and has seen dramatic improvements in the overall health of the forest and natural areas. Ecologist Jacob Brinkman will take us outside for a tour of some of the native plantings done around the Earth Discovery Center, this includes a rain garden, insect field, and an educational pond (fed by geothermal outflow).
Address: 2505 Conservatory Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46203
Participants can spend the day in beautiful Garfield Park, one of three parks initially designed as part of George Kessler’s city park plans for Indianapolis. Garfield Park is arguably the oldest park in the city’s system and is home to unique features including a botanical garden, arts center, outdoor amphitheater, and seasonal aquatics facility. It is also connected to the city’s Greenways Trail system. Participants could tour the Garfield Park Conservatory, visit the Garfield Park Arts Center gallery, and tour the lovely park grounds.
Holliday Park Public/Private Partnership | Lunch Sponsored by Holliday Park Foundation
Speakers: Dan Boritt, Park Manager of Holliday Park; Allie Combs, Assistant Park Manager of Holliday Park; Adam Barnes, Executive Director of Holliday Park Foundation
Address: 6363 Spring Mill Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260
Holliday Park, one of the City’s hidden gems, serves as a hub for environmental education programs in Indy Parks. The park encompasses 94 acres of beautiful open green spaces with over three miles of picturesque trails, gardens and White River access, along with the playground, Ruins and Nature Center. The Park serves over 350,000 visitors each year through environmental education programs, seasonal events, and opportunities to connect with nature. The Holliday Park Foundation began as a community-led effort to revitalize this essential public space. Over the past 30 years the Foundation has invested millions of dollars to accomplish capital improvements, program enhancements and maintenance in the Park. This tour, led by park staff and members of the Foundation, will highlight the history and benefits of this dynamic public/private partnership and will provide insight on how to start or grow a partnership at your park.