From Neglected Park to an
Amenity-Rich Community Park
When the City of Greenwood
broke ground on the redevelopment of Old City Park, its 18-month-long endeavor resulted in the
transformation of the city’s oldest park, one with a prominent location in the heart of downtown.
Old City Park is prominently located in the heart of downtown
The Greenwood community was treated to an entirely new engagement with the six-acre property when the
redesigned park opened in 2020. A pedestrian and bicycle promenade runs through the park and connects two of
the city’s main road arteries. Pleasant Creek also meanders through the park, but now it has been brought
back to a more natural state with native species surrounding its feathered banks. The promenade connects to
trails, a pedestrian bridge, a playscape, an event lawn, and a game and fitness area – each area a distinct
“Old City Park was a centerpiece of community connection for over 100 years,” says Director of Greenwood
Parks and Recreation Department Rob Taggart. But it had become a neglected park. A roadway bisected open
green spaces, though without walkways it was not a “welcoming place,” explains City of Greenwood Capital
Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz. A small playground was in disrepair, and the park itself is in a
floodplain, often making it unusable. “We closed the park and began the necessary work to transform it in a
way that respected its history and also looked to the future,” says Steinmetz. Public spaces are undergoing
redevelopment throughout Greenwood, with the goal to create city-wide connectivity through a system of
The playground has been completely restored with bright turf and Arne
area lights illuminating the space for evening use.
The City partnered with landscape architecture firm
Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA) to develop and implement a new vision for the park. REA’s design
approach worked with the natural systems of the site to guide the layout of park destinations, amenities,
The 18-foot-wide promenade provides connectivity to the park’s primary destinations, including the restored
stream corridor. Landscape Forms Neoliviano benches and Ashbery lights are placed along the promenade and
throughout the park’s trails and programmed areas. The City of Greenwood has standardized these products as
well as Chase litter/recycling receptacles for its redevelopment projects.
One of the park’s prominent destinations is the playscape, which
features a 20-foot-tall cube tower, the first of its kind in Indiana and only one of three in the United
“A standard set of site elements creates connectivity throughout the city and says ‘This is public space.’
They become elements of the city’s brand,” explains Steinmetz. Taggart concurs, adding that the Ashbery lights are “a defining feature of the park.” City
leaders were attracted to Ashbery’s balancing of the past and the future. “Greenwood is both an old city
and, as a suburb of Indianapolis, a constantly growing city,” says Taggart. “An LED fixture that emulates a
gas lamp combines the old and new and was an appropriate choice that respects our past and also looks
forward. Ashbery lights are authentic to our culture.”
Ashbery pays a homage to traditional-style lights that have a special
place in the American lexicon.
One of the park’s prominent destinations is the playscape, which features a 20-foot-tall cube tower, the
first of its kind in Indiana and only one of three in the United States. Several Arne multi-fixture area
lights placed around the playscape add the additional light levels the City desired. “The Arne lights serve
as a safety feature but their thin profile design doesn’t obstruct,” says Taggart. “They are not like
security lights, but their light extends the hours for play and adds options for evening events.”
Another park destination is a gathering area with games and fitness equipment.
Foosball tables, cornhole boards, and bocce ball courts invite play for all ages. Arne catenary lights with
diffused lenses create a softer visual experience in the bocce ball courts.
Arne catenary lights with diffused lenses create a softer visual
experience in the bocce ball courts.
“The redevelopment of Old City Park created a place that simply hadn’t existed in Greenwood,” says REA
Principal Kevin Osburn. “It’s now a downtown destination that will be a catalyst for transformation of and
engagement with downtown, helping attract and retain residents and businesses. We are happy that the park’s
boundaries are fluid; it reaches out and connects to other places in the city.”