Nickel Plate Trail Neighbors
Property owners directly adjacent to the Nickel Plate Trail (NPT), where your property is directly connected to Trail right of way, will have the support and collaboration from the City of Fishers to ensure concerns and questions are addressed throughout the process of developing the Nickel Plate Trail.
Nickel Plate Neighbors: Please complete this form to receive email communications about the Nickel Plate Trail.
In 2017, the City of Fishers stood with the Mayor of Noblesville and Hamilton County Commissioners to announce a new vision for the Nickel Plate Railroad corridor to convert the underutilized track to trail. Since the announcement, the City of Indianapolis has also joined the collaborative effort. In the summer of 2017, the owners of the Nickel Plate Railroad, who include Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County, filed an application to the federal government to allow what is known as rail-banking. Rail-banking allows owners of vacant railroads the ability to utilize the railroad right-of-way for trail purposes. On December 21, 2018, the Federal Surface Transportation Board granted the owners final rail-banking and trail sponsorship authority.
In anticipation of the rail-banking approval, last year the City of Fishers formed a master planning committee for the Nickel Plate Trail (NPT). Through its community engagement and outreach, the City received over 1,500 individual ideas from residents about what they would like to see on the trail. The Committee worked with more than 200 HSE Schools students on classroom projects and held dozens of meetings, including with adjacent neighborhoods like yours.
Happy Summer! We are officially in the days of warm, laid back, sunny weather that gives us a chance to get out and enjoy all of the summer fun the Fishers community has to offer. With the completion of the paved portions of the trail from 146th Street to 106th Street and the new downtown tunnel, we hope that you have had a chance to explore all the new amenities and connectivity that the trail provides. The trail is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to visit many of our local businesses or enjoy summer fun around downtown Fishers, including the Fishers Farmers Market every Saturday morning at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater the Summer Concert Series, and the Shop Fishers: Summer Series from July 16-23. You can find the full list of summer happenings on playfishers.com.
With the majority of the Fishers portion of the trail now paved and no upcoming construction planned for the rest of 2022, we will be winding down our monthly communications. This will be our final update for the time being, but we encourage you to sign up for email updates if you wish to receive updates as they become available. Please visit fishers.in.us/NPTNeighbors and fill out the email submission form to be added to the list. We will resume monthly communications to residents along the 96th to 106th Street portion of the trail once construction is planned.
Here are some updates to share this month:
Last month we announced our new Nickel Plate Trail Stewards program, a partnership between the City’s Volunteer Fishers program and residents and businesses volunteering time to maintain and care for the Nickel Plate Trail right of way. We are excited for the community support in helping the trail to be a clean and beautiful destination for our residents.
The following is a list of the Stewards and their designated sections:
• 106th Street to Fishers Pointe: Starbucks at 96th Street
• Fishers Pointe to South Street: Resident Larry Dawson
• South Street to North Street: Burn Boot Camp of Fishers
• North Street to Lantern Road: Resident Monica Schneider
• Lantern Road to 126th Street: Resident Karen Gropp
• 126th Street to 131st Street: Residents Jennifer & Terry Lasch and Christ Community Church
We are still looking for stewards for the 131st to 141st Street section and the 141st to 146th Street section. If you or someone you know is interested becoming a member of the NPT Stewarding team by either joining a current section’s team or stewarding an open section, please visit volunteerfishers.com/NPTSteward or reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Crell, at CrellA@fishers.in.us. When you see the trail steward out cleaning up the trail, be sure to say hello and thank them for their support!
Yard Waste Disposal
Recently, we have noticed increased dumping of yard waste between the rear of private property and the trail. No dumping is allowed in public rights of way. There are a few solutions available to you to properly dispose of yard waste:
• Free composting for yard waste and other compostable materials at the Fishers AgriPark. Visit playfishers.com/Agripark for more information.
• Free compost tumblers are available from Fishers DPW’s Stormwater Division. Applications are required and tumblers are limited to the first 300 applicants. Find more information at thisisfishers.com/KFB.
• Free single-use composting bins with replaceable liners are available for pickup at the Fishers AgriPark. For more information, visit playfishers.com/AgriPark.
96th to 106th Street Paving
We recently announced the City of Fishers was awarded $4.5 million dollars by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) via the Next Level Trails Grant for the construction of the remaining 1.3 miles of the Nickel Plate Trail from 96th to 106th Street as well as completing connectivity along 106th Street between Hague Road and the recently constructed Nickel Plate Trail. In the coming months, the City will begin designing the additions to the trail, including a pedestrian bridge over 96th Street connecting the trail to Indianapolis. The City is exploring a phased approach that would allow the construction of the Nickel Plate Trail between Hague Road and 106th Street to potentially occur as early as Spring 2023 and the construction of the pedestrian bridge over 96th Street and the 106th Street trail gap to begin later in 2023.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would prefer to receive updates by email, please visit fishers.in.us/NPTNeighbors and complete the email submission form.
NPT Neighbors Resources
NPT Adjacent Resident Screening & Privacy Grant Program
For those who live in a single-family home on property directly adjacent to the trail (i.e. your property line touches the trail right of way), the City is offering a grant program that may go toward installing screening, privacy, or buffering through landscaping or fencing on the resident’s private property, up to $2,000 per private property.
We have created an easy-to-use application that combines both the screening grant and trail connection application into one to save you time. The new application combines both programs and can be found here.
The City has created an exhibit outlining property lines, drainage easements, and possible planning level screening and landscaping improvement locations to prevent water flow and storm sewer maintenance access from being blocked. Final permitted screening and landscape locations will be determined through the permit process after an on-site review. View the exhibit.
How to Apply:
Determine what type of improvements you would like (fencing, landscaping, other) and where.
Fishers will reimburse up to $2,000 per property to go towards installing screening, privacy, or buffering improvements. Our staff can help walk you through what options would be possible for your property’s unique characteristics. We recognize there may be drainage easements or other utilities in rear yards that you have questions about. Our Public Works Department will review any improvements within a drainage easement for concerns related to drainage flow and storm sewer protection and maintenance access.
Submit online application here.
Once the application has been received, staff will review and present the improvements to the Board of Public Works for approval. Applicants are notified of approval via e-mail.
Applicants have twelve (12) months to install improvements. Applicants are responsible for project completion and full payment prior to submitting receipts for reimbursement.
Submit proof of project completion and receive reimbursement.
Fishers will mail a check of the awarded amount to the property owner upon proof of completion of the project.
Please contact Megan Schaefer, Assistant Director of Planning & Zoning, by email or at 317-588-1431 with any questions.
Connecting to the NPT
The City has coordinated with Duke Energy, which has an easement over the trail area, to develop a permitting process that allows adjacent properties to connect directly to the trail. The trail connection application is now open to properties along the paved portions of the trail from 106th Street to 146th Street. For properties adjacent to unpaved portions of the trail, a trail connection will be available once paving occurs. HOA-owned properties should work directly with Duke Energy on a trail connection.
Trail connections are $200 and include a crushed stone trail or stairs from the property line to the trail, a drainage culvert (if needed), and complimentary labor from the Fishers Department of Public Works. Trail connections are not guaranteed and are subject to an onsite review to ensure they can be done safely and sustainably. Residents are not permitted to establish their own trail connections outside of this permitting process.
The trail connection application has been combined with the screening grant application to save you time. You can apply for both programs here.
Lighting, Hours, and Public Safety on the NPT
Fishers Police Department has been a stakeholder and member of the master planning committee for the NPT from day one. The downtown portion of the NPT from South Street to Lantern Road (near the Library) will be open later, longer and have more lighting to create a destination experience. Outside of the downtown area, the trail will have similar hours as all Fishers Parks that are open from dawn to dusk.
View the Draft Master Plan for Fishers NPT
The result of the committee’s eight months of work is a draft master plan that imagines a destination trail for experiences with art, nature, education, technology, and downtown vibrancy. The draft master plan, known as Fishers Nickel Plate Trail 2040, was presented to City Council on Monday, February 18. While the trail may be constructed in Fishers in the next few years, this master plan is a long-range vision for how amenities could develop along the trail over time.
The NPT is a connector of people, as well as a connection to our heritage. Together, we have an opportunity to honor our history while embracing our future and create a trail system that promotes wellness, discovery, and community all year long.
For further questions, please contact the City of Fishers by email. Our staff stands ready to continue to meet with you throughout this project and to answer questions you may have.