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'Smart City'

Jul 08

Parks & Recreation Department Creates Sense of Place in Fishers

Posted to Fishers, Indiana on July 8, 2016 at 10:55 AM by Blog Admin

By: Fishers Parks & Recreation Director, Tony Elliot

Sense of place is one of those buzzwords that’s being echoed by municipal leaders as they talk about building a community that will attract new businesses and residents while at the same time fostering community pride among those who already call Fishers home. But what does that phrase mean, exactly? Sense of place is simply all the things that makes a place unique, memorable, and endearing.


It is fostered by leaders, but created by local businesses, restaurants, events, and activities. You know it’s catching on when people want to gather in a particular place or when you hear chatter about an event at the grocery store. In recent years, there has been a visible physical change with the development of the Nickel Plate District and a vision to become a smart, vibrant, entrepreneurial city. Equally as important, there has been a cultural change that reflects both a sense of place and sense of community.

What is exciting to see is that people – residents and non-residents alike – are enjoying the Nickel Plate District and all its amenities. Drive down 116th Street any weekday at lunchtime or any weekend evening and you will find crowds of people moving about; enjoying restaurants at the Depot, walking dogs around the Central Green, or relaxing on the Amphitheater lawn.

Parks and recreation departments have a unique opportunity to bring the community together and create traditions and memorable moments for the community at large. I am proud that our team has done just that with the continuation – and elevation --- of the Summer Concert Series, new events for the whole family like Monsoon Madness and Mud Day and a revitalization of community favorites like the Fishers Farmers Market.

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Between recurring Parks & Rec offerings such as Summer Camp and Movies in the Park, and new initiatives such as Nickel Plate Arts Crawl and Nature First – a unique partnership with HSE Schools - thousands of people gather in Fishers to play, learn, and engage each week.


It is the vision Mayor Fadness and City leaders work towards each day. As we celebrate Nation Parks and Recreation month this July, my team and I are celebrating all the different opportunities that Fishers residents have to come together to play, be part of community traditions, and make memories in Fishers. 

Jun 03

Six Months into 2016, Fishers shows No Signs of Slowing

Posted to Fishers, Indiana on June 3, 2016 at 12:56 PM by Blog Admin

Six weeks into 2016 we exceeded all job commitments made in 2015. Six months in to the year, our momentum continues.

We’re excited that a new crop of diversified businesses have made commitments to several different pockets within the city. This is what a vibrant city looks like – vitality, energy and resiliency in all neighborhoods and regions of the community.


We can hardly wait to share all of the exciting news throughout the month, so here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming:

  • 4 companies moving to Fishers, including 3 corporate headquarters
  • 352 new and relocated jobs, with average salaries ranging between $80,000-$90,000
  • Investments totaling more than $46 million

“We’ve put all of our focus into bringing this vision of a smart, vibrant entrepreneurial city to life,” said Mayor Scott Fadness. “I’m proud that so many great companies want to be a part of what we’re creating here in Fishers; it’s proof of concept without a doubt.”

Stay tuned for details –2016 is shaping up to be a pretty great year for our community. 

Feb 22

Box City Gives Third Graders A Glimpse Into Fishers 2040

Posted to Fishers, Indiana on February 22, 2016 at 12:09 PM by Blog Admin

While Fishers 2040 planning continues to progress inside City Hall and throughout the community, local 3rd graders from Fishers Elementary School got a special glimpse into the process earlier this month with Box City. The two-day workshop led by Fishers’ city planners allowed the students to create a 3-D model of a Fishers neighborhood.

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“I think this was one of the best, most hands-on experiences that I’ve ever even had as a teacher, in my career,” said Erin Mohr, teacher of the 3rd grade Fishers Elementary School class. “The students really got to see what city development was like from the very beginning stages all the way through to the final stages and having the opportunity to work with city officials and actual people in the field was really powerful for them.”


The students were held to high standards as they worked to bring their ideas for Fishers neighborhoods to life. During the two-day workshop, they received an overview of Fishers’ history from the Hamilton County historian as well as an overview of Fishers’ future from city planners. Much like the community stakeholders involved in the Fishers 2040 planning process, the students were challenged to think about what kind of community they’d like to create for themselves, their peers and future families. They were tasked with creating proposals for development which required approval by a mock city council before they were allowed to move forward with their plans. They had to obtain building permits and undergo inspections just as a real developer would.

“First somebody comes up with the plan, then they go to the city council and see if the people in city council will let them build it and then they need to find a place to build it,” said Ruby Bohanan, a Fishers Elementary School third grade student.

It feels good, seeing it all come together, said Bohanan as she admired the 13 ½ feet by 17 feet box city on display at City Hall.

“I thought that there were so many levels of value here academically, but another level, totally unrelated to that was the relevance to their community and how they saw Fishers through the eyes of a planner and developer,” said Hamilton Southeastern Schools superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff. “Whenever we can connect the classroom to the community we consider that a win, and when you have students so engaged as we saw, it’s a win-win.”


The Box City workshop reinforced multiple elements of the school districts’ core curriculum, including local governance, history, math and community planning.

“It’s wonderful because the students are learning about more than just where their house is or where a park is, but how a whole city functions,” said Fishers City Councilor, Todd Zimmerman. “It’s really going to make them think outside the box to see how their part has to fit with others to build a city.”

Box City gave some of our youngest residents the opportunity to understand how local leaders are working to engage the community in planning Fishers' future. To learn more about Fishers 2040, visit