The City of Noblesville, with assistance from Duke Energy Foundation and Sagamore Ready Mix, is creating the first pocket park, Riverwalk Depot, on 0.15 acres in Downtown Noblesville.
“A pocket park is a small park accessible to the general public that is typically created on a single vacant lot or on a small, irregular piece of land,” said Noblesville Economic Development Specialist Alaina Shonkwiler.
For the past year and a half the Noblesville economic development, parks, streets, wastewater and engineering departments have planned the park as a place making and beautification initiative.
“Alaina’s vision for this area is perfect for the underutilized, forgotten space this could truly become. The partnership between several departments working together to make this a reality will benefit residents and guests. This is truly a space created out of teamwork,” Noblesville Parks Director Brandon Bennett said.
Currently a gravel lot and a turnaround zone for utility trucks near the Duke Energy substation and Bolden’s Dry Cleaners, this small parcel will serve as a trailhead for the intersection of the White River Greenway and the Riverwalk. It also will integrate art with function.
“Riverwalk Depot is designed to beautify and revitalize a blighted trailhead adjacent to the Nickel Plate Railroad and a major intersection of the Noblesville Trail System. This pocket park will create another unique Downtown Noblesville spot and continues the overall growth of quality of life amenities to the downtown area,” Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said.
Shonkwiler said Riverwalk Depot will include a walking pathway, a covered bench and two specific components to increase the functionality for cyclists – a bicycle repair station and a sculptural bicycle rack.
“This one of a kind 9-foot tall and 12-feet long metal sculpture of a large train engine will serve as a bicycle rack and was designed and fabricated by Rick Heflin, owner of RC Metalworks in downtown Noblesville,” she said.
The City of Noblesville and Nickel Plate Arts also are integrating art on the fence panels that will act as a visual barrier to the Duke Energy substation.
“The fence panel will feature a system to allow for a constant flow of public art to be installed and viewed in the pocket park,” Shonkwiler said. “The initial installation of art will likely be the community mural project created at the 2015 Noblesville Street Dance by Nickel Plate Arts.”
Grand opening for Riverwalk Depot will be held Friday, October 2.