Lilly Endowment awards $10 million to IPF



Three-year grant to upgrade 13 Indy Parks properties,
expand programming partnerships


INDIANAPOLIS – (Dec. 17, 2012) The Indianapolis Parks Foundation (IPF) announced today that Lilly Endowment has awarded the nonprofit organization a grant of $10 million, the largest single gift in IPF's 20-year history. The funds will be used to renovate and upgrade 13 Indy Parks properties throughout Marion County.

"Parks are essential elements of a healthy and fun community," said N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment's president and CEO. "Families and neighbors gather in parks throughout our city to cool off in the summer, have picnics and reunions, play and exercise, and enjoy the changing seasons. The Endowment is pleased to help the Indianapolis Parks Foundation in its efforts to enhance Indy Parks' amenities and programs throughout our community," Robbins added.

The grant includes funding to begin improvements and add new amenities at Frank and Judy O'Bannon Soccer Complex, located on East 16th Street in the Old Northside neighborhood. Tarkington Park, with a recently updated master plan, will receive funds to begin this park's revitalization, which includes playground upgrades, new shelters, a water feature and more. Recently acquired land on the far southeast side known as Wildwood Park will receive funding to begin the development of the current greenspace into a recreational park. The concession and restroom facility at Chuck Klein Softball Complex, which is located on Rockville Road and hosts adult softball leagues and tournaments, also will be refurbished.

"The City of Indianapolis is extremely grateful for Lilly Endowment's continued support of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and consequently our parks system," said Mayor Ballard. "Our strong relationship epitomizes the kind of public-private partnerships that will enable us to keep improving our amenities and services and enhancing quality of life and the park experience for our residents and visitors."

Several neighborhood parks ranging in size from five to 27 acres throughout the city will see improvements such as upgraded playground equipment, new permanent restrooms and shelters, water spray grounds, field upgrades and walking trails. These parks include Beckwith Memorial, Bel Aire, Bertha Ross, Dubarry, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gardner, Greene, Haughville and Stout Field parks.

Also included in the grant is funding to support programming partnerships throughout the parks system. Indy Parks and IPF will identify partnering organizations to improve programming efficiencies, offerings and diversity.

"The Indianapolis Parks Foundation is honored to receive this gift that will be used to improve our city's parks system," said Indianapolis Park Foundation President Tanya Husain. "For the past 20 years, the Parks Foundation has secured more than $40 million to support programs, capital improvement projects and land acquisition throughout Indy Parks. The growth and progress of Indy's 207 parks would not be possible without the support of funders like Lilly Endowment."

The $10 million grant will be administered over a three year period beginning in 2013. In 2009, the Lilly Endowment awarded the Parks Foundation a $7.3 million grant which was used to repair and upgrade more than 60 tennis courts, install 14 permanent restrooms, and fund improvements to several aquatic facilities, including a new water spray ground at Christian Park and a new $2.3 million aquatic facility at Bethel Park.



About the Indianapolis Parks Foundation

Indy Parks Foundation 20 Years

The Indianapolis Parks Foundation seeks financial support from community partners such as service organizations, corporations and individuals to purchase land, develop new parks, maintain existing parks, upgrade park facilities and provide support to programs benefitting children, families and seniors throughout Indianapolis. To learn more, visit or call (317) 860-3253.

About Indy Parks & Recreation

Indy Parks

The mission of Indy Parks & Recreation is to create fun, safe, engaging and sustainable parks that enhance the quality of life for individuals, neighborhoods and communities. Indy Parks will be a national model of excellence and destination for facilities and programs, protecting parks, greenways and open spaces and championing environmental initiatives. For more information, visit or call (317) 327-PARK.

About the Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly Family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Endowment, however, is a separate entity from the company with a distinct governing board, staff and location. It is devoted to the causes of religion, education and community development.


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