Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL) was proud to be
the title sponsor of the 15th annual IPL Mayor’s Lunch for Parks,
hosted by the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and Mayor Joe Hogsett on March 15. This luncheon celebrated the
Parks Foundation’s 25 years of service.
IPL President & CEO Rafael Sanchez gave opening remarks, highlighting
what was happening in the world 15 years ago when the first Mayor’s Lunch for
Parks was held (like Monica and Chandler getting married on Friends and Brittney Spears and Justin
Timberlake being Hollywood’s power couple), illustrating the fact that a lot
can change in that amount of time.
In 25 years, the Parks Foundation has transformed nearly 282
acres of park land. In the last 12 years, the foundation has built 16
playgrounds, 14 water spray grounds, 22 permanent restrooms, 16 basketball
courts and 63 tennis courts, adding to the nearly $50 million investment in
Indianapolis parks over the last 25 years.
With the help of over 2,000 volunteers last year, the Parks
Foundation put together playgrounds, cleared trails, enhanced greenspaces,
created neighborhood family centers and offered free swim lessons and youth
basketball leagues. The organization also partners with Indy Urban Acres and
Eskenazi Health to assure residents of Indianapolis have access to fresh food
that can be grown in neighborhood parks and greenspaces.
Mayor Hogsett was the keynote speaker for the event. He
emphasized the importance that parks and public spaces have on the quality of
life of the city’s residents. Last year, the city-county council increased the
city’s investment in Indianapolis’ park system. To reiterate this importance,
Hogsett said, “An investment in our parks is an investment in the city of
Looking to the next 25 years, the foundation hopes to add
more parks and play areas around downtown, specifically along the canal, as
well as trails and greenspaces. Last year this event set a donation record for
the most money raised since its beginning, and the organization hopes this year
will be even better than the last.