Friday, July 20, 2012

Cancer Survivors Park to get new home

Talk about catching up!

Wednesday's edition of The Indianapolis Star carried a story about plans to move a Cancer Survivors Park several miles away from its current site on a triangle-shaped median where 10th Street, Indiana Avenue and University Boulevard converge near the expansive Wishard-IU-Riley Children's hospital complex.

Indy Parks officials say there are several reasons for the move to a site along Fall Creek Parkway between Delaware Street and Central Avenue, just east of the Julia Carson Government Center.

For one, the marriage of the park's concept -- to salute cancer survivors -- with the nearby medical facilities where cancer patients receive treatment was undermined by the fact that for years the park, ironically, has been used largely as a place where smokers hang out. Also, the park's focal point, a banner (bearing the park's name) supported by four tri-layer I-beams, is deteriorating and would cost more to repair than to simply move the park's remaining components -- plaques and statues -- to another site.

Still another reason for the move is access, something I can attest to, having visited the park three years ago on one of my many visits to Riley Hospital for Children, where my granddaughter spent more than a month after birth battling various medical issues (quick update: She made it through and is getting ready to celebrate her third birthday).

Being in the center of that intersection of three very busy streets, including two major thoroughfares, the park is accessible only by foot or bicycle, because no street parking is allowed. When I visited, I had been parked in one of the hospital garages, so I made a side visit to the park when I stepped out of the hospital to grab lunch a few blocks away.

The new site is in the Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood, whose leaders feel the park will be used. They envision it being the start and end point of rallies and fundraising events, such as a 5K run/walk, on behalf of cancer awareness and cure.

When I visited in late August 2009, I don't remember seeing a lot of disrepair, although there was some rusting along the moulding at the top of the banner, which you can see in the picture leading off this post. There also were some minor weeds sprinkled within the cracks of the brick foundation. When I drove by it not too long ago, sadly, I noticed a lot of large weeds on the grounds. It's possible those have been removed by now, but it did tell me that something about the park was not quite right.

I never posted pictures of my visit to the park after I took them three years ago. So in light of this week's news about plans to move the park to a new site, I post them here today.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very good and wise choice. I've been by the current site numerous times, mostly via the monorail going from one hospital to the other,and wondered myself "why" it was in that location. It felt "lost", separated from the mainstream, and made me wonder "who would want to go there?". The new Simon Cancer Center is not close at all, and there isn't much room near its location for a memorial park of any kind. Being familiar with and living closeby the new suggested location, I think this will be a great tribute and cause as noted for a variety of charitable events to take place, start and/or finish there. This is an area of the city that is being restored, revitalized, and fast becoming a historical beauty. This new location will not only signify "life and survival" for man, but of a neighborhood almost lost...but which survived! I definitely like this choice for the new location.