Why are we spending so much money to create a new park on the south side of City Hall?

Although we do love our Carmel parks and the many green spaces we enjoy, this particular project is much more than just another park. It’s really all about fixing a drainage issue that has been a problem for properties in an area that was developed long ago.

Detaining water in this area, along with related drainage improvements along the Monon Greenway will provide benefits for the watershed downstream in the southeast corner of the City.

This future four-acre “urban park” will have new water features (ponds) and walking trails extending from the current City Hall parking lot all the way to Carmel Drive. Called the “Sister Cities Cultural Gardens” project, this will also help alleviate a wide area of storm water management to address historic flooding issues in Carmel.

According to our Engineering Department, the new park will be a living Storm Water Management system and Regional Detention Basin serving an active watershed area of about 208 acres. This is very important as the watershed includes both residential and commercial land uses that were developed many years prior to the City’s current storm water management regulations.

Detaining water in this area, along with related drainage improvements along the Monon Greenway will provide benefits for the watershed downstream in the southeast corner of the City.

This is a $17 million project that was partially funded through the Clay Township Impact Program, which paid for $3 million in construction costs. Other sources of funding include the 2016 Storm Water Bond. The project cost includes the acquisition of properties along Carmel Drive as well as improvements to the ditch along the Monon Greenway from Carmel Drive to Gradle Drive in order to improve drainage flow into the Garden.

There is much more to read about this project. Click here to read the news release issued by the City.

Authored by Laura Campbell, Sue Finkam, Kevin Rider, Jeff Worrell, Sue Finkam, Bruce Kimball, Miles Nelson, Anthony Green and Adam Aasen.