Reimagining Carey Grove Park
Neighborhood park receives full refresh
For the Shirley family, it’s hard to pick a favorite memory of time spent at their neighborhood park, Carey Grove. Over the years they’ve enjoyed swinging side by side, taking walks on the trail and playing sports in the open greenspace.
When they moved to Carmel in 2015, access to a park for their children — now a 10-year-old and a toddler — was a big factor in their home-buying decision. When they found the perfect home, its proximity to Carey Grove Park was a selling point.
“In the five years we’ve lived here, we’ve made so many treasured memories at Carey Grove Park, mostly because it’s all about spending quality time together — no distractions, no technology, just us, playing together and having fun as a family,” says Jovana Shirley.
Carey Grove Park was built to serve that very purpose, to accommodate the needs of neighborhood families and provide access to walkable greenspace. As the community around the park continues to grow and new young families move into the area, the park continues to serve that purpose for new generations of park-goers.
History of Carey Grove Park
The land where Carey Grove Park sits, just south of 146th Street along Carey Road, was transferred to the Park Board in 1992, just one year after Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation was founded. At the time, the land was bare except for a cell phone tower. In 1994, plans for the park included a playground, half basketball court, shelter, backstop and trail. The park has not experienced much change since its completion in 1997.
Now, 20 years later the park is receiving a total refresh as part of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s Reimagining Parks initiative with funding from the Clay Township Impact Program.
Upgrades to Carey Grove Park include two new playground features (one for ages 2 – 5 and one for ages 5 – 12) as well as year-round bathrooms, permanent outdoor exercise equipment, parking lot updates, resurfaced trails and basketball court, and both a community and seasonal shelter.
Michael Krosschell, RLA, is a senior project manager for Weihe Engineers Inc. He has worked on several CCPR park projects over the years including the current renovations underway at Carey Grove Park.
“The changes coming to Carey Grove Park will make it more functional,” says Krosschell. “Updates like year-round restrooms, while maybe not the most glamorous, make a huge difference and create a better park experience.”
Before making updates to any park, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation hosts community input meetings to get feedback and answer community questions. The community input meeting for Carey Grove Park was hosted in November 2019. While Carey Grove is the smallest park receiving updates as part of the Reimagining Parks initiative, CCPR Assistant Director Kurtis Baumgartner shared that it’s the park that received the most feedback.
“I’m really excited about the changes coming to the park. What we’re aiming to do with all of these projects is to create spaces people want to continually visit to make memories that will last a lifetime.”
Memories to Last a Lifetime
Jovana Shirley looks forward to making more memories with her family once the park reopens.
“We’re honestly excited to see all of the updates. We’ve been to nearly all of Carmel’s parks, and not one has been a disappointment,” says Shirley. “We know whatever Carmel Clay Parks has planned will exceed our expectations.”
The park is currently closed to ensure public safety during construction. The park is projected to reopen in late 2020. Stay up to date by visiting carmelclayparks.com/reimagining-parks.
EXPLORE UPDATES COMING TO CAREY GROVE PARK