Janine Beazley at the end of her iron man race in Dublin, Ireland posing for a photo with family and friends that supported her during the race.

MCC Offers One-Stop Training

From across the pond, MCC member found community and training home in Carmel

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Adaptive and Inclusion Supervisor Kelvin Solares with his brother, who has nonverbal autism and has been an integral part of Kelvin's journey in an adaptive career.

Meant for This

How life experiences inspire Kelvin Solares to "Include All" in the Carmel Community.

Meant for This

Finding Strength at the Monon Community Center

Amanda L. has big fitness goals. The MCC is helping her reach each and every one!

Read Amanda's Story

Think Global, Act Local

CCPR works to create balance in our parks, our backyards and around the world. Learn how you can be part of the movement!

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Keep the conversation going. Share Your Story

Welcome to Park Conversations

Park Conversations is a  biannual magazine that spotlights the conversations happening throughout Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation. We want our members, program participants, and park users to be seen and heard, and Park Conversations does just that.

The impact of parks and recreation can truly be transformative! Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation is fortunate to offer something for everyone. We encourage you to explore the science of nature, engage in our adaptive programs, connect with others on the playground, or find a better you through fitness and wellness. 

Keep the conversation going!  SHARE YOUR OWN STORY.


Michael Klitzing speaking during Meadowlark Park ribbon cutting (2022)

This year I was honored to celebrate my 19th work anniversary with Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR). It’s hard to believe, but I joined as our 11th full-time employee before construction of the Monon Community Center or launching the Extended School Enrichment program. Today CCPR has 72 full-time and 570+ part-time and seasonal employees – all dedicated to providing exceptional service for our community!

We have a tremendous team, each with their own fascinating pathways to joining CCPR. In this issue, we spotlight Michael Normand, one of our senior managers who started with us as an intern. He has risen through the ranks and today directs our Recreation and Facilities Division, including the Monon Community Center.

During my tenure with CCPR, I’ve witnessed incredible growth in our department and community. Parks and recreation are special because they offer opportunities for transformative experiences and lifelong memories. Parks and recreation offer space for fun, learning, and growth for everyone.

We are proud to share this edition of Park Conversations. You’ll find stories of strength, resilience, and the many ways parks and recreation can support you through all seasons of life. We encourage you to explore our parks and programs this fall—we’re sure to have something for you. Help us keep the conversation going – share your story with us!

Recreationally Yours,

Michael W. Klitzing, CPRE
Director of Parks and Recreation

Stories We’re Helping Tell

A Unique Natural Legacy

Amy Edenburn Furry Memorial Dog Trail is a place where dogs can explore and thrive

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Michael Normand headshot

A Parks & Recreation Career Path

Work-life balance and community support for next generation workers

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close up of frog

Wake Me When it’s Spring!

Three ways animals sleep through the winter

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Jill Perelman Pavilion at West Park

Moment of Mastery

Commemorating “fourward” progress

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MCC member JoNell S. and cycle instructor Courtney at the Monon Community Center

Memories are Important for Wellness Too

MCC member focuses on “gold” lining during cancer battle

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Tomas Sliva header for Park Conversations story. Photo collage of Tomas finishing the Adaptive 5k, with his bike on the trail, and at a Barrier Free event.

Variety is the Spice of Life: Recreation programs delight even the most adventurous at heart

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Collage of volunteer photos

Volunteers Make a Difference, One Park at a Time

Adopt-A-Park volunteers take an active role in caring for our community's natural resources.

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Molly McGeehan at ESE at Forest Dale Elementary

A Career with Impact

Molly makes a difference every day after school.

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Park visitors sit on a bench at Meadowlark Park

A Defining Moment

Championing a new era for our park system

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Art instructor Zachary Lowe working with an adult student on acrylic paint pouring.

Nurturing and Exploring the Artist in Each of Us

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Janine Beazley at the end of her iron man race in Dublin, Ireland posing for a photo with family and friends that supported her during the race.

MCC Offers One-Stop Training for Half Iron Man – Make that Half Iron Woman

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Joanna and participant during nature program at Hazel Landing Park.

Explore. Engage. Connect — With Nature

We're reimagining recreation with a focus on nature.

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Meant for This

How life experiences inspire Kelvin Solares to "Include All" in the Carmel community.

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Students look on at how park plans and concepts are brought to life on concept boards.

Reimagining West Park

In fall 2022, West Park will reopen with a completely reimagined play experience.

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MCC Member Amanda Luper lifting weights in the fitness center

Finding Strength + Accountability at the MCC

Amanda Luper found strength, accountability and community at the MCC.

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Sensory friendly trick or treat

CCPR Makes Recreation Accessible for All Abilities

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Gold medal awards

Q&A with Michael Klitzing

To celebrate this year's milestone, Klitzing took a moment to reflect on his time with CCPR over its 30 year history.

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Jim and Rich

Q&A with Jim Engledow + Rich Taylor

In celebration of CCPR’s 30th anniversary, these two Park Board presidents took time to reflect on their role with CCPR.

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Mark Westermeier

Q&A with Mark Westermeier

Westermeier reflected on his time with CCPR over its 30-year history.

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Sue and Judy

Q&A with Sue Dillon + Judy Hagan

Celebrating 30 Years of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation

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Kids at ESE

Convenient Before and After School Care for Families

CCPR’s ESE program is tested and trusted by Carmel families.

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Flora and Fauna

Flora + Fauna

Creating Balance: In our parks, our backyards and around the world. CCPR is making a difference and so can you.

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Breanna jumping in front of the Monon Community Center

Movement for Every Body

Registered Dance/Movement Therapist teaches programming at the MCC. Get to know Breanna Davis!

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People walking in Meadowlark Park

Reimagining Meadowlark Park

On April 1, Meadowlark Park will close as it undergoes construction as part of our Reimagining Parks initiative.

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Mud Pie Anyone?

Nature programs create lifelong naturalists promoting a love of the great outdoors.

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Group Fitness Class

Connecting Community

Virtual fitness classes keep MCC members connected and their fitness on track during COVID-related closure.

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Carey Grove

Reimagining Carey Grove Park

Beloved Carey Grove Park undergoes renovations and enhancements ensuring memorable outdoor fun.

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Lex in an adaptive program

Inclusion at Every Age

Adaptive programming creates a nurturing and safe environment for continuing skill development.

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Volunteer header

Protecting Imperiled Pollinators

Native seed collection through Project Wingspan boosts the monarch and rusty patch bumblebee population.

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Growth through Community

The Monon Community Center offers amenities and a fitness community to call home.

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Teaching Takes a Global Path

Dena Osting has taught all around the globe, but her journey brought her back to where she started — making a difference in her hometown.

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Help our Native Habitats

Make a difference in your own backyard with tips from our Natural Resources team about eradicating invasive species!

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Reimagining Flowing Well Park

With a national park feel right here in Carmel, people are coming from far and wide to visit for the experience.

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The Path to Independence

Over the last decade, Michael + Jessica Sharkey have been on their own path to independence. Adaptive programming at the MCC has helped them along the way.

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Hank and Laura Feature

Growing is Good for You

Take a chance on yourself and see what a difference change can make in your body, mind and spirit.

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Sean Robert riding FlowRider

Growing Up with a Love of Parks

Enjoying the career-advancement ride

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Forward Focus: Growing Parks Through Reimagination

The future looks bright for Carmel

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CCPR volunteer on invasive species removal day

Engaging with the Park System

Volunteering is a way to connect with nature and future generations

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ESE Students on playground after school

The Student Voice Matters

Empowering students to use their voice leads to happiness, fun and learning

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trees in the fall

A Walk with Nature

Monica Cannaley has participated in the On the Trail to Fitness program every week since 2014! Learn more about the program and what keeps her coming back for more.

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Jumanah smiling

A Journey to Transformation

Jumanah Alsaffar found all the tools she needed for her transformation at the Monon Community Center. Now, this real-life wonder woman is unstoppable.

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Jack and his wife on vacation

Preparing for the Trip of a Lifetime

Jack Brummett traveled to see world wonders. His journey started at the Monon Community Center.

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Brittany at a Citezen Science Program

Diving into our Soil

Brittany McAdams, our natural resources coordinator, helps the community understand our history and our future through our soil.

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Kids on the playground at Lawrence W Inlow Park

Inlow Park: An Inclusive Community Adventure

Explorers of all abilities will find a unique, hands-on experience at the newly renovated Lawrence W. Inlow Park!

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Michael Sharkey acting on stage

BIG Dreams Become Reality

Michelle Yadon, our inclusion supervisor, has big dreams for our adaptive participants and programming.

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Spring 2023

Park Conversations Spring 2020

Fall 2020

Park Conversations Spring 2020 Cover

Spring 2020

Park Conversations Always Growing

Fall 2019

Park Conversations graphic - A Journey to Transformation. Explore. Engage. Connect.

Spring 2019