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A Nationally Accredited & Gold Medal Agency

GREETINGS! The most vibrant cities around the world have flourishing park and recreation systems and Carmel, Indiana is no exception. You might be a bit surprised to learn that a community founded nearly 200 years ago did not have a park system until 1991. As we celebrated our 25th Anniversary this past year, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation stands as a national award-winning organization, admired and emulated by others from coast to coast. Within this annual report, I am pleased to share with you just some of our accomplishments in 2016. As we prepare for our next 25 years, we look forward to building upon our past successes to better serve our community. Thank you for your continued support of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation. Sincerely,

Mark Westermeier, CPRP Director of Parks & Recreation

2016 PARK BOARD MEMBERS James L. Engledow, President Richard F. Taylor, III, Vice President Jenn Kristunas, Treasurer Joshua A. Kirsh, Secretary

James D. Garretson Wendy Franklin Kathie Freed Nicholas Plopper Linus Rude

SENIOR MANAGEMENT Mark Westermeier, CPRP, Director of Parks and Recreation Michael W. Klitzing, CPRE, Chief Operating Officer Michael Allen, CPRP, Park Maintenance Director Kurtis Baumgartner, CPRP, Monon Community Center Director Ben Johnson, Extended School Enrichment Director Audrey Kostrzewa, CPRP, Business Services Director Lindsay Labas, CPRP, Marketing Director Lynn Russell, Human Resources Director


ENHANCING PARK AND RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES Through inspiring parks and innovative services, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation contributes to the quality of life and economic vitality of the community.

SIGNATURE PLAYGROUND OPENS The Central Park West Commons, with its dynamic regional playground and splash pad, has quickly become a popular destination for families since its dedication in October. Combining universal design principles with a futuristic appearance, this mega-playground sparks the imagination of kids of all ages and abilities. Adjacent to the playground is a colorful splash pad, inspired by the surrounding prairie. West Commons also includes picnic shelters, an outdoor classroom, open meadow, trail connections, restrooms and 150-space parking lot.

NOTABLE IMPROVEMENTS & RENOVATIONS The Central Bark Park was a hit in its first full year of operation. Solar lighting was installed to expand hours during the winter season and 50 additional dog memberships were added, expanding total membership to 350 furry friends. Along the Monon Greenway, restrooms were renovated at the north and south trailheads with new fixtures and changing tables added.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Building relationships with community partners helped allow for growth in participation numbers and improved services and products offered to the public. Communication continued with existing and potential partners such as Hamilton County Parks & Recreation, Nature Conservancy, Central Indiana Land Trust, Behavioral Analysis Center for Autism (BACA), Special Olympics of Indiana, Carmel Clay Public Library, Farmers Market and the Girl and Boy Scouts.

CULTURE OF INCLUSION RECOGNIZED As a national leader in inclusion, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation strives to ensure all park visitors, program participants and employees feel valued and welcomed regardless of their abilities or differences. These efforts were recognized in October by the National Recreation and Park Association, which awarded us their prestigious Excellence in Inclusion Award. The department had previously received the Inclusion Program of Excellence Award in January from the Indiana Park and Recreation for establishing the Roundabout Playback Troupe – the first inclusive playback troupe in the United States.



In a community renowned for its world-class parks and facilities, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to everyone we serve.

EXTENDED SCHOOL ENRICHMENT EXCELS Since day one, Extended School Enrichment (ESE) has been dedicated to providing a high-quality before and after school program for the children and families in our community. Based on results from surveys conducted each semester, 91% of parents/guardians rated ESE as providing a caring atmosphere for students. An average of 94% of respondents also indicated that ESE provided a safe environment. In fact, Fall 2016 represented the 17th consecutive semester that providing a safe environment received the highest satisfaction in the semester-end survey.

INDOOR AQUATICS UPGRADES Building off the successful replacement of the spray feature in 2015, an exciting new play feature was installed during July in the indoor activity pool in place of the kiddie slide. Where the original slide was entertaining for one tot at a time, the new attraction provides a significantly expanded variety of play opportunities for many more children. The existing dual slide tower was also repainted, brightening up and extending the life of this popular attraction.


When the time came to replace the original spin bikes at the Monon Community Center, we first solicited public input before making welcomed upgrades in the Cycle Studio. A two-week demo of four different bikes was held and members voted on their favorite. After determining which model won, 20 new bikes were purchased in June and the sound system upgraded. To provide a more pleasant experience, a large mural of cyclists was also added as an inviting visual and feel of riding outdoors.

MOBILE APP LAUNCHED While striving to provide exceptional experiences, we recognize our parks and facilities are dynamic places and sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation rolled out the beta launch of HAPPiFEET, a real-time customer service app with the intent to make it easier for the public to notify us as soon as they witness something in a park. The public is encouraged to let us know about positive experiences, fallen trees/limbs, suggestions for new or updated features, damaged equipment/features, unpleasant experiences and anything else we need to know. A larger launch with signage and promotion will occur in 2017.



By creating an environmentally and financially sustainable system, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation will ensure parks are available for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

WEST PARK MASTER PLAN The 16-month planning process, including extensive public input involving hundreds of youth, families, neighbors and stakeholders, culminated with the December adoption of a new master plan for West Park. The master plan incorporates and integrates designs for both the capital repair and replacement of existing infrastructure as well as expansion into 45 undeveloped acres. The phased implementation of the plan is expected to begin in late 2017.

ADDITIONAL PARKLAND ACQUIRED The park system was expanded in May with the purchase of 5.12 acres from the Matilda Haverstick Family. This new parkland located immediately north of the current terminus of the White River Greenway has the potential to serve as a future trailhead and, as envisioned in the current Parks and Recreation Master Plan, enhances the likelihood of ultimately extending the greenway to 146th Street.

NEW FOCUS FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM To increase volunteer opportunities within our parks, management of the volunteer program was moved to the Park Maintenance Division in September. While there will still be volunteer opportunities through Extended School Enrichment and the Monon Community Center, this realignment should help us develop a more robust volunteer program to assist with environmental stewardship and park beautification projects.

COMMITMENT TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation achieved a significant milestone in 2016 with a total of 15 Certified Park and Recreation Professionals and one Certified Park and Recreation Executive now employed by the department. To achieve professional certification, our employees met minimum education and experience qualifications and passed a comprehensive exam, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of key concepts within the field of parks and recreation. To maintain the certification, employees must participate in an average of 10 hours of continuing education each year, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to the profession.

GREEN INITIATIVES Efforts to extend recycling collection to the parks were initiated in October with a new pilot recycling program at West Commons in Central Park. The goal is to extend recycling collection to all parks within the next several years. Enhanced graphics, including new green lids, were added to the recycling receptacles at the Monon Community Center to make them more visible.


BY THE NUMBERS... EXTENDED SCHOOL ENRICHMENT (ESE) Established in 2006 through a partnership with Carmel Clay Schools, ESE provides before and after school care in each of the school district’s 11 elementary schools, serving an average of 1,200 students each day. Our ESE program also offers a variety of traditional and specialty summer camps, providing opportunities for summertime fun, learning and exploration. • 2,469: Total before and after school enrollment for 2015-16 school year (9th consecutive year with increased enrollment) • 11: Simultaneous events held at each before and after school location, making it the largest “Lights on Afterschool” celebration in Indiana • 6,217: Summer camp enrollment (5% increase from 2015)

MONON COMMUNITY CENTER (MCC) With amenities and program offerings unsurpassed anywhere in the state, the Monon Community Center is the community’s one-stop source for recreation, fitness, and family fun. This award-winning facility features indoor and outdoor aquatics, fitness center, 3-court gymnasium, program and meeting rooms and so much more. • 13,227: Average number of members for 2016 (12.5% increase from 2015) • 572,535: Number of member and day/punch pass visits • 88,188: Number of Group Fitness Class participants • 23,640: Registered participants in 3,000 different recreation programs • 350: Total dogs with memberships at the Central Bark Park

PARKS & GREENWAYS Award-winning parks, nature preserves, and greenways support activities such as picnicking, playing on playgrounds, splashing at splash pads, walking or biking on trails, playing sports, fishing, viewing wildlife and simply enjoying the great outdoors. • 555.92: Acres of parkland owned and managed • 450+: Dead or at-risk trees removed (approximately 75% were Ash Trees killed by the Emerald Ash Borer) • 21.7: Miles of developed trails within the park system • 18: Number of parks and greenways, including the Monon Greenway, which is designated a “National Recreation Trail” by the National Park Service • 14: Number of picnic shelters available to reserve • 250: Number of +12” channel catfish stocked by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at Meadowlark Park pond as part of its Go FishIN campaign

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Dedicated to serving all Carmel Clay residents, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation has awarded scholarships and fee waivers to individuals and families with economic challenges. • $165,435.75: Extended School Enrichment and Summer Camp Series registration assistance • 482: Recipients of financial assistance


• $37,798.85: Monon Community Center membership and recreation program registration assistance

2016 Capital Budget


Central Park: $4,086,198 (75.1%) Land Acquisition: $391,669 (7.2%) Monon Community Center: $323,682 (6%) The Waterpark: $318,682 (5.9%) Hazardous Tree Removal: $172,582 (3.2%) Other Capital Maintenance: $145,395 (2.7%) West Park: $120,615 (2.2%) Perimeter Trails Study: $24,757 (0.5%)

2016 Operating Budget


EARNED INCOME: $9,857,050 COST RECOVERY: 84% WHERE IT CAME FROM: Program Fees: $4,866,990 (39.0%) Membership & Pass Sales: $4,487,603 (35.9%) General Fund: $2,628,884 (21.1%) Food & Beverage Sales: $241,347 (1.9%) Rental Fees: $170,219 (1.4%) Other Earned Income: $90,892 (0.7%)

WHERE IT WENT: Monon Community Center: $4,071,748 (34.6%) Before & After-School: $2,999,901 (25.5%) Administration & Park Maintenance: $2,250,141 (19.1%) Recreation Programs: $1,185,310 (10.1%) Summer Camp Series: $662,566 (5.6%) Marketing: $578,603 (4.9%) Dog Park & Wilfong Pavilion: $32,650 (0.3%)



Annual Report 2016  
Annual Report 2016