Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

REALTORS® Join Community Effort to Create Linear Park

The MIBOR REALTOR® Association joins the Blue River Community Foundation in support of a new park.

Shelby Mills Formerly Porter Park

Photo courtesy of the Blue River Community Foundation

Construction of the linear park in Shelby Mills.

Local REALTORS® give back to the tune of $11,500 to help transform unused space in Shelbyville, Indiana into vibrant, public destination for community use and enjoyment. MIBOR REALTOR® Association joins the Blue River Community Foundation to support the creation of the linear Porter Park, now known as Shelby Mills. MIBOR REALTOR® Association’s Economic and Community Development Council (MIBOR ECDC) granted $7,000 to the project and partnered with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to secure a $4,500 Placemaking Level Two Placemaking Grant.

The MIBOR ECDC is an advising body of MIBOR made up of dedicated REALTOR® members who represent the broader geography contained with the MIBOR service area. Their mission is to support organizations and initiatives that build and maintain inclusive and vibrant communities, attract, develop, and retain a skilled regional workforce and work towards the attraction and retention of quality jobs for central Indiana.

A linear park, behind the historic Porter Center in Shelbyville, will be constructed to encourage trail users to utilize the west section of the Shelby County trail system. Despite the current attractions at this location, the historic Porter Center and public art sculpture, the section of the trail immediately to the west is very unattractive and unwelcoming. The large area of deteriorated asphalt will soon become a destination for all trail users alike as both a rest area for trail users and a storybook trail for children. Additionally, because the area will be filled with native trees, plants and flowers and a raingarden, visitors will learn about what types of plants and similar elements most benefit the local ecosystem. With a new gateway, landscaping, raingarden, rest area, and a Shelby County history storybook trail, the area will be transformed.

The end result will be a beautiful gateway to the westside of the trail system encouraging users to continue along the pathway where the city is adding more mileage, an opportunity to learn local history, and a chance to enjoy the scenery along the way. The contribution from the National Association of REALTORS® will specifically facilitate the creation of the 15 storybook page kiosks along the trail that will provide a unique local history lesson to children.

“The Porter Park project was chosen as one of Blue River Community Foundation’s implementation projects through Lilly Endowment Inc,” said Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Blue River Community Foundation. “After a great deal of community input, we learned that our community members desire more public arts projects and areas to gather with other community members. Not only do projects such as this serve and satisfy our current community members, but they will also entice new residents to call Shelby County home. We are grateful that MIBOR recognized the benefits of a project such as this in our community and that they have invested their dollars in making this project be the best it can be. We are so very excited to see how it all comes together!”

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NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

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Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

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