Nora Corners Pocket Park: Phase I

Nora is blessed to have the Monon Trail running through the heart of our community. It’s an active greenway filled with people walking, running, and riding the trail. However, Nora lacks parks and public places where we can gather, to linger, to pause outdoors and to meet a friend. The Nora 2021 Community Plan envisions a “Chain of Microparks” along the Monon Trail utilizing the existing trail right-of-way and adjacent property to gain much-needed park space for Nora residents. We started last year with 86th Street Trailhead beautification – painting benches and adding landscape beds to make it a welcoming rest stop. Nora Corners Pocket Park is the next space under development.

Nora Corners Pocket Park is located along the Monon Trail next to the new ALDI and the BMO Harris Bank’s upper-deck parking lot. This long-neglected space was overgrown with invasive bushes that trap garbage and mask the occasional homeless encampment. Its isolated upper-deck parking lot is conveniently located to the trail, but witnesses car smash-and-grabs all too frequently. This summer Nora Alliance Monon Trail Workgroup is day-lighting the space and preparing it as a place for the community to enjoy.

What’s Happening Here?

In the Spring, we reached an informal agreement with IndyParks for the Nora Alliance to build out and help maintain this space as a pocket park. The Ball State University Master of Urban Design (MUD) program is helping us envision the future of Nora Center, and how this pocket park can be a connector for the community. MUD students came up with four inspiring designs, giving us several exciting ideas for Nora Corners Pocket Park.

  • "The Diamond"

    BSU MUD design concept

  • Multi-function upper-deck parking lot

    BSU MUD design concept

  • Multi-function upper-deck parking lot

    BSU MUD design concept

  • Pedestrian accessible staircase

    BSU MUD design concept

  • Open sight-lines

    BSU MUD design concept

  • "Ramp & Micropark"

    BSU MUD design concept

  • "Monon Station"

    BSU MUD design concept

  • Pedestrian connectivity

    BSU MUD design concept

  • "Fragmentation Plaza"

    BSU MUD design concept

This month we cleared invasive plants and bushes from the site on the east side of the trail. Special thanks to our community partners: Nora Corners Shopping Center/Eclipse Real Estate, BMO Harris Bank, and Brightview Landscapes. With their help, the honeysuckle, overgrown/end-of-life arborvitae, trash, and large debris were removed. We’ve opened sight lines to allow more eyes on the trail and *improve safety.

  • Community Partners

    Jeff Kimbell, Eclipse Real Estate, and Greg Whipple, Brightview Landscape Services after site clearing

  • Bushes crowding the trail

    Overgrown/end-of-life arborvitae need removed for trail widening and visibility

  • A work in progress

    Invasive plant removal

  • Open sight lines

    Clearing the bushes

  • Large debris

    Improving area safety

June 30th is our next Monon Trail Community Cleanup. With support from Thrivent Action Teams, we’ll mulch, paint, and plant our way to some early landscape enhancements (you’re invited to help!). With partial support from the Whole Foods Market community giving program, future work will include a more permanent pocket park design and additional invasive plant removal. As funding allows, we will plant native flowers, shrubs, and trees. The entire system will be enhanced when IndyParks completes the Monon Trail widening project in 2020.

What If?

What do you envision for Nora Corners Pocket Park? As a truly grass-roots effort, our budget is small, but our community spirit is big. We’d love to hear your ideas for this space and to have you involved.

Can You Help?

Your time, talent, or treasure can help make Nora Corners Pocket Park a reality.

We are reliant on local business partners, grants, donations, and neighborhood volunteers. With your help, we’ll transform this small parcel of land into a place for all of Nora to enjoy. Can you join us? The Nora Alliance Monon Trail Workgroup holds a Community Cleanup the last Saturday of every-other month, 8:30am-noon (next: June 30, August 25, October 27, 2018). Meet us here at the Nora Corners Pocket Park upper-deck parking lot!

*Always keep your car valuables at home or out of sight. It takes a thief mere seconds to smash a window and grab whatever they can see.