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In this week’s issue:

VRA Letter

Town Council Letter

Zionsville Farmers Market

Farmers Market Special Dates

About Our New Contributor

Graduation Gift Ideas

VRA Letter

Summer may not have officially arrived, but with most Indiana schools ending before Memorial Day weekend it certainly feels like it’s here. That equates to farmers market time, one of my favorite times of the year. Read all about the farmers market, the new setup and upcoming special events in this month’s issue. If you’re celebrating a new graduate, we have you covered with a wide variety of ideas, most of which can be purchased in the Village. This month the Village Voice welcomes new contributor, Ruth Cronin, who is a journalism major at Indiana University.

Perhaps you’ve heard that Wayne Delong, longtime director of community and economic development for the town, has left his position. He was scheduled to discuss the zoning changes at our August meeting so we’ll keep everyone posted on the status of those changes and whether someone else can fill his shoes. He was a dedicated worker for the town and his time in Zionsville is appreciated.

Enjoy time in downtown Zionsville this summer, whether it’s supporting your favorite business or visiting the farmers market. Take a moment to look around and appreciate the gem that we have here. Many communities work very hard to recreate what’s so special about Zionsville, so spend some time to acknowledge what makes our town one-of-a-kind.

Heather Lusk

Town Council Letter

Our May 16th meeting featured a presentation by the Parks Department on their hopeful plans for the creation of a new park.  I thought it would be helpful to explain the past, present and future of this ground, and how the impact that may have on our community.

The 216 acres in question used to be the Wolff Run golf course and is located at the intersection of 421 and 32.  Wolff Run was built in 1989 and was regarded as one of the nicest, and toughest, courses in Indiana.  Designed by architect Steve Smyers, it featured a Par 71 course of up to 7,220 yards from the back tees.  I had the opportunity to play it once and the topography of the land did not feel like you were in Central Indiana.

The private golf course closed in 2017 and the owner (Stan Burton) looked at ways to develop the land.  He proposed a PUD in 2018 with up to 560 single family homes and mixed-use buildings.  That plan did not go through as the Planning Commission and Town Council both pushed back on the size of the project.  It was in a spot where the development required scale due to the necessity of bringing in utilities from Westfield to service the homes and commercial development.  The addition of those utilities so far north would create an opportunity for other developments so far north and would create an expensive problem for the Town to properly service.

Once denied, Mr. Burton looked at other options for the land and sold it to local residents Jim and Nancy Carpenter.  The Carpenters are long-time residents and conservationists, as well as successful entrepreneurs having founded Wild Birds Unlimited. 

The land is now known as the Carpenter Nature Preserve, and the couple is interested in selling the ground (at a reduced rate) to the Zionsville Parks Department.  The Parks Department wants to buy the land and use it for a combination of walking trails, activities, and land preservation.   In addition, there are long-term plans to potentially build a new nature center, as well as a event center that would service the community.

The million-dollar question (actually, it’s much more), is how to pay for all of it.  The land and construction plans would cost $4.5 million.  From there, it is estimated that the cost of infrastructure (roads, parking, utilities, restrooms, pathways, playground, shelter, etc.) would cost between $4-6 million.  The nature center is estimated between $7-10 million while the event center would be between $5-10 million.   That is a total cost that could be $30 million, and potentially would grow as this is a long-term legacy project and not everything would be built at once.

We do have bonding capacity to fund some of this plan, however it would be a mistake to use all our capacity for one project and prevent future opportunities from being pursued.  We also have to be cognizant of the long-term maintenance costs that come with new projects as adding 200+ acres of parks will take plenty of upkeep to ensure it maintains Zionsville standards. 

While the Parks Board is unique in that they run and own the parks, any spending still needs approval by the Town Council before it can proceed.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this request from a financial perspective and looking at alternative methods to contribute to this purchase/development including the newly created Zionsville Parks Foundation, private contributions, and public/private partnerships on projects like the event center.

As always, I welcome your input on these types of initiatives as it is your money being considered.

Josh Garrett

Zionsville Farmers Market

by Ruth Cronin

The beloved Zionsville Farmers Market returns this summer for its 25th season, running from 8 – 11:30 a..m each Saturday May 21 through September 24 between Pine and Hawthorne Streets. All produce vendors will be on Main Street with food vendors, live music and a new seating area in the adjacent parking lot. 

The Farmers Market board and board president Danielle Pezet have been working hard to make the 2022 market truly special. 

“We kind of took a step back and spent some time identifying what is the purpose of the market and all of the different ways we can impact our community, not just through the obvious of having a market to support our farmers and local vendors and bringing fresh produce to our community, but recognizing there were some other things we could do through the market,” Pezet said.

Those areas of focus include vendors, health, Main Street merchants, community service and the environment. The board makes these categories their priorities when they make decisions, like recognizing what the experience of the farmers market can do for Zionsville’s small businesses. 

“We’re on Main Street so the farmers market does impact their businesses. Instead of having that be a coincidence, we’re being a little more strategic about highlighting them and inviting them to be a part of the market in some capacity, and certainly being conscious of how the market can support their business,” Pezet said. 

Alongside supporting vendors and local businesses, the market places an emphasis on community service and the environment. They will have a community service booth where a different charitable organization from the area will appear each weekend to share what they’re working on and how the community can support them. 

Another way the market is giving back to the community and the environment is with their classic farmers market shirts. This summer they will be made with environmentally friendly materials and a percentage of sales will go to a local food pantry. 

The market will have recycling and compost bins, along with compost education. The bring your own bag raffle incentive also returns this summer. Anyone who stops by the market booth with their own bag will get a raffle ticket. 

As for health and wellness, the market partners with IU Health and invites them to come to the market to talk about a variety of different topics.

All of these initiatives will make the 2022 farmers market extra special. Look out for the new seating area, an anniversary party, kids crafts, food giveaways and more. Kids can even be on the lookout for Cornelius, the farmers markets new corn stuffed animal mascot, who will be hidden around the market each week.

“There’s just something so sweet and charming about starting a Saturday morning with friends, family, neighbors and fresh produce,” Pezet said.

Follow Zionsville Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram for details this summer!

https://www.zionsvillefarmersmarket.org/events

Farmers Market Special Dates

June 4th – Dog Day: Come see the Boone County Humane Society and Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department, and grab a free farmers market dog bandana.

July 9th Green Day: Do a kid-friendly craft using recyclable materials and learn about Boone County’s environmental organizations.

July 23rd – Grilled Corn Giveaway: Eat free corn at the market, grilled by the Lions Club.

August 13th – Anniversary party: Get a birthday cupcake and have the chance to win in giveaways.

September 17th – Pumpkin Palooza: Try free pumpkin painting, cider tasting and more.

About our new contributor

Hi! My name is Ruth Cronin and I’ve lived in Zionsville all my life. I just finished my freshman year at Indiana University as a journalism major. During my freshman year I wrote for the Indiana Daily Student sports desk and interned for the Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism. I am also a part of the Ernie Pyle Scholars program, IU Dance Marathon, and IU Swim Club. I love to write, bake, workout, and spend time with friends and family. This summer I will be lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons at Azionaqua! I am excited to be contributing some stories to the Village Voice this summer! 

Graduation Gifts for Any Age

Sometimes it can be tricky to find just the right gift for a new graduate. Regardless of age, there are plenty of choices for something unique and most can be found right in Zionsville.

  1. Frame that diploma. For new graduates emerging from college with financial debt, paying to have a diploma framed is probably low on the to-do list. So give them this special gift before the diploma ends up lost in a box in their parent’s basement. A gift certificate to a framing shop, like CV Art and Frame on Main Street, will ensure that their diploma is protected and give that graduate a reason to be proud of what they’ve accomplished.
  2. A sweet treat. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate? Graduates of any age will enjoy a yummy dessert. If you’re visiting multiple graduation parties, the small boxes of chocolate from Truffles & Creams are the perfect recognition at an affordable price. For graduates over 21, the chocolatier sells truffles infused with alcohol, or send something larger from My Sugar Pie.
  3. A taste of home. Remind those high school graduates of their Zionsville home with Zionsville-themed items found at many local shops. Look for a notebook or bracelet imprinted with the town’s original streets at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center’s gift shop, or a pillow or sign of Zionsville at Fivethirty Home.
  4. Digital age. Most graduates will have their own laptops, earbuds and speakers. Not many will already have a mini fridge or small appliance. These compact personal coolers were huge hits at the high school’s annual After Prom. Personal coffee makers, microwaves and televisions are hot dorm items, or even for a graduate getting their first apartment.
  5. A night out. For the graduate who has everything, consider a gift certificate to a Zionsville restaurant. Choose from a multitude of dining options, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, and your favorite graduate can enjoy an experience on the bricks to remember.  

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