In this month’s Village Voice

VRA Presidents Letter

Letter from Town Council

OhmME Time

Hit-the-Bricks Still Running after 40 Years

Last Minute Vacation

Brush and Limb Collection

VRA Presidents Letter

September in Indiana is one of my favorite months. The weather is slightly cooler than summer, but not yet coat weather. The days are beginning to shorten a bit but the sun is still shining in the mornings and evenings. It’s a good time to reenergize and exercise. Because September is National Yoga Month, it’s a perfect excuse to dive back into yoga or try it for the first time. We have two choices in the Village: Blooming Life Yoga or Nourished Heart. Or head to Whitestown for Honor Yoga. Read more about these places below, and about Nourished Heart’s interesting approach to help fledgling businesses.

The cooler weather is a good time to think about fall travel. Whether flying, driving or simply staying in Indiana, there are plenty of choices for Zionsville residents. Alternatively, stick around Zionsville this month and take advantage of the many events planned. Movies at Maplelawn, a fundraiser for the historic site, is Setpember 17 and 24. Admission is just $1, so bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy watching a film under the stars. Or run through Zionsville with Hit-the-Bricks which is technically October 1 but registration starts now. Read more below.

September 30 marks the 20th year for the SullivanMunce Cultural Center’s GhostWalk. The event walks through the Village highlighting historic homes and the town’s history through spooky stories. It takes place that weekend from 6-10 p.m. If you’re driving through the Village Friday or Saturday night, keep an eye out for tour groups.

September 17 is our annual VRA  picnic, open to everyone who lives in the Village. If you have a neighbor who isn’t aware of the VRA, it’s the perfect time to invite them. Bring a dish or dessert, plus something to drink, and we’ll provide burgers and hot dogs.

Next month is election time for the VRA. If you’re interested in being part of the board, let me know. I’d be happy to discuss the roles and expectations for officers.

With fall also comes brush and limb collection, which takes place the week of September 26 for the Village. Generally, our neighborhood is one of their first stops, so have your branches out by 7:30 a.m. on Monday. More information and details are listed below.

Letter from Town Council

I hope everyone had a nice Summer.  While we have another month until Fall begins (as of this writing), it always feels to me like Summer is ending when the kids are back in school.  With that return to school, I’d ask everyone to be cognizant of kids walking to and from Eagle Elementary.

During our evening meeting in August, we were presented with a concept to purchase the former Wolff Run golf course and turn it into a park.  While we didn’t vote on the request because no paperwork was filed for the project, we did have a spirited debate on this topic.

My original understanding of the project was that the Carpenter family bought the land for $5M and was selling it to us for $4M.  That was a very generous thing for them to do and continues their legacy of protecting land and native environments.   After some questions, we learned the Carpenters are giving us a discount on the assessed value.  While this is still a generous offer, the Town does not know what the value of that land would be today.   Given some recent developments nearby like the new Steve Henke neighborhood (Promitory), as well as a general rise in land/homes around Zionsville, I suspect that land is now worth more than $5M.   The problem for myself and the larger Council is we might issue a bond and yet not have enough to buy the ground.  We’d be in the unenviable position of having the expense of raising funds, future bond payment obligations, yet also having to plug the financial gap to close on the land (or sit on the cash, which is worse).

During the presentation, we were told that the Park would be built out over a series of years and would cost between $15M and $25M.   The identified funding source for this build out of features for residents would be paid by fundraising campaigns.   I admit I get skeptical when a government claims that private businesses or residents will come fill major funding gaps in proposed projects.  I saw for myself how hard it was for the Town to get local business (including my own company) to sponsor Town Hall meeting rooms.  Those efforts were trying to raise $100K over 5 years and barely made the goal.  Looking at our neighbors in Carmel, who were promised local businesses would step up and raise money to operate the Palladium, that goal didn’t even come close.  They have a much larger corporate and residential tax base and still failed, leaving taxpayers on the hook.  It doesn’t seem realistic and will fall back on the Town.

This is all compounded with our continued lack of financial information and the unknown of what we can and cannot afford.  We’ve asked the administration to go back and provide a much better picture of not only how much this will cost to acquire the land, but how we can afford it.  Once that is complete, we will further debate this issue.

OhmME Time

September is National Yoga Month. Even if your favorite yogi is a bear, you can try yoga for free in Lions Park. The group class is led by Blooming Life. Check the schedule on their website for the periodic free sessions, and give them a try while the weather cooperates.

Blooming Life has in-studio options to meet almost anyone’s needs. For anyone trying yoga for the first time, consider gentle yoga and slow flow. For those who travel frequently or are homebound, Blooming Life offers a livestream of certain classes including their Energizing Morning Flow. It’s the perfect way to wake up and refresh without first needing to leave the house. Beyond yoga, the studio also offers several reformer and core Pilates classes.

The recently-opened Nourished Heart is in the former Simply Yoga space. The studio has a unique business model, with a different female business owner occupying the space each day focusing on her health specialty. To schedule a session or reserve a spot for a class, visit the Nourished Heart website.

Monday – Amanda Thomas practices one-on-one Reiki healing sessions.

Tuesday – Lily Kessler’s Yoga Flow & Reiki-Fusion class takes place at 9:30 a.m. It’s reservation-only, and limited to 12 students. Lily also offers private yoga sessions for individuals or groups.

Wednesdays – Marhia Ross offers massage, guided meditation classes, energy work and more.

Thursdays – Wendy takes appointments for Reiki, esoteric healing and healing breathwork to help clients get into a deep meditative state for healing.

Fridays – Amanda offers yoga from 10:30 – 11:45, then Yoga Nidra stress release from 12:15-1, and a fusion class once a month.

While it’s not walkable from the Village, Honor Yoga in Whitestown has a wide variety of classes. Some are available only via livestream. They currently offer specials for new students. Check the website for class times.

All three studios are welcoming and inviting, happy for any new students to join them and learn more about yoga.  

Hit-the-Bricks Still Running after 40 Years

Since Hit-the-Bricks began 40 years ago, the course has changed, the length has changed and many of the members have changed. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to community youth.

Over four decades, the Zionsville Optimist Club’s event has raised more than $340,000 to benefit youth programs in Boone County. Being a 100 percent volunteer organization, nearly every dollar raised by ZOC goes directly back into these community programs.

“Our mission is to bring out the best in youth, and our programs and dedication are driven towards that,” said event co-chair Ian Stewart, who lives in the Village. “We’re always seeking programs that will directly benefit children and young adults in positive ways.”

Last year Hit-the-Bricks funded an ADA compliant water fountain, bike repair station and bike racks at Overly-Worman Park. More than 300 runners participated.

This year, Hit-the-Bricks takes place the morning of October 1 and is open to all ages. The timed 5K is more popular with runners and competitive athletes, while the 3K is frequented by walkers. Both routes start and finish at Zionsville’s town hall, utilizing the Rail Trail and passing the bricks on Main Street which gave Hit-the-Bricks its name 40 years ago.

Runners may participate individually or register up to five people as a family at a discounted rate. Prizes are given for those placing first through third in each division and race. Following the race runners remain for raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

“We’re known for what we do for youth, the fun at the event and our raffle prizes,” said co-chair and Village resident Cara Fausset. “It’s a big reason that people return year after year.”

Stewart and Fausset estimate that the entire event lasts approximately an hour including prizes and awards, so people can participate in the morning and then enjoy the rest of their day.

ZOC members note that it hasn’t rained during Hit-the-Bricks for the past 40 years and they are fittingly optimistic that this year will be no different.

The Zionsville chapter is currently the only Optimist Club in Boone County. They meet monthly and are always open to new members.

“Anyone interested in supporting our community youth is invited to join our meetings,” said Fausset. “It’s also a great opportunity to learn about the great programs that are helping residents of Boone County.”

The third-grade history program, Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding, Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center, Boone County Boys & Girls Club, So Big and Zionsville Food Pantry are among the dozens of organizations which have benefitted from the annual race. ZOC also sponsors annual scholarships and supports football, soccer and baseball teams.

Learn more and register at zionsvilleoptimist.org.

Last Minute Vacations

The advent of fall means that winter isn’t far behind. Lock in a vacation now before the snow and ice cover our community.

Fly Away. While airfare was high over the summer, it has dropped to many destinations through the end of the year. Flights from Indianapolis to New York and San Francisco are fairly low right now. With date flexibility, it’s easy to find cheap flight across the country. Use Google Flights’ “Explore” feature (leave “Where to?” blank) to search for the cheapest destinations either for a specific date or a certain month of the year.

Road Trip. So many interesting destinations are within a short drive of Zionsville. The Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio, recreates scenes from a Seurat painting. Tour speakeasies in Chicago with Chicago Prohibition Tours. Watch racehorses warmup in the early morning with a Churchill Downs Backstretch Breakfast Tour or Thoroughbred Workout Tour. There are plenty of unique experiences just a short distance away.

Explore Indy. How many Zionsville residents haven’t taken advantage of all that downtown Indianapolis has to offer? Tour the catacombs, the canal, Monument Circle and Crown Hill Cemetery. Or visit the NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum or Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Brush and Limb Details

The Town of Zionsville’s Department of Public Works will provide curbside Brush & Limb Collection the weeks of Monday, September 26, 2022 and Monday, October 3, 2022. This service provides Zionsville residents in the Urban Service District a means to dispose of certain pruning and yard debris (click here to view a map of Rural vs. Urban Service Districts). All items must be placed curbside by 7:30 a.m. on the Monday of your designated week. Crews will work to collect all properly placed material no later than the following Friday but may complete this task earlier.

The limit on size is 6 inches in diameter and smaller for each piece. The total pile size should not exceed what would fit in a pickup truck. Grass clippings, leaves, decorative grass, vines, stumps, root balls, construction lumber, firewood and wooden fencing material will NOT be collected. Bundling is not required. Limbs up to 6 inches in diameter may be left intact but should be no larger than can be managed by one person. It would also be helpful to crews if all limbs are piled facing the same direction for ease and safety of chipper loading.

It is important to note that this service is not designed for full tree removal. This type of full tree removal should be completed by a tree service contractor, including hauling away material at the homeowner’s expense.

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