Submitted by: Megan Robinson, ONSNA President and ONSF Secretary
We survived 2020! All things considered; the Old Northside managed to accomplish a lot! As I return to my role of President of the Old Northside Neighborhood Association (ONSNA) and Secretary of the Old Northside Foundation (ONSF), I want to take a moment to reflect on all we did as a neighborhood.
Despite social gathering restrictions that began in March 2020, the ONSNA Social Committee held several successful events. First, ONS Night out was held at Rooster’s Kitchen on Mass Ave with appetizers provided by the restaurant in their new expansion. Space was limited and spots filled quickly! Next came the Art Walk in which neighbors displayed their varying artistic talents outdoors for all to enjoy. Along the same lines, a Progressive “Bring your Own Drink” Walk followed a few months later with several neighbors offering up their outdoor space as stops along the way. Finally, after a cancelled spring clean-up, we once again partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) for a fall neighborhood clean-up. The rock beds along the road and the median of 16th and Penn were weeded and cleaned, the neighborhood litter and alley brush were cleared, and volunteers painted the fence around the Toddler Area of Shawn Grove Park for the ONSF.
Throughout the year, the ONSNA Land Use Committee continued to hold monthly meetings as needed supporting adherence to the ONS Preservation Plan and providing guidance for residents regarding the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Committee (IHPC). The ONSNA Board of Directors continued to be involved and advocate for the neighborhood in the I65/70 North Split Project. They also coordinated Right of Way tree trimming with KIB, continued regular communication and work with multiple Community Partners and launched the new look and content for www.oldnorthside.org.
The ONSF got creative after having to cancel the annual Plunder in the Park fundraiser that provides a large portion of the budget funds was cancelled. October was the first Wreath of Davey Jones were wreath kit sales and wreath competition entry fees raised funds and brought out some friendly neighbor rivalry. Following the success of Wreath, A Winter Light in the ONS came with sales of exclusive ONS scented candles by Primrose Co, luminary kits and light competition entries. The neighborhood look amazing and the weather was unseasonably warm as residents ventured out to see our community glow.
Along with the creative fundraising, the ONSF oversaw improvements of both parks. Shawn Grove’s fence was repaired and painted, two picnic tables were installed, and a new sycamore tree replaced two dead ones removed from the right of way. Great Oak’s gazebo was repaired and painted, the restroom and shed building was renovated, trees were trimmed, provided disease mitigation and fertilized and the fountain had significant electrical and mechanical maintenance performed. The limestone pillar art installations on Central Ave saw activity when the south location had a replacement pillar installed and utilized the damaged pillar as additional barrier. Investigation and repairs of the lighting challenges continue at the north location.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize our wonderful neighbors who kept our spirits up and fostered continued community connection by having a Bear Hunt, Virtual Happy Hours, Sidewalk Chalking, a Candlelight Vigil and much more.
Big thanks to all the volunteers who served the ONS throughout the year in various capacities. To provide continued support for the work of the ONS, visit www.oldnorthside.org to join the ONSNA and donate to the ONSF.
Copyright © 2020, The Old Northside Neighborhood Association