It’s been two years in the making; a project unlike any other, not only in the greater Indianapolis area but, by all accounts, around the country. Nestled on 33 acres of land in Hamilton County is the Fishers AgriPark and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness cut the ribbon on the attraction Friday. “The concept was really to bring agriculture to the front doorstep of so many Fishers residents that are probably second generation off the farm and are kind of losing contact with agriculture,” said Fadness.
Fishers AgriPark is a working urban farm where visitors will have the opportunity to learn up-to-date farming practices. Fishers Parks and Recreation Program Manager Jackie Leeuw says education is the foundation for the new park.
“I think education’s really important at a farm,” said Leeuw. “It’s not something that’s really common knowledge if you really think about it. With the produce, how to plant it, how to water it…if it needs to start in a greenhouse, if we can plant it directly into the ground.”
Fadness says one of the goals is to teach people not only about agriculture, but also the business of agriculture.
And when you’re out on the farm, there’s bound to be animals. Fishers AgriPark is no exception.
“It gives the community the opportunity to get to know our cows and horse and sheep and chickens and learn a little bit more about where their food comes from and all of the aspects of a working farm,” said Leeuw.
Other featured amenities include a tunnel-covered growing area, nature trails and a three-acre produce garden, where visitors will be able to pick their own garden-variety foods free of charge.
“In addition to our three acres of produce, we also have a pumpkin patch. We have a sunflower field. We have a tree nursery and when those trees mature a little bit, we’ll use them to replace trees that have passed in our parks. We also have 10 acres of field corn planted that will turn into a small corn maze this year.”
When this 33-acre piece of land was originally donated to the city in 2018, it was a far cry from what it looks like now. Enter 23-year-old farmer Trevor Wildey.
“It’s grown a lot from when we first saw it. When I first took on this property, it was all grown up pretty bad and weeds and trash and debris,” said Wildey. “Mother nature didn’t give us too hard of a time this year but we were pretty blessed with the way everything turned out.”
And perhaps the park’s most enduring legacy will be its commitment tackling food insecurity throughout the community.
“The community helps grow food and then we give the food back to the community,” said Fadness. “I think that’s a closed loop that will be able to help a lot of people.”
The folks at Fishers AgriPark say ultimately, their goal is to inspire a future generation of farmers.