Broad Ripple Park

Project overview

Bordering an oxbow along the White River, Broad Ripple Park has a rich history. At one time it was an amusement park, had a carousel (now located in the Indianapolis Children’s Museum) and a steam locomotive (now in the Transportation Museum in Noblesville). It hosted the Olympic swimming tryouts in 1924 and 1952. In 1946 Broad Ripple Park was established as a community park. Park amenities include a newly renovated family center, an outdoor pool, a fitness trail, picnic facilities, tennis courts, and ball fields.

Aside from the White River riparian corridor, Broad Ripple Park has other natural features as well. On the north end of the park there is a forested wetland area formed by the confluence of the White River and Culbertson Ditch. Many unique wetland species occur there including the somewhat rare pink turtlehead. The turf areas of the park have many specimens of native hardwoods, including an extremely large tulip, a large blue ash tree and a very rare butternut, which is a native hardwood that is on the IDNR watch list for endangered and threatened species. A 10-acre remnant hardwood forest exists on an old terrace of the White River within the park. The woods is growing in well-drained, Ockley series soil and contains a mix of trees common in floodplains such as sycamore, red maple, silver maple, and cottonwood as well as those found in upland areas such as American Beech, white ash, sugar maple, and Black Cherry. Environmental management needs of the park include clearing and controlling invasive exotic plant species such as amur honeysuckle (Lonicera species) and wintercreeper (Euonymous fortunei).