Welcome to the VRA!

Letter from the President

Dear Villagers,

Thank you to those who attended our February meeting. We had a great turn out. Representatives from the 200 West development provided information on their updated plans, which will be available to view after they're filed with the town on Friday, March 3. The petitioners will be presenting their plans at the March Planning Commission meeting. If you would like to learn more about this development, I encourage you to attend the March 20th Planning Commission meeting.

Also, we already have several members signed up for our May social event. This will be a dinner and wine tasting at the Serenity on Main Street on May 20th. The cost of the dinner is $40 per person, and that includes 6 courses and 6 wine tastings. If you’re interested in attending, please sign up at the next meeting or e-mail me to reserve your spot. Only 48 people can attend, so be sure to reserve yours today!

Lastly, Terri Moyer has decided to step down as our editor. A huge thanks to Terri for all the work she put into the Village Voice over the past year. As Terri steps down, I am pleased to announce Jackie Lamb as our new editor. Jackie has a background in journalism and will be a great addition to our team. Thank you for volunteering, and let’s all welcome Jackie to this new position!

Our next meeting will take place on April 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the SullivanMunce. Looking forward to seeing you then!


Town Council Insights

Fiber-optic Internet solution can help seed more economic growth

Y
ou may have read in the newspaper that the Council approved a TIF district to support a new Internet/Phone/Cable provider in all of Zionsville. This is for a company called MetroNet that provides a 100% fiber solution to individual homes with speeds that can reach 1GB (for non-technical people, that’s fast). MetroNet is investing $10 million over the next 12 to 18 months in our community, starting this spring.

This is something that I’ve pursued since taking office, and I think that it’s very important for our community. My thought behind this initiative is by bringing fiber to the home, we’ll be servicing our residents with a faster offering. Just as important, it can be used by people who are telecommuters or younger people looking to locate in our community. It’s interesting how high-speed Internet can be a consideration for Millennials in choosing housing. If we’re able to have them consider Zionsville as their home base, when they get around to setting up their own business a few years later, they are more likely to do it here in town if they’re already residents.

The previous council had the foresight to invest in ZWorks, which gives these entrepreneurs an initial location to seed their business. If you don’t get them when they first start, it’s much harder and more expensive to lure them away from their home community. It’s this type of economic gardening that will eventually allow us to grow the next SmartIT, HCI, Boosterville, etc. I realize this is a longer game, but something I think will play out in our favor.

The structure of the deal allows us to not lose out on any existing revenue sources, and while we lose potential tax revenue from those installations, I would argue you aren’t losing out on something that doesn’t exist today. I also feel it’s a good deal because we’re off-loading the technology risk of fiber to a private enterprise. I couldn’t guarantee that fiber would be the preferred platform in 10 or 20 years (5G wireless, etc.), and if it’s not, we haven’t made any capital outlay or have any bond commitment on an incorrect bet.

There is one other benefit to all of this. I’m hearing more and more about Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives within our own business (MOBI). Those same types of solutions and sensors are made easier for us as a Town to install and benefit from with greater connectivity (think smart trash cans, lights that notify the Town when they burn out, smarter roads, etc.).

I don’t want to use this space or my role to advocate for one particular company. MetroNet has told me that the Village will be one of the first areas they want to service, both because of the central location and density of the homes. My hope is that all our local telecommunication providers choose to upgrade in Zionsville (TDS, AT&T, Charter), therefore making us a much more connected community which is good for both service levels and lowers pricing.

Meet your new editor

By the old one, Terri Moyer

Life is a series of chapters, and my husband, Mark, and I have found our most recent one—that of grandparenting—to be quite riveting. So much so that I’ve begun unwinding some volunteer commitments in order to spend more time with our little Teddy—and grand baby #2 who is due in six short months! It’s time to pass the torch to a new editor.

Coincidentally, Jackie Lamb is entering a new chapter in her life. She, her husband, Eric, and their two daughters will soon move into their newly renovated home on Ash. A new ZVRA member, she has been looking for ways to get more involved in Village life. When she read the VRA was in search of a new Village Voice editor, Jackie knew it was the right volunteer opportunity for her.


Originally from Hobart, Ind., Jackie met Eric at IU in Bloomington (Eric is originally from Pike Township). They eventually married and settled in a downtown Indianapolis condo on Massachusetts Avenue (better known as Mass Ave). After their first daughter, Emily, was born, the couple found they were space-challenged.

Admirers of Zionsville’s charm, quality of life and strong school system, they built a home in Blackstone, a westside neighborhood just off 334 and not far from Eric’s family in Pike Township. They later welcomed their second daughter, Jillian. The family enjoyed their new home, but over time grew concerned over ever-increasing development and traffic issues along 334 and near I-65. In 2016, the Lambs decided to sell their home and look for a new place in the Village. 


Jackie and Eric both work in downtown Indianapolis. He’s an attorney, and Jackie is a corporate communications manager. As a Journalism major, she originally planned to work in deadline news, but with the demise of newspapers, Jackie turned to corporate communications. Fluent in French, she secured a position with then French-owned Redcats USA (some from Indianapolis might remember the company from its former Brylane days when owned by The Limited). The company is now FULLBEAUTY Brands. “I’ve been writing and designing magazines and newsletters throughout my career for both online and print,” she explained. “I really am excited and am looking forward to getting to work on the Village Voice."


With experience and enthusiasm like that, I can walk away knowing the future of the newsletter is in far better hands than mine! I know you’ll welcome Jackie and her family to the community — and hope you will support her efforts by contributing story ideas and/or photos.



Now YOU can contribute to science in Zionsville

The next time you’re walking Starkey Park Trail, look a bit closer at your natural surroundings. While certainly a peaceful trail convenient for exercising between neighborhoods and wooded terrain, the park is also home to a variety of plant and animal species you can help the community identify to positively affect park conservation and clean-up.

Mindy Murdock, Park Naturalist at Zion Nature Center, recently listed Starkey Nature Park as a project on 
iNaturalist.org, a crowdsourced species identification system. With the help of iNaturalist, people become “citizen scientists” as they slow down and connect more with nature.

In January, a citizen scientist spotted a Pileated Woodpecker on Trail 2 and logged the observation on iNaturalist using the program’s iPhone app. Other iNaturalist visitors and users can view the specific observation and click on a more detailed description of the species, including user-submitted and professional photos if available. If a user is unsure of how to identify an observation, they can share a picture and ask for help determining the species.

Citizen scientists’ observations help Starkey Nature Park and the thousands of iNaturalist projects like it to also potentially benefit from more timely identification of invasive plant or insect species. If a drastic change or invasive species might be identified in the park, it can help tip off the Zionsville Parks & Recreation Department to take action.

But, connecting park visitors with nature is iNaturalist’s primary goal. Birdwatchers, hikers, exercise enthusiasts and even kids can be better educated about what they’re seeing along the trail and create a more vibrant nature-loving community while helping maintain a wonderful park for generations to enjoy.

Download iNaturalist on your Smartphone!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inaturalist/id421397028?mt=8 

Mayor gives State of the Town address

Mayor Tim Haak spoke to attendees on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the State of the Town address as part of the Chamber's monthly breakfast at the Brick Street Inn. Infrastructure upgrades were key in Haak's speech, including road improvements in Village Walk and Irongate, a roundabout at Ford & Mulberry and new stoplight at Kissel (Oak & 800). These were among a long list of positive goings-on throughout the year, thanks to a solid 2017 budget. Read more from Times Sentinel and live tweets from the Town.

https://twitter.com/ZvilleChamber/status/834030550906179584


Village Gardening

Protect plants from frost, color coordinate, attract butterflies and more!
By Delma Mindel, Villager & Gardner (@145 W. Walnut)

Greetings Village Gardeners and those inclined towards horticulture and the notion that digging in dirt is an honorable pastime!

I’m Delma Mindel, and my husband Mike and I reside at 145 W. Walnut Street, at the corner of 1st and Walnut (periwinkle blue, mature grape trim, white (dirty) picket fence surrounding). We’ve lived here since 2004, and we’ve been honored to be on the Village Garden tour twice, more than enough in one’s lifetime. You’ve probably noticed Mike walking our sweet standard poodle, Chip, in and around the village.

Thoughts about the coming Spring, which feels like it’s arriving a tad early: I notice plants that normally bloom in April-May are at least 8 to 12 inches out of the ground. Not good. A hard frost will decimate them. What to do: Mound up the mulch that’s already around them. No mulch? Consider covering them when you know the temp's going to drop way below freezing. If you have considerable tree covering like we have here in the Village, the damage won’t be nearly as bad as being out in the open with no trees.


New from the gardening world when things thaw out a bit? Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp's column in the Indy Star is always helpful. Tip: Think of plants as mulch. Plants like wild ginger (Asarum Canadensis) or foam flower (Tiarella spp.) can act just like hardwood mulch in controlling weeds. Cool. If you’d like some wild ginger, we have plenty to give away. I love how it reseeds itself in interesting places.

(Planting in a Post-Wild World, by Claudia West, Timber Press)  Container gardening tips: Place plants tightly together to get a more finished look. Tuck small clumps of plants around and under foliage to give the appearance that it has spread in a mature fashion. Because of the color of my house, I’m fond of purple combinations, so violas, coral bells (Huchera "Amethyst Mist"), grape hyacinth, and maybe a small bigleaf hydrangea like "Red Star", and stock, "Vintage Peach, Vintage Lavender" are on my list.  

Last but not least, plants for more butterflies: Passionflower, Dill, Chokeberry, Snapdragon, Violet, Switchgrass, and don’t forget Milkweed. There’s a gardener who buys old, ratty, desiccated carrots, pokes them here and there in his garden where they produce abundantly, lovely carrot flowers, completely transforming his garden. There are at least 650 species of butterflies that flit over North America every year, so we can expect to see lots of diversity, especially in a healthy ecosystem. 

Happy fine gardening!  
Delma


Kingergarten Roundup

Will your child be 5 on or before Aug. 1, 2017?

Online registration for Kindergarten Roundup within Zionsville Community Schools (ZCS) opened up on Feb. 27 for the 2017-18 school year, and it’s not too late to register!

Click here to register for Kindergarten Roundup at the elementary school inside your home’s school district.

If your child already attends ZCS Universal Preschool at the elementary school where they will attend kindergarten, you do not need to register. You will receive information about Kindergarten Roundup through your preschool program.

If your child attends ZCS Universal Preschool at Zionsville West Middle School or at another building outside of their elementary school boundaries, you will need to register for Kindergarten Roundup via the link above.

KINDERGARTEN ROUNDUP DATES
Boone Meadow: Tue 3/28 8:30a-5:00p
Eagle: Tue 4/11, 2:00p-7:00p
Union: Tue 4/11, 8:00a-5:00p
Stonegate: Wed 4/12, 8:15a-5:00p
Pleasant View: Thu 4/13, 9:00a-6:00p

Unsure of your child's ZCS elementary school?




Zionsville Cultural District announces Step-On-Us Sidewalk Poetry Contest

http://www.zionsvilleculturaldistrict.org/sidewalk-poetry-contest.html
Zionsville’s first-ever poetry contest to transform downtown sidewalks 

Got a rhyme? Got a thought? Got a poem for a sidewalk? Now is the time, and Zionsville’s the place. Put that poem on paper or computer screen and send it to the Zionsville Cultural District (ZCD). That organization is sponsoring the first-ever “Step-On-Us Sidewalk Poetry Contest.”

The project, unique in Indiana and one of only a handful in the nation, is to promote the arts in the Village of Zionsville. Winners, one adult and one youth, will see their work stamped into a Village sidewalk. Winning poems will be stepped on, stomped on, skipped on, and read by villagers and visitors alike for years to come.

“We looked at projects done throughout the United States that were successful and enhanced their communities. The board voted for sidewalk poetry because we felt Zionsville has a lot of talent in that area, and this would be a way to engage the community and the state at large,” said ZCD Board President Carla Howie.

Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak is excited about the project. “When we first heard about this project from ZCD, we jumped right in,” he said. “This public art initiative is a great opportunity to transform the town’s sidewalks and make downtown Zionsville an even more vibrant destination.”

The Sidewalk Poetry Committee – Lisa Le Crone, Donna Monday and Kathy Brown – found a stamping facility in Minnesota. The stamping itself will be done by the Zionsville Street and Stormwater Department.

Poems may be simple or profound but may not be political or profane. They must be short. Poets are divided into two categories – youth (students 18 and under, Zionsville residents) and adult (Indiana residents 19 and over). Entry fees are $5 for youth and $10 for adults.

Entries are due March 30 with the winners announced in April – which is National Poetry Month. Entries can be mailed to Zionsville Cultural District (225 W. Hawthorne St., Zionsville, IN 46077) or submitted online at www.zionsvilleculturaldistrict.org. Submitted poems will be reviewed without the authors’ names on them by ZCD Board members, a board member from Poetry on Brick Street and a board member from the Poetry Society of Indiana.


Zionsville improves "safest" ranking

Neighborhood Scout recently released its annual ranking of the Top 100 Safest Cities to Live. Zionsville is again listed this year at #5, which is a four-place improvement from its 2016 ranking at #9. Other 2017 "safest" Indiana cities include Carmel (#68) and Fishers (#83).

To be considered eligible, cities must have 25,000 or more residents and rankings are based on "the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents." According to the site, "crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault."

Data is weighed based on the number of total crimes that occurred in each city (and were reported to the FBI) compared to the population of the city.

Here's how we stack up among the Top 5 this year, and compared to our Hoosier neighbors also on the list:

 2017 RankCityState Population Crime Index*Violent CrimeProperty CrimeAnnual Crime per 1000 residentsvs. 2016 Rank
1Oak RidgeTN 29,30298 0.24 NA 
ShoreviewMN 26,477 95 82 3.25 +89 
3Ridgefield CT 24,24493 105 4.24 -2 
 4Franklin MA 33,147 93 145 4.53 
 5Zionsville IN 26,296 92 22 102 4.72 +4 
 68Carmel IN 88,713 70 13 876 10.02 -19 
 83Fishers IN 88,658 66 21 944 10.89 -30 
*Safer than X% of U.S. cities