The Belmont Beach Project is an incremental initiative to transform the site from an overlooked and overgrown place to a vibrant community gathering space, and ultimately, into a signature community park. The project isn’t just about a place though. It’s about people, particularly the people of the Haughville neighborhood within which Belmont Beach is located. About their stories, their histories, their discoveries, and their dreams. Belmont Beach has been a part of the Haughville Community for nearly a century, and neighborhood voices helped to make sure the neighborhood wasn’t overlooked in the regional White River Vision Plan, which identified the Beach as one of its signature elements. While it will take many years of work and conversation to realize that vision, the Belmont Beach project is helping shape it by developing a model of neighborhood ownership and influence of projects proposed in the Haughville area. We hope to build on neighborhood-based organizations and initiatives like Haughville Strong, IPS School 63, Reconnecting to Our Waterway’s White River Committee, Near West Livability Task Force, and Haughville Butterfly Trails and increase community capacity to drive and respond to neighborhood changes.
The current project is a temporary project supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment timed with the City’s Bicentennial. It includes community engagement and education, programming and events, and a temporary park-like gathering space at Belmont Beach. Temporary doesn’t mean disposable though! At the end of the project (October 2021) all materials used for the temporary park will become property of the neighborhood for use in other locations or future projects.