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Douglass Park centennial celebration to spotlight community, history

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s a celebration 100 years in the making. Named after the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the park opened in 1921 in Indianapolis.

There’s been some progress but community members say there’s still more to do.

There’s history at Frederick Douglass Park, 1616 E, 25th St., and the city and community are celebrating it. Trina Avery’s roots run deep in this community.

“Just park in this community center was like our second home. Once we came home from school, did our chores and our homework and changed our clothes, Douglass is where we came,” Avery said.

Back then, she said everyone knew everyone. She still feels the community here, but not like before.

But reaching a 100-year milestone is something to celebrate. Indy Parks is helping organize a near week’s worth of activities.

“That’s a huge milestone; that’s a huge milestone for anything to last 100 years, but much less a park that has meant so much to this community,” said Courtney Rogers with Indy Parks.

The celebration starts with a park cleanup and food drive. Later on in the week, there will be a pool party, aerobics for seniors, a golf tournament and they’ll finish off the week with the fifth annual Peace Festival.

The Peace Festival will have entertainment but also access to rent and utility assistance, job placement and mentorship opportunities.

“Super excited. What we’re planning to bring to the table, I promise you, and exclamation point, put 10 more behind it,” James Wilson with Circle Up Indy. “Because it’s not just the normal event; we have some very awesome attractions. They’re really high entertainment, strong message.”

A $20 million plan is heading this way for park revitalization. Avery said it’s a long time coming and she hopes this step isn’t the end for a park with such rich community and history.

“I want a new swimming pool and a new family center. I want to see the junior tennis league back here. I want to see the kids out on the court. That’s what I want to see,” Avery said.

The virtual town hall meeting to see the park plan is Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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