INDIANAPOLIS – Frederick Douglass Park is embarking upon a monumental renovation to build a new family center to bring much needed resources to the Martindale-Brightwood community. Through Circle City Forward funds for four park projects, Indy Parks will receive $45 million with $20 million going to the family center.

This morning, Indy Parks joined community members to celebrate the park and the vision for enhanced amenities.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents a triumph for park neighbors, Indy Parks, and our entire Indianapolis community,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “The new Frederick Douglass Park family center was one of the first projects we highlighted with the Circle City Forward initiative. While the current family center had been well-loved for nearly 70 years, the new center brings a commitment to expand services to meet the community’s needs.”

“When I was first elected six years ago, community members asked me to fix Frederick Douglass Park,” said Councillor Zach Adamson. “Parks provide everyone in the neighborhood, especially children and families, a place to learn, grow, build community, and most importantly a place to have fun. Today we come together to kick off construction for the family center knowing that Frederick Douglass Park is an essential part of our city and the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.”

Located on the near eastside of Indianapolis, Frederick Douglass Park is known for its swimming pool, golf course, walking trails, tennis court, sport leagues, afterschool activities, and more.

The new center, which will be ready by summer 2023, will soon feature 48,000 square feet, two basketball courts, an indoor track, multipurpose rooms, special event space, and computer lab.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, community members honored Frankie Casel-Baker, a longtime Martindale-Brightwood resident who readily advocated for Frederick Douglass Park and worked to advance plans for the new family center until her death in August 2021.

“My mother’s life’s mission was to make a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and the Martindale-Brightwood community,” said Rhonda Casel, Casel-Baker’s daughter. “She loved this park and everything about it and was so proud of the new recreational center.”

For more information about Indy Parks, its 214 parks, services, and amenities, visit [], call (317) 327-PARK, or email



Event Photos:



Media Contacts:


Ronnetta Spalding | Indy Parks Chief Communications Officer



Paige Frazier | Indy Parks Public Information Officer