Mayor Hogsett, state and local leaders open new Rev. Charles R. Williams Park
The park opening comes the same week as the 39th annual Circle City Classic founded by Rev. Williams.
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Bortner, Councillor William “Duke” Oliver, Indy Parks, and community members to officially open the new Rev. Charles R. Williams Park.
“This multi-million-dollar upgrade for Rev. Charles R. Williams Park represents the City’s continued and historic investment in public parks and greater connectivity between neighborhoods,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Just as importantly, though, these upgrades are a further tribute to the man who gives this park his name.”
The newly completed 5.8-acre park now hosts a playground, horseshoe courts, an open lawn area, a perimeter loop trail, a performance area, and a quarter mile trail that connects the park to the Monon Trail. The $2.6 million project was announced by Indy Parks in 2022 thanks to dedicated city funding and a $750,000 grant from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Program through the Land Water Conservation Fund.
“Partnerships like this open doors to great outdoor experiences of all shapes and sizes across the state,” said DNR Director Dan Bortner. “The grant application for this new park was nationally competitive because it opened doors in an area where green space was scarce. I can’t wait to see the great memories and the important habitat for wildlife this new park provides.”
“I would like to thank Mayor Hogsett for investing in this park and Director Bortner and the DNR for partnering with us to create this unique public space that allows us to better protect the surrounding Fall Creek River,” said Indy Parks Director Phyllis Boyd. “Rev. Williams Park is one of many parks receiving a transformational investment that will provide new opportunities and enjoyment for decades to come.”
“This park will provide a great event space, an engaging playground for children of all ages to enjoy, and an easy connection to the Monon Trail,” said Councillor Oliver. “Rev. Charles R. Williams’ work for the Black Expo, the city of Indianapolis, and local faith organizations touched so many lives. It’s a pleasure to see this beautiful park honor his legacy.”
The park’s namesake, Rev. Charles R. Williams, became the President of Indiana Black Expo Inc. (IBE) in 1980. Rev. Williams also founded the Circle City Classic, an annual Black collegiate football game with revenues exceeding $800,000 going towards scholarships for qualifying high school students across the state of Indiana since 1984. The 2023 Circle City Classic takes place this week, Saturday, September 23rd at Lucas Oil Stadium at 3 p.m.