Week 6: 100 Acres Art & Nature Park [Score +9]

Week 6: 100 Acres Art & Nature Park [Score +9]

Adjacent to the Indianapolis Museum of Art—what I believe to be one of the most beautiful places in Indianapolis—is the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres. For a park with such a long official name, it’s a relatively simple place.

While the grounds of the IMA are lushly landscaped and bursting with foliage and flowers of every color and size, with every inch of life purposefully planned, the 100 Acres Park is a public park that leaves its aesthetic appeal to Mother Nature’s design. Dirt and gravel trails run throughout the park, but it doesn’t appear as though any plant or tree was intentionally planted.

The 100 Acres Park is a relatively new addition to the IMA property (opened around 2010), separated from the main museum grounds by a man-made canal and bounded on the other side by the White River. While the gardens of the IMA unfortunately don't allow dogs, the 100 Acres Park does. So Mylee and I took our evening walk there on Saturday night.

Within the park are a number of small, climbable/sit-able art installations like Los Carpinteros' Free Basket, which establishes a playful tone at the entrance to the Park; canary-yellow curved benches of all shapes and sizes collectively named Bench Around the Lake by Jeppe Hein; and what I most associate with the park: Atelier Van Lieshout's Funky Bones, which got some special attention in a scene in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. On this evening, the warmest and sunniest we'd had in a week, the park was teeming with families out climbing, walking, sitting, and just enjoying the spring air.

Mylee was thrilled to be exploring a new area, and she was panting with excitement before we even got out of the car. Every patch of spring grass and exposed tree root was worth sniffing, so walking with her required a lot of leash-powered encouragement to keep her moving. I’m not giving myself a point for burning calories on this outing, because the burn on this stroll was minimal.

I particularly love at this time of year when tiny pink blooms emerge on the redbud trees. They follow the crocus and daffodils but precede the more resplendent dogwoods and magnolias and even beat most leaves to the spring party, so they're a welcome sight after a dull, brown winter. I think every redbud tree in the Park caught my eye and appreciation on Saturday night.

This was only the second time I've been to this Park, and I never walked the trails, so this diversion from our weekly routine was a lovely one. If you're looking for a quiet, natural park perfect for having a picnic or reading a book in the sunshine, this place is perfect. I'm looking forward to exploring more parks with my four-legged copilot as the weather continues to warm up!

Score:

  • Did something outside my routine: +1
  • Left the house: +1
  • Did something entirely new: +1
  • Activity benefits my health/wellbeing: +1
  • Copilot Mylee came along: +5
Week 7: In the Matrix at the FedEx World Hub [Score +10]

Week 7: In the Matrix at the FedEx World Hub [Score +10]

Week 5: A Modern Calligraphy Workshop [Score +8]

Week 5: A Modern Calligraphy Workshop [Score +8]