INDIANAPOLIS — Neighbors living in a northwest side community are taking steps together towards reactivating the area.
"When we first moved in the neighborhood with two small children it was a vibrant neighborhood. Stores, community involvement & over the years we've seen so many of our seniors pass and the younger people don't seem too involved in the community," Maunah Wadud said
Wadud has lived in her home near 30th and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Street for 45 years.
"My brother lives next-door, my sister lives a couple of doors down, my daughter lives across the street," she said.
The neighborhood used to be known as the Northwest Civic Neighborhood, but leaders say the former neighborhood committee hasn't been activated since the 60s.
That is why they decided to re-brand and create a new leadership group called the Northwest Landing Neighborhood Association.
“We found out through historic research that it used to be called The Land. We wanted to keep that as part of the new logo in for the community. To distinguish ourselves from Riverside and Kings commons and everything and know that you are part of this land help to bring life back to your northwest land,” Wadud said.
One of the first steps for the group, which was created just months ago, involves working with local organizations like Aspire House and Groundwork Indy to create a wellness garden on a once vacant lot on Rader Street.
“It’s just to give people some beauty in the neighborhood,” Nigel Long, Northwest Landing Neighborhood Association Co-Chair said.
Moving forward Long says they will focus on ways to attract people to the neighborhood. One goal will be to take some of the blight in the area and coming up with new ideas for those spaces. Both Wadud and Long say getting people involved in this effort is critical.
"Not just to be here but invest into this neighborhood I'm not talking about just money but time and effort and energy this could be a space for artists and creative tech people whoever business all those things can definitely exist in the space," Long said.
“We just need some bodies alive and vibrant with fresh ideas and aspirations that would be a big help,” Long said.
The Northwest Landing Neighborhood Association hope to continue working with community partners like Aspire House and Groundwork Indy moving forward.
Sharon Clark is the Co-Founder of Aspire House, a community organization that focuses on rebuilding the near northwest community by providing hope, energy, fitness and wellness so people feel good about their everyday lives.
“One of the things that really became apparent to us during Covid was that particularly our seniors were locked up for a pretty much a year we feel like it was a good opportunity give them a space to be able to be out in the open with something to do to help with their movement activity. Their fitness,” Clark said.
Groundwork Indy worked with volunteers from Bank of America who painted the boards for the raised garden beds. The youth involved in Groundwork's programming helped assemble them.
“We made them high enough so seniors didn’t have to bend down and that was the goal just making it very welcoming for them and easy to use,” Phyllis Boyd, Executive Director of Groundwork Indy said.
The project is an example of several members of the community all coming together to make it a better place to live. Leaders with the new Northwest Landing Association are looking forward to the progress continuing.
“It may not be the same as what it was before but maybe it could be better,” Wadud said.
Volunteers will be back out at the new wellness garden on Saturday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. doing more planting if anyone wants to come out and get involved.