The City of Fishers is a vibrant and kinetic place to live and play. With new parks, trails, and events in development, the Parks department leads the charge in creating a unique and extraordinary experience for all our residents. It seems like each day a new project is moving our city to an exciting new destination.
For years we have found unique ways to entertain and enrich the members of our community. As we grow in numbers, we grow in diversity, and our commitment to accessibility is more important than ever. How can we enjoy our concerts if we all can’t comfortably attend? How can we enjoy our parks if we can’t bring everyone we love? How can we feel proud of the place we call home when our neighbors might not feel included? This is why we are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all in our community.
Over the last year, our department has made small strides in the right direction, and we continue to listen, learn, and grow with each experience.
A few highlights that have brightened my summer:
- Seeing families with a wide array of physical abilities utilizing our primary paths, nature trails, and Sensory Garden at the Fishers Agripark
- Watching the dedicated wheelchair-accessible seating areas at the Nickel Plate Amphitheater (NPD AMP) being utilized throughout the concert season. You may have caught me once or twice in “hulk-mode” moving tables or trash cans that were blocking these areas when guests arrived
- Providing assisted listening devices for those that are hard of hearing at our concerts at the NPD AMP
- Observing HSE transition students volunteer at the Agripark. It is wonderful to see these young adults gain real-life work experience, take responsibility, and practice communication skills all while keeping Farmer Trevor on his toes.
- Our partnership with KultureCity www.kulturecity.org (the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities)!
- The KultureCity crew has provided training to our team on how to better serve our residents with special sensory processing needs.
- We now offer sensory bags and weighted lap pads for check out at all Parks programs and events, just find the Fishers Parks tent! Each sensory bag includes noise-reducing headphones, fidget tools, and a non-verbal communication card.
With summer ending, activities might be slowing down but there is no stopping in sight.
Boo Bash is coming to the NPD AMP on October 30 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., with more than 50 vendors participating. The gigantic trick-or-treat path is fully paved and offering candy and non-candy options to all in attendance. Find your way through our corn maze, which we’ve shifted to a paved area for accessibility. Feeling overstimulated by the activity, crowd, and noise? Check out a sensory bag with tools to make your experience more enjoyable.
Join us on December 4 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the NPD AMP for a reimagined Winter Wonderland. In celebration of the season, imagine a passive walking experience filled with music from all around the world, sparkling lights, fire pits, s’mores, hot cocoa, the smell (and taste) of roasted nuts, and baked goodies. Bundle up with your loved ones and stroll our accessible paths around the NPD AMP. Assisted listening devices and sensory bags are always available for check-out.
Marissa Deckert is the Director of Fishers Parks, where she has worked since 2018. Her favorite things to do in Fishers are to attend concerts and Saturday morning Farmers’ Markets at the NPD AMP with her family. Her hobbies include yoga and hanging out with her family. Her favorite thing about Fishers is all the events and activities available for families with young kids. Follow Marissa on Instagram and Twitter.