December 2, 2021

Indy Parks welcomes new director

Phyllis Boyd joined Indy Parks on Nov. 15 as the agency’s new director. She was previously served as executive director of Groundwork Indy. - Courtesy of Indy Parks and Recreation

Phyllis Boyd joined Indy Parks on Nov. 15 as the agency’s new director. She was previously served as executive director of Groundwork Indy.

Courtesy of Indy Parks and Recreation

Phyllis Boyd joined Indy Parks on Nov. 15 as the agency’s new director.

Boyd previously served as executive director of Groundwork Indy. She said her previous experience in urban planning, landscape architecture, and working at the nonprofit has given her tools that will be valuable to her new role.

“There's a couple different things, one is just having a knowledge of natural systems and how they interface with an urban environment,” Boyd said. “But also looking at how open spaces, shared spaces need to serve the community is another.”

Boyd also had previously partnered with Indy Parks, working on design and community outreach plans for the Riverside Park Adventure Park and on community outreach plans for park and trail enhancements.

“When I was at my last position at Groundwork Indy, we were a part of the community engagement team for the Riverside regional park master plan,” Boyd said. “I've also been a part of, as a part of Groundwork, assisting different parks with different maintenance projects, volunteer projects and things like that.”

READ MORE: New Indy Parks director named

She said she spent time on these projects as a part of a team doing door-to-door canvassing, manning the public studio at Riverside Park Family Center, attending community meetings, and having an open house, despite COVID-19 affecting how some work had to be done.

She said COVID-19 taught people how important the park spaces are, as a result, Indy Parks plans to maintain and increase equitable access to the park. Boyd also said she plans to be a park advocate and connected to supporting community needs. One challenge she anticipates is funding.

“With an endeavor like this, one of the things we really need to look at is funding and how we really secure a vibrant future for parks through having an adequate funding stream to really do and support the things the parks need to have in them,” Boyd said.

Although she is still developing plans and major goals, Boyd said her initial goal is to listen and learn from those currently in the department. She said her vision for the future of Indy Parks is a system that supports community health, environment health, and quality of life in the city.

“We have 212 parks, one of my goals is to get to see every one of them at some point,” Boyd said.

Contact WFYI digital news content intern Skye Aitken at saitken@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @SkyeGraceAitken.

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