We are so excited to have built our neighborhood’s first community garden in 2016 at Arsenal Park in the heart of Keystone-Monon. Arsenal Park, part of the Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation, is teeming with activity all year long, whether it’s kids playing on the splash pad, a family party at the picnic shelter, a bike polo tournament, people playing basketball, a pickup game of touch football, or gardeners tending to their plots.
So where exactly is the Keystone-Monon neighborhood? Our borders:
- State Fairgrounds to the South
- 54th St. to the North
- Keystone Ave. to the East
- Monon Trail to the West
The Keystone-Monon neighborhood is sandwiched between some of the wealthiest neighborhoods and the highest crime neighborhoods in the city. According to the Healthy Food Access Portal, the following demographic information is available:
- Much of Keystone-Monon is considered to be a Low-Income, Low-Access Community, according to the USDA. “Low-income communities” have: a) a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, OR b) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area median family income. Keystone-Monon qualifies as a “low-access community” based on the determination that at least 33% of the census tract’s population lives more than ½-mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.
- Between 17-22% of our residents receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (food stamps).
- While there are full-service supermarkets on the edges of Keystone-Monon (Aldi’s at 52nd and Keystone Ave., Marsh at 54th and Keystone Ave.), there are no other full service supermarkets within the neighborhood. Residents who must walk or use public transportation to buy groceries are limited to convenience stores, which often have extremely limited fresh produce; it is often much more expensive than at a full-service grocery store and is rarely organic.
There is certainly a need for better access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in Keystone-Monon, as well as education about how to grow, harvest, and prepare them. Additionally, much of the housing in our neighborhood consists of apartment complexes and single family homes on small lots; for many neighbors, having a home garden is simply not possible due to space or light limitations.
 Healthy Food Access Portal, “Research Your Community,” http://healthyfoodaccess.org/get-started/research-your-community.