What Is the Fishers AgriPark?
Urban Farm Will Allow Adults, Children to Explore the Agricultural World
Writer: Seth Johnson
Photographer: Josh Brown
Fishers may be booming with high-tech development but soon enough residents young and old will be able to explore the city’s agricultural past, thanks to the Fishers AgriPark opening this summer.
Located at 113th Street and Florida Road in Fishers, the Fishers AgriPark will span more than 35 acres, making it the nation’s largest urban farm. Complete with crops, livestock, aquaponics, beehives and more, the park will be managed by Brandywine Creek Farms — a nonprofit organization based in Greenfield.
“It’s really forward-thinking of Fishers to try to incorporate a diversified vegetable operation as part of the community,” says Jonathan Lawler, executive director and farmer at Brandywine Creek Farms. “That’s always been Brandywine Creek Farms’ mission anyway is to reach out into the community and get people involved with agriculture, whether it’s eating, participating or however we can get them involved.”
Visitors of the Fishers AgriPark will be able to explore various elements of the agricultural world, explains Lawler.
“We’ll have a livestock counter where you can actually meet the animals,” he says. “We’ll have a program for beekeeping, too. We’re putting an observation hive out there so that people can actually see how bees make their honey, but more importantly, the importance of bees to farmers and to everyone.”
By experiencing agriculture up close and personal, Lawler hopes visitors of the AgriPark leave with a greater appreciation for farming.
“I think people will be surprised to see how large-scale vegetable production is done,” he says. “It’s not a garden. It’s completely different. It is actually an agricultural pursuit that a lot of science goes into, and we’ll be getting folks from that area of agriculture involved there as well so that they can learn from them.”
The Fishers AgriPark will offer plenty of fun opportunities for the kids as well. Lawler says the plan is to host day camps for children. “The kids will be able to basically live a day in the life of a farmer as part of that day camp,” he says. “We’ll have a couple beekeepers come in that are some of the best in the state. A large animal vet will come in and explain what a farm vet does versus the vet they take their dog or cat to. And then, they get to see how food is actually produced.”
After attending one of these day camps, Lawler expects kids will have a newfound fascination with the foods that mom and dad prepare for dinner.
“When they go to the grocery store with their parents, they’ll have a new appreciation for the tomatoes or peppers they see, to see how they’re cultivated in the field, to see how they’re picked, harvested, taken care of, and how they eventually end up at the store,” Lawler adds.
In keeping with the nonprofit mission of Brandywine Creek Farms, a third of the produce grown at the Fishers AgriPark will be donated to Central Indiana charities, making the project’s impact come full circle.
“This is going to be a high production farm, so I think we’ll be able to really help the folks in Hamilton County that are in need,” Lawler says. “It’s also going to benefit people in Marion County as well.”
Through all of its areas of community impact, however, there’s one underlying mission that Lawler has with the Fishers AgriPark.
“I think our biggest asset is our outreach to the community, to get people excited about agriculture,” he says.
The Fishers AgriPark is located at 113th Street and Florida Road. Stay up to date with the park’s progress at Fishers.in.us and look for the park to be open, tentatively, at the end of May.