Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bloomington Hospital Survey

Bloomington Hospital is considering whether to relocate to a site at the corner of Curry Pike and State Road 46 on the west side of Bloomington. The Council of Neighborhood Associations of Monroe County would like to gauge community knowledge and interest in attending an informational meeting and discussion with hospital and community leaders.

Click to take the survey.

New Construction Project Goes to Plan Commission August 31

At our neighborhood meeting on August 13, developer Brian White presented information about a planned construction project that he hopes will go in south of Dodds Street along the future B-Line trail. The project would consist of many narrow homes ranging in size from 25' wide by 25' - 75' long. There will be a 5' space between the homes. The fronts would face the future B-line trail, and driveway access would be from the rear, via the paved area along the existing storage units.

The developers plan to use many eco-friendly building techniques and products, although some will be optional. Aesthetically, the homes will have varying traditional styles, as to reflect the surrounding neighborhood character. Also, 40-50% of the homes will be subsidized, allowing a greater range in affordability.

The project goes to the City of Bloomington Plan Commission on August 31, 2009, at 5:30 in Common Council Chambers in City Hall. The project will next have to go to City Council, likely in October. Attend and make your voice heard.

Location of the Neighborhood

The boundaries of McDoel Gardens neighborhood are defined as:

On the north:
First Street

On the south:
The Indiana Railroad Line tracks immediately south of Hillside Drive

On the east:
CSX Railroad tracks and Morton Street

On the west:
Patterson Drive, excluding Maple Court; and Rogers Street between Patterson Drive and the south boundary

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Adopt-A-River Program

A branch of Clear Creek runs alongside and through McDoel Gardens, though until recently it looked more like a drainage ditch than a real creek. The reason for its transformation? McDoel resident Paul Ash spearheaded a plan to have the neighborhood "adopt" the creek through a program run by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Under the program, the section of the creek in McDoel is cleaned up twice a year. McDoel was the first neighborhood association to adopt a river or creek under the DNR's program.

The first several cleanups have been highly productive, with items such as grocery carts and car parts fished out by stoic volunteers. The creek has been so persistantly used as a dumping grounds over the years that clean-ups are still producing a large quantity of debris.

The winter creek clean-up has been aided by City of Bloomington's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day project grants, which have been used to provide gloves and bags and other supplies, and allowed use of dumpsters set up to receive the "loot."

The youth group at McDoel Baptist Church has generously contributed their labor and cheerful attitudes to the clean-ups, as well, another way in which the church stands out as a very good neighbor.

These photos show neighborhood and church volunteers braving January cold to clean up the creek on Martin Luther King Day.

Grant Projects

The neighborhood associations applied for its first grant from the City of Bloomington's Neighborhood Assistance Grant program in 1999. This program, administered by the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department, provides funding for neighborhood projects.

The 1999 grant application was for purchase and installation of thirteen limestone planters, to be installed along South Rogers between First Street and the railroad tracks south of the old RCA building. The grant was awarded, and the neighborhood now has the planters in place, tended by neighborhood volunteers. The northern and southern most planters are inscribed with the words "Welcome to McDoel Gardens."

Another aspect of the 1999 grant was the creation of a historical marker for the neighborhood, to be placed in the small traffic triangle at the corner of Madison and Patterson, and two limestone benches. The traffic triangle was created during the expansion of Patterson Drive through our neighborhood, and was finished and landscaped in April and May 2001. The historical marker and accompanying limestone bench were installed in July of 2001, with due ceremony. The second bench is located next to one of the planters on the Raintree Muffler property at Rogers and Patterson.

A current grant project is underway to steel-cut benches to provide seating at a bus stop on South Rogers. Summer 2003 is the target date for installation.


The McDoel Gardens Neighborhood Association meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the McDoel Baptist Church. The church is located on Rogers Street, between Dixie and Allen; enter the basement from the alley behind the church.