Spinning Towards Inclusion – Morningside Park welcomes the We-Go-Round

A dome with vertical spokes sits on an attractive slab against the background of the rest of the park. It has seats inside and the backs of the seats are painted with seasonal motifs. Visible on the front are a winter scene with a deer and three snow-covered trees, and a scene with two trees and a variety of animals including a beaver and a wolf facing the center of the panel.

In an enchanting display of community spirit and dedication to inclusivity, the Morningside Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with Muncie Parks and Recreation, proudly unveiled the newest addition to Morningside Park – the We-Go-Round. This vibrant carousel of joy was brought to life thanks in part to the financing from ARP funds, showcasing a community’s commitment to creating shared spaces that celebrate the diversity of abilities.

The We-Go-Round, installed by Landscape Structures, is more than just a playground piece; it’s a revolutionary design that invites children of all abilities to whirl in unison. With strategic seating areas and plenty of space, the structure welcomes wheelchairs, even those without wheel-locking mechanisms, ensuring no child is left on the sidelines.

Mayor Ridenour stands with Neighborhood Association members in front of the new We-Go-Round. A man in the center of the group holds a large pair of black, ribbon-cutting scissors.

The ribbon was cut on Monday, October 16th, 2023, with Mayor Ridenour, Deputy Mayor Ivy, Superintendent Malone, Park Staff, Neighborhood Association members, and the Muncie Police Department in attendance. The We-Go-Round, with its shade-providing rooftop and central handhold, promises to be the hub of laughter and shared experiences.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making this dream a reality.  Come visit, see the joy in motion, and let your hearts spin with delight at Morningside Park.

‘Terrific’ friends come together for community reading project

A person in a green and white shirt sits on a low chair reading to children gathered around in an arc around him on the floor
Longfellow Elementary School student Isabella Foster reads Charlotte’s Web to Longfellow Principal Gerry Moore and her schoolmates A’Nyiah Shannon and Rashaud Hill.
Longfellow Elementary School student Isabella Foster reads Charlotte’s Web to Longfellow Principal Gerry Moore and her schoolmates A’Nyiah Shannon and Rashaud Hill.

“Some pig’ really brought the community together in September.
“Charlotte’s Web” was the focus of a community-wide reading initiative, culminating in Muncie Civic Theatre’s production of the classic tale at Southside High School. 
The initiative, designed to get kids excited about reading, was led by a team of executives from Muncie Civic Theatre, Heart of Indiana United Way, Muncie Community Schools, and Muncie Public Library.


  • Every third and fourth-grade student in Muncie Community Schools received a free copy of the book, thanks to support from Northwest Bank and Altrusa Foundation. 
  • Muncie Public Library locations offered audiobooks – in several languages – available for families to check out and listen to together. 
  • Muncie Civic Theatre offered four free daytime school matinees for MCS students, sponsored by Meridian Health Services. 
  • Muncie Community Schools students made “Charlotte’s Web”-themed art and prepared special songs that were part of the Civic Theatre performance.  
  • Muncie Civic Theatre provided free performances of the play for families participating in this community read initiative.  
  • Muncie Altrusa Club volunteered to read “Some Pig,” an early-reader picture book version of “Charlotte’s Web,” to elementary students. 
  • Several childcare centers and after-school programs worked on crafts, activities, and games they shared with each other and families to build interest and fun around the story.  
  • Muncie Civic Theatre presented “Charlotte’s Web” at Southside Middle School.

We had a blast at this year’s Bridge Dinner!

Article and photos by Michelle Kinsey, Communications Manager, Office of Community Engagement

“It’s my favorite event of the year.”

It’s a comment you hear often at Muncie’s Fall Bridge Dinner.

And what’s not to love?

This year’s event, on Sept. 21, brought hundreds of community members to the Washington Street Bridge on a beautiful evening to enjoy great conversation, music, and the beautiful views of the White River.

There was music (provided by a DJ), food vendors, Muncie-loving merch sellers and, new this year, an opportunity to get up close and personal with the river in a Canoe Country kayak.

The long community tables were decorated with fall leaves, created by art students at Burris Laboratory School.

Thanks to everyone who made the Bridge Dinner possible: Muncie Action Plan, Shafer Leadership Academy, Ball State Office of Community Engagement, Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Ivy Tech Community College – Muncie, Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood Association, Old West End Neighborhood Association, Open Door Health Services, Polcz Volbrecht Homes at RE/MAX Real Estate Groups, Muncie Community Schools, Canoe Country, and Words with Jas.

Generous support for the event is provided by Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce, Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, Muncie Central JROTC, Walls Furniture, and Woof Boom Radio.

VIDEO: 2018 Muncie Neighborhood’s Pool Party

Muncie Neighborhood’s 2nd Annual Pool Party at Tuhey Pool was a blast!  Families and neighbors from all over the community came together for a free night of fun celebrating Muncie’s neighborhoods with popsicles, hot dogs, BINGO, yard games, swimming, and friends!


Whitely Community Food Pantry Wins National Award at the NUSA Conference

On Friday, May 25th at the 43rd annual NUSA conference in Birmingham, Alabama, the Whitely Community Food Pantry was named the 2018 Grand Prize winner of the Neighborhood of the Year (NOTY) Award. The food pantry was also awarded first place in the Social Revitalization category of the NOTY. Whitely was recognized for creating a sustainable food pantry, strong partnerships, an educational resource on nutrition, and future-focused projects to combat hunger in the community.

Seeing that over 38% of Whitely Neighborhood residents are living below the poverty level, the food pantry has made it their mission to “resolve the serious problem of food insecurity in our area.” With the 2017 closing of Marsh Grocery, the neighborhood has become a “food dessert” that is lacking quality nourishment for residents and their families.

Whitely has formed partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana to obtain food at a low cost and with Purdue Extension for nutritional information about cooking healthy foods. The food pantry served on average 100 households or 200 individuals each month (nearly 8% of the entire Whitely population) in 2017 alone.

The Whitely Community Food Pantry is held from 4-6 pm the third Thursday of the month at Harvest Christian Fellowship, 1010 E. Centennial. It is open to anyone in the Whitely area or Whitely Community Council members. The food pantry is actively seeking volunteers and financial support. To become a volunteer please contact Jay Zimmerman at pantryprojectwhitely@gmail.com or Mary Dollison at 288-1892. You can also support the pantry through their GoFundMe campaign.

Whitely Community Council Wins National Awards At Neighborhoods, U.S.A. Conference

Awards were presented by NUSA president Tige Watts and accepted by Kenyonta Hudson, Whitely Community Council Executive Director; Cornelius and Mary Dollison; Rebecca Parker, Technology Coordinator for Muncie Public Library; and Frank Scott, Whitely Community Council President.
Article by Erin Moore

Devotion. Commitment. Enthusiasm. Collaboration. Inspiration. Inclusivity. These six words only begin to describe Mary Dollison’s legacy in the Whitely neighborhood and Muncie at-large. Her significant contributions to our community were nationally recognized at the 42nd annual Neighborhoods, U.S.A. (NUSA) conference in Omaha, Nebraska, this May.

Mary was a recipient of NUSA’s “Who’s Who in America’s Neighborhoods” award, which recognizes individuals across the country who promote neighborhood development, participation, and collaboration. Mary’s nominator, Heather Williams of Ball State University’s Building Better Neighborhoods initiative and the Muncie Action Plan, noted her key roles in building the Whitely Community Council which boasts 90-100 attendees at its monthly meetings; creating the Motivate our Minds educational enrichment program; securing support from the city, county, area foundations, Ball State, and the local private sector to reopen Whitely’s Roy C. Buley Community Center and restore the historic Shafer Chapel; and partnering with Ball State faculty to create the award-winning “Schools within the Context of Community” teacher preparation program.

The Whitely Community Council’s Year of Color and monthly newsletter also received first-place prizes at this year’s NUSA conference.

The Year of Color, an ambitious series of public and private beautification projects consisting of painting, planting, repair, and public art installation, was awarded the first-place spot in the “Neighborhood of the Year” Physical Revitalization category. The campaign was successful in drawing positive attention to the neighborhood as well as strengthening relationships and pride among Whitely residents. Project leaders Rebecca Parker and Frank Scott presented the Year of Color to a panel of judges at the NUSA conference.

Whitely’s newsletter took home first place in the monthly newsletter category after being evaluated by a jury panel for content, layout, and overall appearance.

newsletter thumbnail
Click to view the winning newsletter

Whitely Community Council members, Muncie Action Plan’s Aimee Fant, and Building Better Neighborhoods’ Heather Williams were able to attend the conference in person through the generous support of the Ball Brothers Foundation.

“We share [these awards] with every volunteer involved and with our community partners, among them Muncie Parks Department, Muncie Delaware Clean and Beautiful, Ball State Office of Community Engagement, and the Muncie Action Plan,” said Rebecca. “Muncie is doing great things!

The community is invited to celebrate the Whitely Community Council’s success!

WCC Awards Reception
Monday, June 19
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 E Main St, Muncie)