The Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation (MFCDC) ensures that Mapleton-Fall Creek and the surrounding neighborhoods have affordable housing, healthy options, quality education, safer streets, a connected community, equality for all, and economic growth.
Conveniently located between Broad Ripple and downtown Indianapolis, neighborhood residents have easy access to the best of the city. The Fall Creek and Monon trails make it easy to stay fit or commute by bike, and three pocket parks invite neighbors to relax outside.
The Indiana State Fairgrounds, which hosts more than 300 events every year, lies at the northeast corner of Mapleton-Fall Creek. The area also has active faith-based and community associations, as well as more than 230 small businesses and organizations.
Families have a wide variety of nearby educational choices, including public, private, and charter schools. And, all Mapleton-Fall Creek residents are eligible for free membership at The Children’s Museum.
With all of this working in the area’s favor, what challenges does it face? How can Leigh Riley Evans, CEO of MFCDC, and her excellent team, working with limited resources, address the community’s immediate needs while striving for the greater vision outlined in the Mid-North Quality of Life Plan?
Working together, our in-depth research (community focus groups, an e-survey, interviews with funders, and guided neighborhood tours) revealed the following challenges.
Mapleton-Fall Creek is misunderstood. Many non-residents are unclear about where Mapleton-Fall Creek begins and ends, geographically. With no distinguished entryways, few commercial amenities within the borders (though more are coming), and fast-moving traffic on College, Central, Meridian, and other pass-through “highways,” people, for the most part, only glimpse the area.
It changes block-by-block. When walking through the neighborhood, expect each block to be different than the last—and the next—in nearly every way: age, family type, income, state of repair or renovation, crime rate, etc. Looking at architecture alone, you see everything from 100-year-old mansions and single-family homes to newly built apartments and empty lots. MFCDC serves six neighborhoods, and with four neighborhood associations, numerous schools, and six places of worship, there’s a place for every lifestyle—and every walk of life. (Not to mention a strong pride and passion among neighbors.)
We asked ourselves, “How can branding and marketing help with these challenges?” and “How can it be part of the solution in Mapleton-Fall Creek?”
Focus on Families. With its combination of urban pace and suburban space—large homes with big yards—and its proximity to museums, the Indiana State Fair, trails, pocket parks, and schools, Mapleton-Fall Creek is an affordable, convenient, and charming option for families.
Welcome all Families. Mapleton-Fall Creek is a home for all families. A family is a couple with two puppies. A family is a grandparent raising grandchildren. Families have two dads, two moms, mixed races, multiple languages—the list goes on. Families often struggle to make ends meet, but want to own a home and be part of a great neighborhood.
Make it Clean + Easy. Create a visual brand, messaging, website, and materials for MFCDC that are clean, calm, and inviting. Simplify the message and the process. Help homeowners envision the future (and their future) in Mapleton-Fall Creek. Help them take the first step.
With this strategic focus, Pivot set out to work on a new brand and communications for Mapleton-Fall Creek. This included a new identity suite, email campaign, annual report, illustrated service area map, and a fully responsive website that launched earlier this year.
New Funding + Residents. Mapleton-Fall Creek and the surrounding Mid-North neighborhoods—Watson Park, Meridian Park, Crown Hill, Highland Vicinity, and Meridian Highland—continue to see increased support from funders and interest from new residents.
Up Next: Improved Access, Beauty, and Connectivity. A new signature project, Destination Fall Creek, is underway and will redesign streets, crosswalks, and traffic patterns to make transportation safer and more convenient for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. The effort will transform the Mid-North’s Fall Creek Greenway, Monon Trail access, the Delaware Street intersection, and Meridian Street Corridor.