What is the Eagle Creek Park Foundation?
The Eagle Creek Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides volunteer and financial support to Eagle Creek Park in order to promote, preserve, protect, and enhance the park for future generations to enjoy. It is not a part of the Indy Parks system, and has no authority to make or implement park policy.
Why does Eagle Creek Park need a Foundation?
Marion County provides one of the lowest levels of financial aid for park projects compared to any similar-sized city park across the country. Funds aren’t sufficient enough to provide all the enhancements necessary to keep Eagle Creek Park the jewel of Indy’s park system. Our nonprofit is able to provide support above and beyond municipal allocations through the assistance of our membership. And through the Citizens Advisory Committee, the Foundation also provides input on issues concerning the park.
How do I become a member?
Foundation membership is a minimum $35 donation per, which is tax-deductible and valid for a calendar year. Members receive the eCurrents e-newsletter (outlining updates on the park & projects), invitations to exclusive quarterly member events, and discounts with park partners like Go Ape and the Eagle Creek Outfitters. Become a member here!
Can I get an annual gate pass to the park through the Foundation?
Yes – once you join as a Foundation member, you can receive an annual gate pass to the park with every additional $50 donation. You can purchase both in a single transaction. The $50 accounts for non-Marion County residents as well, which is normally $60 when purchased through Indy Parks.
Why purchase a gate pass? How can I use it?
If you’re a frequent visitor or neighbor of the park, an annual vehicle pass will save you money throughout the year. It’s $5 per vehicle for Marion County residents to enter the park, and $6 for non-residents. The vehicle pass is a plastic scannable card that you can keep in your wallet, or upload the bar code in the mobile app called Key Ring. Every time you visit, you can carpool with up to five guests in your vehicle. You can hike or bike into the park for $3 per visit, or purchase an annual hiker/biker pass for $35 at the gate. The annual vehicle pass also works for hiking or biking into the park with up to 5 additional people.
Is there any difference between purchasing a pass from the Foundation rather than Indy Parks?
Yes – both passes function the same way concerning entrance into the park. The difference is where your money goes. The Foundation purchases enough passes from Indy Parks to get a bulk discount. So when you purchase a pass through the Foundation (of $50 value), 40% of proceeds from each sale stays with the Foundation to be used at Eagle Creek Park. But when a pass is purchased directly through Indy Parks, the entire price of a pass goes to the Indy Parks general fund. This includes pass purchases made at the two gatehouses, through Indy Parks website and at the park’s administrative office. If you choose to purchase a Foundation pass from the park office, please make sure you ask for a Foundation pass at the front desk, or ask for an Eagle Creek Park Foundation representative. Or you can simply purchase a Foundation pass online here!
Will my pass be good for an entire year?
That depends on when you get your pass. An annual pass is only good for a calendar year – from January 1 through December 31.
Is there a discount if I get a pass later in the year?
Not until after Labor Day. Then the price for both Foundation membership and passes is reduced by 50%.
When are membership/gate passes available for the following calendar year?
Both are usually available around Thanksgiving for the coming holiday season. This is a perfect time of year to give back and give a membership/gate pass gift bundle to family or friends. You can purchase these gifts and/or renew here, or call us Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
What if I lose my pass?
You can get a replacement at the park office for free. It doesn’t matter if you originally purchased through the Foundation or Indy Parks.
Is my park pass purchase considered a tax-deductible donation through the Foundation?
No – monies from park passes alone are not tax-deductible. Only Foundation membership and any other contributions are tax-deductible.
What is the Eagle Creek Park Foundation’s federal tax ID number?
General Park FAQ
- Do not feed wildlife.
- The park is open dawn to dusk, unless otherwise posted.
- Respect your surroundings – all plants, animals, and structures within the park are protected by city ordinance.
- Do not leave valuables in your car while out enjoying the park.
- Obey all posted speed limits.
- Keep dogs leashed at all times.
- Bicycle only on roadways.
- Swim only at the beach when lifeguards are present.
- Use caution when entering roadways and trails.
- Do not use boat motors greater than 10 horsepower on the reservoir.
- Alcoholic beverages, loud music, ground fires, littering, hunting/trapping, firewood gathering, off-road biking, and watercrafts of any kind in the waterfowl sanctuary are not permitted in the park at any time.
Can I go fishing at Eagle Creek Park?
Fishing is allowed in Eagle Creek Reservoir and Lilly Lake – all Indiana state fishing regulations are enforced. Please visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for more information on obtaining a fishing license and current fishing regulations.
Can I bring my boat to Eagle Creek Park?
Boats must be 8-foot minimum, 26-foot maximum, with a 10 horsepower motor limit. Small canoes and kayaks can launch from the old boat ramp at the back of the Earth Discovery Center parking lot (must be portaged down the ramp, no vehicles). There is a $3 car top boat launch fee at the gate in addition to the regular vehicle admission fee. Boats with trailers must launch from the 42nd St. boat ramp (on Dandy Trail, south of the Eagle Creek 56th Street gatehouse). There is a $5 daily launch fee, or $20 annual passes are available from the park office. Winter boat storage is also available at the park.
Is it legal to mushroom hunt and/or forage at Eagle Creek Park?
Yes, it is legal to pick mushrooms at any city park including Eagle Creek as long as they don’t come from any of the State Nature Preserves.
Are there really eagles at Eagle Creek Park?
Yes! Bald eagles are often seen flying overhead, catching fish or waterfowl in Eagle Creek Reservoir, or perched in trees along the shoreline. Generally there are one to four bald eagles in the area, although they head further south if the reservoir freezes solid in the winter. Good spots to watch for eagles include the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center, Marina, and anywhere you can get a wide view of the sky and shoreline along the reservoir.
Can I take my wedding/graduation/portrait/etc. photos at Eagle Creek Park?
Yes, as long as you are taking photos yourself for your own personal use. Professional photography sessions require a photo shoot permit, which must be obtained and paid for in advance from the park office (327.7110, open Mon-Fri).
May I fly a drone/UAV in the park?
Drones (UAV’s) are not permitted in the park, unless a permit is issued by the Director of Indy Parks. The drone permit application will need to be accompanied by a COI, Indy Parks commercial photoshoot agreement, FAA certification, and a notification to the airport.
Can I teach classes at the park?
It depends. If would like to offer a class or program to the general public and are charging a fee, you will need to check with the park office or park manager first. Most outside classes or programs require a vendor fee and approved vendor agreement with the park.
What restaurants, etc. are near the park?
You can find a number of food options in these surrounding hotspots!