Katie serves as the Community Investment and Grants Officer at the Hancock County Community Foundation, where she oversees grantmaking from discretionary resources and nonprofit support programming. She’s a Hancock County native and is actively involved in several community organizations. Katie and her husband, Matt, also recently became foster parents.
Greenfield, Indiana, is a rural city that celebrates history and embraces progress.
Photo courtesy of Brenda Wolski
Finding the right home is all about finding a place that speaks to you. For me, that’s Greenfield—a place that balances big-city opportunities with comfortable rural living.
I love living in Greenfield because it’s the perfect middle ground between the vibrant city of Indianapolis and the peaceful countryside of Hancock County. Our location makes it especially easy to access Indy’s best restaurants, museums, and attractions. Thanks to I-70, we’re only a short 20-minute drive from Downtown Indianapolis, and both US 40 and State Road 9 cross in the heart of Greenfield.
But you don’t need to leave town to have a good time! Greenfield has plenty of amenities to call our own. While our agricultural heritage remains strong, our city is growing every year. You can explore our winding trail system, visit an award-winning chocolatier, tour our local art gallery, and so much more.
With great schools, beautiful parks, and caring neighbors, Greenfield truly is a city made for families. In fact, I grew up right here in Hancock County! My childhood home was in Fortville, just north of here, and my family moved down to Greenfield when I was in third grade. Now, I’m proud to have a family of my own in the city that I love.
The philanthropic and neighborly spirit is strong in Greenfield.
Here in Greenfield, one of our greatest strengths is our community. The people who live here are so kind, caring, and giving—and that spirit shines through in times of need. As part of the Hancock County Community Foundation, I’m fortunate to see firsthand just how generous our community is.
I remember one instance when everyone worked together to help the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen. The kitchen only had 30 days to install more than $30,000 of new equipment to remain compliant with fire codes—or they would be shut down. They put a desperate plea on Facebook for help raising the money. And within days, our community stepped up to ensure no one in Greenfield would go without a hot meal.
Examples like these are plentiful, and they demonstrate the genuine community spirit that exists here in Greenfield. People who move here often say that this stands out, and they deeply appreciate the caring nature of our neighborhood. It’s an amazing feeling to live in a place where you’re surrounded by such kindness!
Want a taste of history? The 1906 Greenfield Grain Elevator was recently renovated into a restaurant called The Depot.
Greenfield is the hometown of Olympic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps. She was a member of the 1996 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team: the Magnificent Seven.
Each year, Greenfield hosts The Riley Festival, a four-day celebration honoring poet James Whitcomb Riley. The event is Indiana’s largest four-day festival!
Greenfield is a family-oriented community.
As I said earlier, Greenfield is the perfect place to raise a family. For one, the Greenfield-Central Community Schools are top-notch. I graduated from Greenfield-Central High School in 2008, and my experience there was phenomenal. I truly value the education and opportunities the school afforded me, and our schools have only grown over the past decade.
Our high school offers a variety of specialized academic tracks, including Project Lead the Way biomedical and engineering programs, construction technology classes, and dual credit options. For extracurriculars, students can choose from nearly 20 athletic opportunities, as well as theater, art, and music programs like our award-winning marching band. There are also plenty of recreational sports and activities for kids throughout the city.
One of Greenfield’s top family-friendly favorites is Tuttle Orchards. Tuttle is a haven of activity year-round, but it’s an especially popular destination in the fall. People come from miles around to taste one of their legendary apple cider slushies! So, whether your kiddos are picking apples or going for a hayride, Tuttle Orchards is fun for the whole family.
Over the years, my husband has fallen in love with Greenfield as much as I have! He’s enjoyed making friends and getting involved in this community, and he currently volunteers at a nonprofit organization called The Landing—a safe place where teens can build relationships and support each other. Greenfield has several organizations like The Landing, which help create an inclusive, welcoming community for people of all ages.
Greenfield is the birthplace of one of America’s most famous writers.
James Whitcomb Riley is best known for his poetry, which became the inspiration behind Raggedy Ann and the musical Annie. But according to Matt McKinney for WRTV, “James Whitcomb Riley was so much more than a poet to Indiana. He was an ambassador for the state, somebody who helped put Indiana on the map in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.” He even sold out Madison Square Garden in a comedy show with Mark Twain!
So, it’s no surprise that his legacy is woven throughout Greenfield. Our pinnacle park is called Riley Park, which features everything from playgrounds to tennis courts. Residents love to hang out in the skate park, swim around the public pool, and play basketball in the summer. And in the wintertime, families flock to Riley Park for one of the region’s most epic sledding hills!
If you’re a history buff, you can travel back in time at Riley’s Boyhood Home and Museum on Main Street. They host many year-round events, including a Jack-o’-lantern Trail in October. There’s even a decorative pack of goblins with glowing green eyes that adorn the roof of the museum. After all, you may be familiar with the popular refrain from Riley’s poem “Little Orphant Annie”—the goblins will get you if you don’t watch out!
Finally, Greenfield hosts the annual Riley Festival, one of Indiana’s largest craft festivals! Every October, we celebrate Riley’s birthday with four days of art shows, food trucks, live music, and poetry readings. These vendors gather around our 100-year-old courthouse and watch as students place bouquets around Riley’s statue in the Parade of Flowers.
Our arts and culture scene is growing and thriving.
You don’t have to wait for the Riley Festival to experience our local art scene here in Greenfield! Whether you love music or literature, there are great opportunities to enjoy our culture and introduce your kids to the arts.
In the heart of downtown, Greenfield boasts a beautiful art gallery with rotating exhibits that feature local artists. Hancock County Arts also frequently offers workshops that are open to people of all ages. So, everyone from beginners to experts can learn a new skill and start making art of their own!
You can also catch a variety of live performances at The H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts on Main Street. This historic theater used to show first-run movies, but it’s now home to several local theater troupes and community events like film festivals and music concerts.
In the last few years, Greenfield has also added several new murals across town. One features James Whitcomb Riley. Another depicts a scene from one of his poems, and one even pays homage to our agricultural roots. These artworks add a wonderful vibrancy to our downtown, which makes every outing a fun experience!
- Greenfield-Central Community Schools
- Community School Corporation of Eastern Hancock County
- St. Michael Catholic School
- Griggsby’s Station
- Leo’s Market and Eatery
- Hitherto Coffee and Gaming Parlour
- Greenfield Chocolates
- Francis & Fern Boutique
- H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts
- James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home & Museum
- Pennsy Trail
- 40 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
- 45 Minute Drive
- Rover’s Run Bark Park
You can easily find good food and delicious drinks in Greenfield.
No matter what cuisine and atmosphere you’re looking for, Greenfield boasts a variety of restaurants for you to try. If you’re looking for international cuisine, you can enjoy Thai food at Zapp Thai, Mexican at Don Rigo, Italian at Tour of Italy, and even Greek at Costa’s Grill.
But if you’re craving classic American dining, I recommend checking out The Mug for burgers, tenderloins, hot dogs, and fries. The Mug is located in a former A&W Root Beer stand, balancing a traditional drive-in feel with a contemporary farm-to-curb menu. They source their meat from local farmers and offer some mouth-watering ice cream and “slow food” meals (as opposed to fast food!)
For craft beer lovers, you can’t miss Wooden Bear Brewery. They offer seven flagship beers and a revolving mix of interesting and seasonal selections. (My personal favorite is the Cougar Town Brown!) And you can always pair your brew with a delicious pizza pie from Greek’s Pizzeria. Wooden Bear Brewery is also casual and kid-friendly, so chances are that you’ll bump into someone you know for an impromptu conversation!
And for more upscale dining, I highly recommend a night at Carnegie’s. Located in the basement of an old Carnegie library, the restaurant’s atmosphere is warm and intimate. They specialize in hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and locally-sourced vegetables prepared with a northern Italian flair. If you stop by, make sure you don’t miss their delicious cream of roasted red bell pepper soup!
Greenfield is promoting wellness to build a healthy community.
I just listed a lot of places where you can indulge in a good meal, but Greenfield is also becoming more proactive about our community’s overall health and wellness.
In 2016, the Hancock Regional Hospital founded Healthy365, a population health department to support our community’s needs. Their mission is to promote health, happiness, and wholeness in Hancock County. They are a unique asset in our community, offering everything from spiritual wellness support, to mental health resources, to their annual 50-mile biking event!
After all, Greenfield has several miles of paved trails that are perfect for bike riding. Altogether, the city maintains nearly 400 acres of parks with beautiful walking paths, recreational amenities, and community facilities.
The Pennsy Trail system is also part of the National Road Heritage Trail—Indiana’s first cross-state multi-use trail project. The trail will eventually cover 150 miles from Terre Haute to Richmond, repurposing old rail corridors along the way. This trail runs right through downtown Greenfield and provides easy access to amenities across the city.
Photo courtesy of Hancock Flat 50, presented by Healthy365
There is so much to be proud of and excited for in Greenfield!
From our parks to our people, Greenfield is a ‘Stellar’ community—and I mean that literally! Greenfield has been officially designated as a Regional Stellar Community by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Basically, this designation will lead to millions in investment across the region, and work is already underway on new community projects.
One project they’re working on is Depot Street Park. This park will feature public art and an outdoor amphitheater right along the Pennsy Trail, and I can’t wait to catch a live music performance on the new stage! They’re also developing the Riley Literary Trail, which will incorporate art, culture, and literature in several historical sites throughout Greenfield.
These projects help get us excited for the future of our home, and there’s already so much that I love about living in Greenfield!
I love our community’s innovative spirit, as we volunteer and work together to build our city. I love going to church and taking walks along the Pennsy Trail with my dog Alice. And I love the charming juxtaposition of suburban and rural identities in the same city. I feel so lucky that I grew up here in Greenfield—and now, I’m honored to raise my own family in my beloved hometown.
With so much to love, I invite you to come visit and discover what Greenfield could mean for you!