Please check out all of our Youth Centers:
During this COVID-19 outbreak there are various places that have stepped up to help our community with meals. The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department is currently offering the meal program at one site only-McMillen Park Community Center from 4-5 pm Monday-Friday. For additional locations offering meals to the community during this time please see the Meal Program list.
At the 2020 IPRA Conference several of our staff presented, "Building Bridges with Youth and Partner Officers". The session was well received.
The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department’s Partner Officer Program received the 2018 Innovative Program Award during the 2019 Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) Conference in French Lick.
The Partner Officer Program began in the three Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation youth centers in January 2018. Uniformed, off-duty Fort Wayne police officers work at the three Youth Centers to play with, help, and serve kids who spend their afternoons there. In local schools they are called Resource Officers, and in Youth Centers, these Partner Officers are becoming regular fixtures, with center participants knowing them as the great people they are—not just uniforms they only see at crime scenes.
Learn more about the Partner Officer Program
After-School Time FUN!
The Parks and Recreation Department's three community youth centers offer a safe, fun environment for after-school hours. School age youth are encouraged to do homework, play, and enjoy a nourishing evening meal. All programming is FREE!
The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department invests in our children by serving an average of 100,000 free, healthy-afterschool snacks and meals at the 4 Youth Centers, the free summer playground programs and at special events.
Join our team!
Recreation Leaders engage and interact with youth, lead games, and provide guidance and mentoring at three community centers and in our Summer Playground program. Must be 18 or older, meet all qualifications and pass a background check and drug test.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
Winner of the 2018 Out-of-School Time Champion Award
Among many programs and events that we host for our community to come out, engage, learn and break bread with us the newest and most impactful for our community, families and youth is our Community Unity Night Event. This event came about due to the unfortunate death of a young adult on our property during the time we had youth in the building. We had staff that did not want to talk to the officers. We found this to be due to (negative) experiences they had personally had or seen their family members have with the police or events they heard of. Our event brings our police department together with the community in a open non-threatening engaging environment.
Though our event is older teens and adults in the community, we know this reaches our youth because in order for them to change, it has to start at home.It gives the community an opportunity to ask questions of the officers and receive general information which can help them learn and understand more about the job of an officer and why they have to take some of the actions that they do. This program opened the doors for more productive communication between those in the community and officers, it set a precedence that we are working to unite and be the positive influencer for the good of our community but especially our youth.
We now have a partner officer program which allows for us to have 1 officer in the center with the youth, to engage and be a part of their activities. The youth get to build a genuine relationships with the officers through play and learning. The program we have established is small but it is building bridges and given insight to those that need to work together, be there for each other and trust one another- families and our police department.