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Parks History 1991-1997

1991-1997

Year

Event

1991

  • Developed SOAR Youth Scholarship Fund.
  • Zoo employees transferred to Zoo Society payroll.
  • 4th of July fireworks moved to IPFW.
  • Department hosted Indiana Parks and Recreation Association annual conference.
  • Adopt-a-Greenway program created, whereby groups agree to clean up a 2-mile section of the trail three times a year for two years. Six sections designed for adoption.

1992

  • McCulloch Center renamed Albert G. Jennings Recreation Center in honor of its long time director who passed away in 1991.
  • Last Soap Box Derby race in Fort Wayne.
  • Senior Citizens center renamed Community Center and programming open to all ages.
  • Department leased 12 acres at Johnny Appleseed Park (old Carrington Field location) to the County for the construction of Memorial Stadium in trade for 52 acres on North River Road contiguous with Maumee Park. In addition, the County provided $100,000 to help fund construction of two new ball diamonds to replace the two lost to the stadium. IPFW provided campus space for the two new diamonds. The new Carrington Field was completed in 1993.
  • New large area mowing operation implemented.

1993

  • McMillen Ice Arena renovated with funds from Park Foundation and McMillen Foundation.
  • Carrington Field constructed on IPFW ground.
  • Lakeside Pond improvements completed with $155,000 from Indiana Waters grant.
  • Foster #1 Pavilion renovated.
  • Sand volleyball court constructed in Northside Park with financial help from Northside Neighborhood Association.
  • Botanical Conservatory celebrates 10th anniversary.

1994

  • Decided to name Maumee Park after Gail Kreager and use his 1990 bequest to develop the park and establish a maintenance endowment.
  • New tournament quality lights installed at Swinney Tennis Center with funds from Park Foundation and Tennis Commission.
  • Strategic Master Plan developed for the Botanical Conservatory with funds provided by Foellinger Foundation.
  • Foellinger Theatre renovations included new seating and a new electrical system. Foellinger Foundation provided funding.
  • Lindenwood Environmental Study Area designated a state nature preserve. Name changed to Lindenwood Nature Preserve.
  • BMX track relocated from Rockhill Park to Franke Park.
  • Indonesian Exhibit opened at Children's Zoo driving summer attendance to all time high of 465,268 visitors.
  • Passed $8.9 million general obligation bond for park improvements.
  • Headwaters Park Phase I completed.
  • Kids’ Crossing Playground in Lawton Park constructed by community volunteers and funded by donations.
  • Department participated in Bicentennial Crabapple Tree project.
  • New irrigation system installed at Foster Park Golf Course.
  • Hosted USA Hockey National Pee Wee Tournament at McMillen Ice Arena.
  • Swinney Skateboard Center demolished and converted into in-line skating facility.

1995

  • Lawton Park Maintenance Office destroyed by fire.
  • Ground breaking at Kreager Park.
  • Pool renovations begun at Northside, Swinney and McMillen pools as part of bond work.
  • Orangutan Valley exhibit opened at Children's Zoo as Phase II of Indonesian Exhibit.
  • Received 186 acre Salomon Farm from Chris Salomon and his daughter, Lynn.

1996

  • The Department entered the information age with a new site on the world wide web.
  • Conservatory renovations underway with funding from Foellinger Foundation and Lincoln Life.
  • Began construction of Weisser Park Center, a $1.3 million bond funded project.
  • Headwaters Park Phase II completed.
  • Driving range constructed at Shoaff Park.
  • Franke Day Camp celebrates 50th anniversary.
  • Completed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) survey of department facilities and developed a basic transition plan.
  • Northside, Swinney and McMillen Pools underwent major renovation. New features include water slides, water play areas, sand play areas, heated water, concession areas with tables and umbrellas.
  • Department received federal Americorp grant for Kids Connection Corp program.

1997

  • Department hosted Indiana Park and Recreation Association annual conference.
  • The Botanical Conservatory's new entrance, lobby, meeting room and gift shop expansion begun in 1996 were completed. A ribbon cutting with Mayor Paul Helmke was held November 25 and a grand re-opening party was held November 26 with over 5,500 people in attendance.
  • Lakeside Rose Garden received much needed renovation including a new pergola, columns and wooden top structure, new paths, and 391 new rose bushes.
  • First annual Outdoor Adventure Challenge for boys and girls with physical disabilities was one of the year's most successful new programs.
  • The new Foster Garden Walkway was completed making the gardens more accessible to all visitors.
  • The Department celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Community Center (formerly the Senior Citizen's Center) with week long activities and events.  
  • The Indiana Power and Light Company's Golden Eagle Grant Program and NIPSCO's Environmental Grant Program provided the funding for wetland construction at Salomon Farm as part of ongoing park development.

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