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Welcome to the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department

On April 2, 2018 I took over as Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department.  I’ve been with the Department for 26 years most recently as the Deputy Director of Asset Management.  I am very excited about this opportunity to be the Department’s next Director.  We are very fortunate to be part of a community that values parks and we have a team of employees who are committed to providing excellent services and offerings to the public.

The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department's mission is to enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne by providing positive opportunities for leisure time and by being stewards of our park lands, facilities, public trees and other resources entrusted to our care. We believe we enhance the quality of life in our community and are committed to providing the best department possible.

We accomplish our mission by offering classes and programs for all ages, 86 parks of all sizes, 4 Golf Courses,5 Community Centers (McMillen, Weisser, Cooper, Jennings, and our downtown Community Center), Rivergreenway Trails, a Botanical Conservatory,3 Aquatic Centers, an Outdoor Theatre, Lindenwood, Salomon, Hurshtown, Headwaters Park & Ice Arena as well as the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and many other places to seek respite in a high tech world.

Would you like to learn more about all the different amenities the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department provides to the community? Check out the Parks Profile flyer to learn more.



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On September 1, 2016 we opened our newest park-Franklin School Park! This property was once a school and has been converted into a park. The historic arches were renovated to keep the charm of the property. A new splash pad has been added as well. Phase II is now complete which includes the new David Hefner Pavilion. This pavilion can be reserved now for 2018 rentals. Read more about the project and all of the neighborhood advocates and community leaders that came together to make this project a reality.

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The Parks & Recreation Department is honored to be leading phase one of the riverfront development project in the City of Fort Wayne which includes Promenade Park. Promenade Park is just the beginning of Riverfront Development.  As we continue to work on the next phases, this will be an outstanding transformation for our city, the region and our citizens.  The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department is managing the process and overseeing the buildout of the initial project.

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A ground breaking was held in June of 2017 for Promenade Park.  Current work includes construction of the Park Foundation pavilion.  Over the next several weeks sheet pile will be installed along the riverbanks for stabilization.  This process is necessary before docks can be built along the north and south banks.   If you are interested in finding out more about Promenade Park including about the chosen sculpture, park history, upcoming events, time lapse photography, donation information and much more, check out the Promenade Park page.  

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Our 2018 Foellinger Theatre season, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, was just announced. We have an outstanding entertainment line- up including the Little River Band, Grand Funk Railroad, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone as well as our popular staples of tribute bands, movies, local entertainment and more.  For a complete list or to purchase tickets, check out the Theatre link: 2018 Foellinger Theatre season

Recently we started a new program called Unwind Your Mind to offer activities for those in our community with signs of early dementia. Check out the link to learn more and watch this new program GROW.

Do you like to travel? Come with us for a Day or Extended Trip! Check out the complete list of trips and pack your bags!!

If you are looking for something a little different, check out the McMillen Park Community Center! Since it opened on June 7th, 2014 business has been booming. Activities are offered for all ages. Check it out at:McMillen Park Community Center.

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Have you visited "Taylor's Dream Boundless Playground" in Kreager Park. If not, round up all the kids in your family and head out for a day of exploring this wonderful playground where all kids can participate and enjoy the many features of this very unique facility. Check out the Boundless Playground link for more information.

What about trying a new sport? What about Pickleball? It is often compared to badminton, ping pong and tennis, with its own set of rules. Head out to Lions Park or to McMillen Park Community Center and give this new sport a try!! Check out the Pickleball link for further information.

Speaking of new sports...have you heard about  FootGolf? We opened a 9 hole course at Mad Anthony III's in 2015! Perhaps Futsal at Packard Park (an exciting, fast-paced small sided soccer game played on a hard court) sounds intriguing or trying the new Frisbee Golf Course at Tillman Park?  Both Futsal and the Frisbee Golf Course at Tillman are scheduled to be open this summer!

If you love to be outside to walk, run, bike or skate, check out the numerous trails including the Rivergreenway!  Rivergreenway Trails start north at Shoaff Park and head south to Tillman.  There is also an East/West trail from Kreager Park to the confluence.  Learn more about the Rivergreenway Trails


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Do you enjoy everything floral?  Fort Wayne Parks floral gardens have been a destination for over 80 years.  Unique and colorful displays are found at four major gardens and smaller garden locations.  Lakeside Garden at Lakeside Park is a formal setting featuring roses, Foster Gardens at Foster Park is a show-stopping mix of annuals, perennials, and flowering trees.  Freimann Square offers a site for relaxation downtown among beautiful flowers and a spectacular fountain.  The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, also located downtown, offers a year-round respite in the indoor gardens with 4 unique displays and 4 floral changes in the Showcase Garden, a jungle experience in the Tropical Garden, and a trip in the desert in the Arid House.  The Botanical Conservatory also offers numerous Special Events, classes and a widely popular Summer Day Camp!

Looking for even more to do? Especially outside? Check out the link Meet Me at the Park for additional ideas.

The Fort Wayne Park & Recreation Department partnered with Google Maps and the Indiana Park & Recreation Association to provide panoramic images that are now available for everyone to enjoy on Google Maps.  You can now explore your local parks in person and on-line. Check out how the Google Trekker works by viewing Lawton Park!

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We are proud to announce that the City continues to invest in the Parks & Recreation Department, with additional funding slated for 2018! In 2018, look for a restroom building, new playground and campground improvements at Johnny Appleseed Park, completion of the Learning Center addition (more than doubled in space) including a teaching kitchen and Homestead Restoration (allowing for main floor rentals) and paving the parking lot at Salomon Farm Park, a restroom facility and open air shelter at Shoaff, several new playgrounds, exercise stations at Kreager, and many more improvements.  Check out our Invest link  to see photos and information on some of our planned and recently completed projects.

To keep all these parks & facilities looking fresh and operating smoothly takes a tremendous support team. I am so thankful for the dedication our team commits to making your Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation the best it can possibly be. Speaking of our staff, if there is a specific staff person that you would like to nominate, complete the  "Caught in the Act"  form and submit to us!

Are you curious about the work at Foster Park? The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department is cooperating with City Utilities in City Parks with the main visible work being done at Foster Park. This work is part of the Tunnel Works Program representing a major part of Fort Wayne's efforts to implement the 2008 Long-Term Control Plan and associated Consent Decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The premier project - the deep rock tunnel - will be constructed in the bedrock deep below the city. The tunnel will collect and transport sewage from the combined sewer system to the sewage treatment plant. This sewage would otherwise discharge (overflow) into the rivers when it rains. For more information, please refer to the project’s website at http://fortwaynetunnel.org

If you are ready to see what we have to offer, you can Register or view an on-line copy of the Current Fun Times.

Once you have explored the parks and recreational areas, let us know how we are doing. Your feedback is very important to us. Please complete our on-line survey. Our overall customer service rating continues to run over 90%!!

We take great pride in striving to be one of the best Park & Recreation Department's in the nation. Check back often and see what new and cool things we have in store for you.

Steve McDaniel, Director
705 E. State Blvd.
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
Phone (260) 427-6000
FAX (260) 427-6020

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