Director's Page 2019
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.
2019 was an extremely special year highlighted by the opening up of Promenade Park! I'd like to share with you pictures and information on several of our 2019 highlights. Be sure to check out some of our major inititatives for 2020 too! As always, if you want to contact me further, please reach out.
Steve McDaniel, Director
705 E. State Blvd.
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
Phone (260) 427-6000
FAX (260) 427-6020
If you were part of the Grand Opening of Promenade Park on August 9-11, 2019, you witnessed a historical moment in the life of Fort Wayne! We came together as one community celebrating arts and culture (Friday), recreation (Saturday) and nature (Sunday)! We were so impressed by the number of people that "showed up" to be part of this celebration! I am personally so thankful for everyone that made this weekend so special!
I wanted to share a few photos from Saturday and our Park Paddlers Dragon Boat Team. Although we didn't come in first place we had an awesome time competing and looking forward to 2020 when we will be even stronger!
Now that we cut the ribbon and opened Promenade Park the public is asking when will Phases II and III of Riverfront be ready to enjoy?
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.
Phases II and III of the Riverfront development involve creating an exciting and vibrant district called Riverfront Fort Wayne. The public spaces for these phases will be pathways or connections accessible to all residents and visitors so they can enjoy the riverfront and the shops, businesses and housing that will be located there. If you would like to learn more about What's Next for Riverfront Fort Wayne? You can find out about the master planning process at plan.riverfrontfw.org.
Learn more about the Riverfront.
Mayor Tom Henry and l officially unveiled the first piece of Promenade Park to the public on July 26, 2019. “Convergence, Linda Howard, 2018, presented by the Waterfield Foundation” sits on the southeast corner of Promenade Park, near the intersection of Superior and Harrison streets. Mayor Henry and McDaniel shared their excitement for the sculpture, especially as it means the opening of the first phase of Riverfront Fort Wayne is getting closer. Read more...
As 2019 comes quickly to a close we rounded off our year with an "Investing in our Future: Commitment to Maintain & Improve Parks" Press Conference. In addition to opening Promenade Park, we worked on over $3 million in capital improvement projects in a variety of parks. Learn more on the Invest link.
We are so grateful that Conjure Coffee cafe' has now opened up a shop inside the Botanical Conservatory! I was honored to assist with cutting the ribbon. Read more...
The Community Center held Santa's Workshop during the Night of Lights (Nov. 27). At 6:05 pm we had a Rooftop Lighting Ceremony and I had an opportunity to meet & greet those that braved the elements to come out and have some FREE fun!
In November I was honored to speak at the Veterans' Breakfast & Bingo held at the Community Center where we honored over 100 men and women and their families who have served our country in the military with a FREE breakfast and bingo. American Legion Band of Fort Wayne provided live music and American Legion Post 241 Honor Guard provided the presentation of the Flags.
Recently we announced our 2019 Concert Series. We are very excited about the great acts we brought to Fort Wayne this summer.
Go to the Foellinger Theatre link for additional details next spring about future line ups.
Mayor Tom Henry and I along with Rebecca Canales, Botanical Conservatory Director (left) and Kelly Updike, Embassy Theatre President cut the vine on October 17, 2019 to officially open the new Conservatory Connector!
The $552,000 project links the Conservatory to the lower level of the Embassy Theatre, the Grand Wayne Center, the Fort Wayne Hilton, and other downtown destinations.
This has been a project we’ve been trying to make happen for several years. The Botanical Conservatory draws thousands of visitors during the entire year and this project now allows everyone to visit without having to brave the elements. We are extremely appreciative of the donors and our project team that has finally made the Connector a reality. Read more...
Lifetime Sports Academy Awards
I am excited to share photos from the 2019 Lifetime Sports Academy Awards. Each year, the Parks and Recreation Department provides certified coaching and highly trained professionals who direct lessons in swimming, tennis and golf. Offering instruction in three sports has been a successful formula throughout the years.
Check out the Press Release regarding the Lifetime Sports Academy Awards.
The 73rd Annual Big Pow Wow was held recently in Franke Park. I was honored to be in attendance and welcome the campers, parents, volunteers and staff that make this program possible.
Since its inception in 1946, Franke Park Day Camp has provided unforgettable childhood experiences for thousands of Fort Wayne area youth. With its strong emphasis on nature education, basic camping skills and Native American lore, this popular camp provides an environment which fosters cooperation, problem solving and socialization as well as the dirty, muddy, outdoor fun kids of all ages enjoy!
I am very excited about the Connector project. The above picture is from the "ground breaking" that took place. We had to be flexible with our "ground breaking" due to the RAIN we received that day. And that is just the point, when the Connector is open (approximately in late October) visitors to the city will be able to travel inside from several destinations safely without being inconvenienced by the weather. Read more...
Recently we kicked off the 41st Annual Senior Games! We reached our goal of over 500 participants this year.
Salomon Farm Homestead Opening Ceremony
It was a great priviledge to be part of the Salomon Farm Homestead Opening Ceremony! Many thanks to the generous community support that made this possible. Check out the NEW Salomon Farm Homestead link for additional information on how you can rent this space or tour the Homestead during a special event.
Enjoy the new look of the front of the Salomon Farm Homestead.
The new look of the back of the Homestead.
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.