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We are so happy to announce the Grand Opening of Riverfront 2A!  This section allows for the public to connect to Headwaters Park (south side of the river) and Promenade Park.  Read more....

 

Welcome to the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department 

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.

As I look forward to 2023, below are some of the projects:

Completion of the 2023-2028 Master Plan  (Check out the link to learn more!)
Transition of the Headwaters operation to Parks
Work on the Compehensive Plan and seek public input
The opening of the Buckner Trail
Franke Renaissance Groundbreaking
The opening of Riverfront 2 A
The official opening of Foster #3
And so much MORE!


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McKinnie Commons Lighting Ceremony

What a delightul night celebrating Unity in our Community with around 200 people!  We are thankful for all those that helped us celebrate a new holiday tradition in southeast Fort Wayne as the Unity display was lighted, refreshments were sampled and live music and entertainment was enjoyed by all! We truly were inspired by this collaborative effort!  Learn more about this event and others as they are planned by checking out the McKinnie Commons link!


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Thank you to the Community for celebrating at the 70th Annual Wassail at Jennings Center!  It was a delightful evening of music, poetry, traditions and celebrations!  I enjoyed every minute!  


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Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department was honored at the IPRA Awards of Excellence ceremony as a part of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association conference 

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel accepted the Outstanding Agency Award for 2022 on behalf of the Department. The award identifies an exceptional IPRA agency which shows involvement and significant contributions to the parks and recreation field. 

Every year I’m blown away by the accomplishments of our staff”.  In 2022, the year this award marks, we were able to add 30 new pickleball courts, celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Franke Park Day Camp, restore Pavilion Three in Foster Park and the historic Wells Street Bridge and earn the 32nd consecutive Tree City USA Award among many other improvements. We have a passionate and talented staff, and I thank the IPRA for this honor and recognition.

Read more about the IPRA Outstanding Agency Award.....




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Weisser Park Elementary School Students and Fort Wayne Parks Team-up
to Install City’s Newest Disc Golf Course

Nine-hole Course Offers Youth and Residents New Amenity 

Parks and Recreation staff and Weisser Park Elementary School dedicated the city’s newest Disc Golf Course at Weisser Park. The nine-hole course is a collaboration with students, the Fort Disc Golf Club and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation and offers a variety of levels of play from easy to more challenging.  Read more....

 

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Mary Stockman-Wagner and Josh Ogle joined me in announcing Active Aging Week (October 2-6)!  This is a great opportunity for people 50+ in our community to try new activities for FREE.  Please pre-register two days in advance at 260-427-6460.  Read more....


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Mayor Henry Leads Riverfront IIB Groundbreaking Celebration

September 20, 2023 - Progress along Fort Wayne’s riverfront continues as Mayor Tom Henry today joined the City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division, Parks and Recreation Department, and community leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on Riverfront Phase IIb Public Open Space. Read more....

 

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Pictured above: David Bennett, Foellinger Foundation Interim President and CEO with Steve McDaniel, Director of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department


$1,000,000 65th Anniversary Grant Awarded to Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation


Read more about this generous gift from the Foellinger Foundation to the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department for the Foellinger Theatre and  the Foellinger Freimann Botanical Conservatory. 



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On August 16, 2023 we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Bowser Park.  Read more about this special occasion!  Check out the other 25 Legacy Parks too.


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We celebrated Dragon Boat Races at Promenade Park on August 4 & 5th.  Around 5,000 people joined us for the two days to learn more about Dragon Boat Racing, take part in family friendly activities provided by the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family, watch traditional Chinese performances, listen to music by "We are CheckMark", enjoy floating fire pits on the St. Marys River featuring Fire Dancers, participate in Tai Chi, or especially to compete in the 2023 Races!  We are so thankful for the 11 teams that competed this year as well as the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family Association and McDonalds Owners/Operators of Greater Indiana and Southwest Michigan for making this event possible.   


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We wrapped up the 25th season of the Lifetime Sports Academy on July 21st.  More than 850 participants in 2023 and over 31,300 since its inception, developed skills in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming. Group lessons were offered to boys and girls, ages 7 to 18 for seven weeks in June and July. Lessons focused on skill development.  Make sure you READ MORE....and make plans to participate in 2024!


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On July 26th we marked the 75th Anniversary of the Jennings Recreation Center at a press conference  in the morning with Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel, Jennings Center Advisory Board Member Rev. Willie Gilbert, neighbors and public officials. Later that evening we had a community wide event full of activities for all ages!  Read more about the 75th Celebration!



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We are excited to announce additions to Buckner Park including a new walking trail! Read more....


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Time to celebrate the start of the Franke Park Renaissance project!  This project will be completed in 2024.  Read more.... 



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McKinney Commons opened to the public on June 28!  We love this new space and hope you will visit it soon!  Read more...


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I was honored on June 5 to help kick off the 44th Annual Senior Games!  Deputy Mayor, Karl Bandemer and myself challenged the 2022 overall winners-Darla Davis and Joe Sowder to a friendly darts competion.  Senior Games runs into July....and it is not too late to enter!   Read more....


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Fort Wayne Parks Deputy Director of Recreation Chuck Reddinger and TinCaps Team President Mike Nutter unveiled two new monuments at Memorial Park, the Daisies team’s home field from 1946-1954. The monuments were unveiled on June 3rd.

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This collaboration of the TinCaps and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation began with a dream in early 2022 to honor the individuals who wore the Fort Wayne Daisies uniform with distinction. After fundraising and planning, the monuments are now situated above and south of the baseball field.  Read more....


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We are so excited about the 2023 Sweet Breeze season! Learn more about our Sweet Breeze tours and book your trip today!


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We celebrated the official opening of Foster #3 pavilion on April 24, 2023. Pictured above left to right: Ed Welling, President of Friends of the Parks of Allen County, Mayor Tom Henry, Steve McDaniel, Director and Denny Coverstone, Chair of the SW Area Partnership. Read more about the Foster #3 restoration


IMG 2833 2023 Arbor Day

Mayor Tom Henry joined Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel and Superintendent of Urban Forestry Derek Veit and other tree enthusiasts to celebrate Arbor Day. The National Arbor Day Foundation has awarded the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department with its 33rd consecutive Tree City USA designation.  Read more....

   

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I recently sat down with Derek Veit, City Forester, to discuss the benefits of trees!  Feel free to listen in to the Podcast and learn more!

 

Unwind Your Mind  is a relatively new initiative 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.  We will be offering a Sensory Room in the near future too!

Do you like to travel? Come with us for an  Extended Trip! Check out the complete list of trips and pack your bags!! We will be offering Day Trips in the future.

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.

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.  In addition to the splashpad in Kreager Park you can enjoy splashpads in nine other parks!  Check out more about the splashpads or if you are looking for even more water fun...hit the pools this summer!

 

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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 McMillen Park Community Center and give this sport a try!! Check out the Pickleball link to learn more about the numerous places to play pickleball outside too when the weather permits!

Perhaps FootGolf, Futsal or Frisbee Golf are more your speed? We offer a 9 hole FootGolf course at Mad Anthony III's in McMillen Park, Futsal is available at Packard Park (an exciting, fast-paced small sided soccer game played on a hard court), and additional Frisbee Golf Courses are available at Tillman Park or at Bob Arnold Northside Park (Frisbee golf courses also available at Swinney and Shoaff Parks).  

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

Are you looking for new places to work out that are FREE?  Besides the usual places in the parks, we have outdoor fitness parks at Kreager and at the the Community Center!  You can drop in and use this equipment free of charge!  



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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 more!

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Want something to do? Especially outside? Check out the link Meet Me at the Park for additional ideas.


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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!

Recently we asked for the Community to step up and assist us with the Comprehensive Survey.  We are pleased to announce the results of the survey that were presented at the Board of Park Commissioners meeting on June 11,2020.  This very positive report will assist us in the years to come as we plan for the future. The Comprehensive Survey is now available to be viewed on-line.

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%!!

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We are striving to be one of the best Park & Recreation Department's in the nation. 

If you have ideas you would like to share, feel free to reach out to me. 

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

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