• Greg Purcell resigned as director of Parks and Recreation in January. Phil Bennett acted as interim director until Mayor Graham Richard appointed Dianne Hoover in September.
  • New donor plaza constructed just inside the front gates of the zoo to recognize donors to the "Heart of the Zoo" fund-raising campaign.
  • After 10 years of hard work and patience, the zoo welcomed the first European black stork ever hatched in North America.
  • Conservatory improvements funded by the Foellinger Foundation in 1996 were completed with the installation of "The Underground" hands-on exhibit and the development of Conservatory Park.
  • New walking/jogging trail developed in Gren Park.
  • City ordinance revised to allow unleashed dogs inside the confines of the dog park (when it is built.)
  • A second flume slide installed at Northside Aquatic Center.
  • After two years of controversy, litigation and alternative proposals, construction of the expanded Franke Park parking lot finally commenced in October.
  • Kreager barn renovation completed
  • Dennis Noak, Superintendent of Conservatory and Horticulture, retired after 33½ years with the Department.
  • Rivergreenway additions constructed in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers diking project were completed. The trail is now open from Johnny Appleseed Park to Tillman Park and from State Blvd. (east side of St. Joseph River) to Pemberton Ave. (along the Maumee River.)
  • Seldom used ball diamond in Foster Park West is removed and the area dedicated for a proposed dog park.
  • New state law limits liability for extreme sports injuries.
  • Salomon Farm Learning Center is completed.
  • Mayor Graham Richard commits $5 million of CEDIT funds for parks if the community can match it.
  • New 9-hole golf course in McMillen Park was completed in late fall as part of the Lifetime Sports Academy. Construction of the $175,000 course was funded by the Mad Anthony’s. Weather and turf conditions delayed the opening until the spring of 2003.
  • New basketball court complex constructed in McMillen Park with contributions from City Council CEDIT funds and local foundations.
  • New wheelchair accessible playground installed in Lakeside Park through efforts and participation of the neighborhood association.
  • Plans developed for a sprayground and memorial to local civil servants who die while in the line of duty. Efforts were initiated by City Council member, Dr. John Crawford, who raised over $500,000 for the project. The sprayground was completed in November.
  • Rea Magnet Wire offers to donate land along Pontiac Street contiguous with the southern end of McCormick Park and agrees to establish a maintenance endowment.
  • The Olympic Torch for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics was relayed through Fort Wayne on January 3. A community celebration was held in Headwaters Park after the flame completed its route through the city.
  • Indiana Family Farm exhibit opens at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
  • Franke Park parking lot expansion is completed, adding approximately 600 new spaces for park and zoo visitors.
  • New sprayground opens in Memorial Park in June and quickly becomes very popular.
  • Civil Servants memorial wall in Memorial Park is completed and dedicated along with the sprayground in late October.
  • Community Center celebrates 25th anniversary.
  • New playground installed in Franke Park in conjunction with parking lot improvements.
  • Acquired 53 acres of property contiguous to Buckner Park allowing for future access off Bass Rd. Funding for the purchase was provided through a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.
  • Salomon Farm Camp introduced and sells out in its first year.
  • The Rivergreenway Consortium (a group formed in the late 1970s to promote the Rivergreenway development) changes its name to the Greenway Consortium and expands its focus to trails beyond the rivers. The Consortium presented a Greenway extension plan to the Park Board.
  • Department undertakes a comprehensive strategic planning process.
  • Mad Anthonys Threes 9-hole golf course learning center opens for play.
  • A new office/learning center at Lindenwood Nature Preserve was constructed to replace the building destroyed by arson in the spring of 2002.
  • Pawster Park Pooch Playground construction completed. The facility was dedicated and opened for public use in May.
  • Rea Park development completed. The new park was dedicated on July 22.
  • Foster Park sustained major damage in the flood of July 2003 requiring the closure of Foster Park Golf Course from July through the remainder of the year. Lawton, Franke, Swinney, and Kreager also sustained damage.
  • Memorial Pool bathhouse exterior was renovated with federal UPARR funds.
  • The Remenschneider property adjacent to Shoaff Park was purchased for future golf course expansion.
  • Foster Park Golf Course celebrated it’s 75th anniversary
  • New outdoor ice rink opened in Headwaters Park .
  • New parking lot (behind the ice arena) and new roadways were constructed in McMillen Park .
  • New playground equipment was installed at Psi Ote, Miner and McCormick Parks .
  • In cooperation with the Downtown Improvement District, a "River of Flowers" consisting of 4,500 daylilies was planted in the Main Street medians.
  • The Swinney Homestead renovation, which included new wood shutters, dormer siding, garage gable siding and painting of windows, doors and overhangs, was completed with a $19,875 matching grant from INDR.
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