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Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department

Capital Improvement Narratives

The following are capital improvement projects that are planned for the coming year at the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department parks and facilities.  In addition, The City of Fort Wayne continues to invest in the Parks & Recreation Department!  


Status Report/Plans

For a current report on the various projects, please check out the following information: Current Status Report on Capital Improvement Projects (as of  12/20/2023) 

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation offers highlights of the department’s 2023 capital improvement projects and programs. Over 80 Park projects were completed and the City of Fort Wayne invested approximately $3 million in Parks and Recreation Department improvements this year.

You can now view a
2023 Project Update

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Completed 2023 Capital Improvement Projects include: 

  • Botanical Conservatory HVAC Control Upgrades & Chiller Replacement
  • Botanical Conservatory Indoor Lighting
  • Bowser Park Pavilion Renovation
  • Buckner Park Trail Construction
  • Casselwood Park Playground Equipment
  • Community Center Roof Phase 2 Construction
  • Franke Park Drainage Improvements
  • Jennings Recreation Center Improvements (Boiler, Kitchen, Fence)
  • Sheldon Park Drive New Playground Equipment, Sidewalks and Benches
  • Various Park Paving Improvements
  • Various Parks City/Park Street Tree Plantings

Looking ahead to 2024, the following projects are some of which are planned to steward park properties and enhance use of and access to the parks for citizens and visitors.

  • 10 Neighborhood Playground Replacements
  • Botanical Conservatory Linkway Interior Construction
  • Community Center HVAC Control System
  • Foster Park Golf Course Restoration Plan
  • Headwaters Park Fountain Restoration to begin
  • Headwaters Park /Old Fort Bridge Repairs
  • Mechanic Street Bridge Engineering and Construction
  • Neighborhood Street Trees
  • Salomon Farm Building door repairs/painting, siding repairs
  • Spy Run Rivergreenway Trail Paving Renovation
  • Tillman Park Restroom Building Repairs
  • Various Playgrounds Curbing, Drainage and Safety Surfacing

Completed 2022 Capital Improvement Projects include:

  • Botanical Conservatory window glass replacement
  • Community Center parking lot paving
  • Foellinger Theater entrance sidewalk and drainage improvements
  • Foster Park Pavilion #3 restoration
  • Added 30 new outdoor Pickleball courts through resurfacing, converting and restriping (Foster Park, Lakeside Park, Hamilton Park, Kettler Park and Tillman Park)
  • Jennings Center Playground structure replacement, landscape improvements
  • Kreager Park Taylor’s Dream playground safety surface replacement
  • McMillen Park Golf Course cart paths paving
  • Freimann Square Anthony Wayne and Swinney Park General Foster Monument cleaning and waxing and installation of four chess tables.
  • Reservoir Park enhancements and resurfacing of two basketball courts and colorful mural installation by local artist, Andre Portee
  • Salomon Farm Park Old Barn siding improvements and painting
  • Wells Street Bridge replacement of decorative knee portal components in truss

Looking ahead to 2023, the following projects are planned to steward park properties and enhance use of and access to the parks for citizens and visitors. 

  • Buckner Park trail and picnic shelter addition
  • Casselwood Park Playground improvements
  • Community Center flooring replacement
  • Foster Park Golf Course Master Plan
  • Franklin Park Splash Pad shade structures
  • Jennings Center kitchen improvements (cabinets and countertops)
  • Lakeside Park lighting for tennis, pickleball and basketball courts
  • McMillen Park Community Center reception improvements
  • McMillen Park Pool House exterior painting
  • McMillen Park Tennis Courts resurfacing
  • Park System Comprehensive Plan
  • Paving improvements at Foster Park, Salomon Farm Park and Buckner Park
  • Salomon Farm Park Heritage Barn siding improvements and painting
  • Salomon Farm Park restroom building winterization
  • Sheldon Drive new playground equipment
  • Shoaff Park Golf Course flooring improvements
  • Weisser Park Youth Center signage

The City will continue to invest in Parks, with $3 million slated for 2023.


2021 Capital Improvement Projects

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department is providing an update on the department’s 2021 capital improvement projects and programs. Over 100 projects were completed in 2021 and the City of Fort Wayne invested approximately $3 million in Parks and Recreation Department improvements this year.

“I continue to be impressed with the outstanding programming and recreational opportunities being offered by the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “Our quality of life is enhanced by having award-winning parks in the City of Fort Wayne. Individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds are benefitting from the services being provided.”

The completed 2021 Capital Improvement Projects include:

  • Franke Park Renaissance Design Plan
  • ADA Improvements at Northside, Kreager, Cooper Center
  • Botanical Conservatory Megaflora Art Installation
  • Botanical Conservatory Exterior Fountain Liner Installation
  • Botanical Conservatory Window Glass Replacement
  • Foellinger Theatre Digital Sign Upgrades
  • Franke Park Pavilion #2 Roof Replacement
  • Franke Park Zoo Parking Lot Improvements
  • Jennings Center Parking Lot New Lighting Installation
  • Kettler Park Open-Air Pavilion Renovation
  • Kreager Park Picnic Shelter Addition at Playground
  • Lakeside Park Fishing and Overlook Pier Renovation
  • McMillen Park Aquatics Center Site Improvements
  • McMillen Park Golf Course Golf Cart Paths Replacement
  • Memorial Park Allen Co. Veterans Memorial Monument Relocation
  • Northside Park Tennis Courts Recoating
  • Paving Projects at McMillen, Lakeside, Vesey, Memorial, Shoaff and Swinney Parks
  • Promenade Park Playground Restroom Building Addition
  • Weisser Park Playground Replacement
  • Youth Centers Kitchen Improvements Including New Appliances


In addition to capital improvement projects, the Parks and Recreation Department brought back several programs and events in 2021 that had been cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer day camps, Foellinger Theatre concerts, aquatic centers, youth athletics, and many more recreation opportunities returned to the community this year.

“It is important to recognize our Parks and Recreation team as we continued to bring back programs and facilities for the citizens of Fort Wayne,” said Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel. “We had many challenges ahead of us this year and this department met those challenges once again. On behalf of our department, I want to thank Mayor Henry, Fort Wayne City Council, the Board of Park Commissioners and our many private donors for another successful year.”

The City will continue to invest in the Parks & Recreation Department, with $3 million of public funding slated for 2022.  

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Investing in our Future: Committment to Maintain & Improve Parks 2019 Press Conference

Check out the Investing in our Future 2019 Press Release

2020 Project Updates

To see even more Project Updates including photos check out the Project Updates link

Northside Park Aquatics Center

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Northside Pool Project 2 sm

Renovation of the entire pool site, including fence replacement, new shade structures, new seating area, additional lawn seating and landscape. 


Weisser Youth Center

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Interior improvements including new countertops and painting throughout the facility.

Kreager Park Soccer Fields

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Automatic, subsurface irrigation installation on Fields 1 thru 3.  Project greatly reduces water loss and labor typically required to water the fields manually.  This system is expandable for future improvements.

Lawton Park Parks Sign

Lawton Park Sign Renovation

Renovation of the existing sign on Clinton St. including new sign faces, city seal and painting.


Northside Ball Diamond Fence

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Complete replacement of the ball diamond fence used by Wildcat and park goers.

Johnny Appleseed Restroom Building

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Restroom and drinking fountain station located adjacent to the playground, dog park and the Rivergreenway trailhead.  Facility is completely ADA accessible and compliments many of the uses at Johnny Appleseed Park.

2019 Project Updates

Community Center

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New multi-purpose flooring used for receptions, tap dancing, yoga and many other activities

Conklin Pavilion Roof

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Replacement of cedar shake roof for entire structure. This project coincides with a patio addition and improvements to the restrooms, along with a new improved drive access.

Foster Golf Course

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Golf path replacement throughout the course, provides access for larger vehicles for course maintenance.

Freimann Square Fountain

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New pool liner provides for a more attractive fountain and prevents water loss through the pool walls.

Guldlin Park Boat Ramp

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New ADA accessible, floating boat dock and access ramp on the St. Marys River.

Hamilton Park Playground

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New play equipment and safety surface on the 5-12 year playground.

Jennings Center Playground Fence

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Black vinyl-coated chain link fence around the playground and basketball court.

Johnny Appleseed Campground Office

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New office structure with interior improvements for camp hosts who help run the campground. Includes updated technology for reservations and communication.

McMillen and Northside Pools Shade Structures

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New shade structures provide greater relief from the sun, colorful canopies and simpler maintenance.

Memorial Park Playground Safety Surface

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Synthetic turf playground surface is ADA accessible, drains wells and provides long lasting safety for playground.

Memorial Park Trails

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Extended asphalt trail system added throughout the park. Provides greater access to Park’s amenities and monuments.

Salomon Farm Paving

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Modified entrance into the farm including an improved trail crossing and paved surface to the Education Center parking lot.

Swinney Tennis Center

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New backboard surfacing on Courts 4 and 8 provides an improved experience for those practicing at the facility.

Waynedale Park

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Newly paved parking areas, ADA accessible trail system connects parking to the tennis courts and basketball court.

Weisser Park Lighting

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Utilized refurbished and repainted decorative light fixtures along sidewalks within the park and adjacent to the playground.

2018 Project Updates 

Buckner Park Playgrounds

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 Buckner Playgrounds- installed new artificial turf safety surfacing system with better safety fall rating and ADA accessibility. Another benefit of this project is to better blend with grass fields.


Packard Park Pavilion before and after. 

  • Laminate countertops with bullnose edge and backsplash
  • Water-resistant cabinet bases and shelves
  • ADA accessible sink and service window opening
  • Durable, epoxy floor treatment in kitchen and restrooms
  • High-performance and highly durable wall paneling system
  • Brighter and energy-saving LED lighting throughout




Foellinger Theatre

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Newly renovated Foellinger Theatre lower level featuring upgraded amenities including seven dressing rooms, two new restrooms with showers, a private lounge, a spacious green room, a production office, storage space, heating and cooling and drainage improvements. 

Shoaff Park Restrooms & Open Air Shelter

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A restroom facility including an open air shelter is conveniently located next to the playground/sprayground area in the park.

Spy Run Shelter

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The shelter at Spy Run has new fencing and was painted.

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McMillen Park Community Center

Roof improvements


Reservoir Park

Infrastructure Improvements include:

New parking lot on the north end and new pathway and parking lot lights. New drive to the top side of Cooper Community Center.


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Salomon Farm Park

Homestead Renovation, Learning Center Addition and Parking Lot enhancements.

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Memorial Park Grove

Thanks to the Warrior Breed Motorcycle Club for raising funds for an additional 71 trees that were planted in Memorial Park Grove. The trees represent the men and women from Allen County who died in Active Service during WWI. A total of four species were planted including: white oak, hackberry, elm and tulip.

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Freimann Square

Old lights at Freimann  Square were obsolete. Finding parts proved difficult and a move toward better efficient lights was  important so the old lighting was replaced with LED lights.  Future phases are being planned to replace all the single light heads.



Shoaff Park

Tentatively opening summer of 2018 a restroom facility and open air shelter.  This building will be located adjacent to the Shoaff Park splashpad.  The new Shoaff Park sign was recently installed at the entrance. 


Waynedale Pavilion

Improvements to the Waynedale pavilion include: 5 Beams were replaced and new concrete poured on the patio.


Foster Park

Before/after pictures showing the Tennis Courts in need of repair The courts have now been color coated.

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Botanical Conservatory

The lighting, irrigation & fencing is complete for the patio and gutter project.  The landscaping is in progress.

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Bob Arnold Northside Park

New concrete walkway


Memorial Park Splashpad

A new surface was installed around the splashpad.


Franke Park

In the Long House ceiling fans were installed.


Wells Street Beam Improvements



Weisser Park

Work on the Dugout 




McMillen Park Community Center

New flooring installed throughout the Center.


Foster Park

Court improvements to volleyball courts.

Salomon Homestead

Salomon Farm Park

The Farmstead addition was removed to take the home back to the original footprint.


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Klug Park

Concrete work is now complete for the new Klug Park walking path. The new Legacy Arch was installed this winter.


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Foellinger Theatre

Improvements at Foellinger Theatre include: powerwashing, priming and painting as well as working on the drains and other projects. 


Lions Park

Court improvements were made at Lions Park for all courts.


Kreager Park-Taylor's Dream Boundless Playground 

This new Cozy Cocoon is great for children with Autism. 

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Johnny Appleseed Campground

Three new HVAC units were installed at Johnny Appleseed Campground in the restrooms and laundry area.

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Franke Park Day Camp

Upgrades to Franke Park Day Camp include 1 new HVAC in the kitchen and 3 new HVAC units in the Nature Lodge.  In addition, replacing doors slabs off the hallway.

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Courthouse Green

Installed new ADA compliant walk and fixed broken concrete.

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1501816 Franklin Park Rendering Layout

Franklin School Park

Phase I

Franklin School Park Phase I is now open to the public. This phase includes the renovation of the arches, family restrooms in the pavilion, site work and a new splash pad.  Read more on the Franklin School Park link!

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Community Center

New parking gate installed at the Community Center.

The following include completed 2016 Projects:  

  • Franklin School Park: Phase One
  • Buckner Park: Splash Pad
  • Courthouse Green: Accessible Ramp and Sidewalk Improvements
  • Franke Park: Park/Children’s Zoo Entryway Sign Installed, BMX Fence Improvements, Bleacher Improvements, Day Camp ADA Pathway and HVAC Installed, Foellinger Theatre Exterior Painted, Signage, Concrete Ramp and Loading Dock Improvements
  • Salomon Farm Park: Learning Center Parking Lot and Homestead Improvements
  • Packard Park: Ball Diamond and Sidewalk Improvements
  • Community Center: Parking Gate and New Kitchen Flooring Installed, Sound Equipment Improvements
  • Foster Park: Volleyball Court Improvements
  • Lions Park: New Concrete Pathways and Signage Installed, Outfield Fence Improvements
  • Lawton Park: Cannon Monument Restoration
  • Johnny Appleseed Park: Campground Signage and Drainage Improvements, Campground Restroom Climate Control Installed
  • Indian Village Park: Sidewalk Improvement
  • Klug Park: ADA Swing Installed
  • Kreager Park: Cozy Cocoon Playground Addition
  • Waynedale Park: Drinking Fountain Improvements
  • Lions Park: Pickleball Court Improvements
  • Headwaters Park: Riverfront Floating Dock Project
  • Shoaff Park: Completed Pathway Around Golf Course
  • Various Parks: Bicentennial Benches and Plaques Installed in 19 Parks




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Purdue Cardinal Community Hoops & Managed Health Services (MHS) Donate Funds to Improve Basketball Court at Jennings Recreation Center

Read more about this great investment in the youth of this community! 

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This new playground piece was added at Lions Park. This piece is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, the playground structure has two facades: one side tells the story of the “The Ugly Duckling,” and the other side tells the story of “The Little Mermaid.”

Learn more about The Smart Playground from KOMPAN.

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Camp Canine opened in July of 2015!

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Resurfaced Swinney Tennis Courts




Packard Park Site Improvements

  • Improved site drainage around the pavilion with perforated drain tile.
  • Improved deteriorated Concrete patio/ walks.
  • Connected concrete walk from Pavilion to Tennis courts.
  • Added additional 520 Square feet of patio area.
  • Installed dumpster pad and improved concrete drive approach to pavilion 

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Foster #1 Kitchen Upgrade

Northside Park parking lot improvements to various lots in the park

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Weisser Center flooring improvements

Salomon Parking Looking South

Salomon Parking with Barn

Salomon Farm parking lot improvements

 Salomon Water Fountain

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Salomon Farm water fountain/spigot improvements

Shoaff Tennis and Parking Asphalt

Shoaff Tennis Asphalt 

Shoaff Park tennis and parking lot improvements



Franke #1 upgraded kitchenette: cabinets, countertops and sinks for ADA compliance.


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