The Parks History & Highlights link will be updated monthly with the latest Parks Showcase being released. If you would like to see a detailed list of each park with their amenities, check out the Park Page Links or if you would like to see a detailed history through the years, check out the History of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department link.
Bob Arnold Northside, Klug, Kreager, Lakeside, Lions, and Shoaff Parks
Franke, Franklin & Gren Parks
Bass, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and Community Center
Bowser, Brackenridge and Brewer Parks
Boone, Hamilton and Lawton Parks
Guldlin, Indian Village and McCulloch Parks
Ivan Lebamoff Reservoir Park, John Street Park, and McCormick Park
Brookview Parkway, Casselwood Park, Foster Park
Griswold Avenue Playlot, Hanna Homestead Park, Freimann Square Park
A picture from 1980 with Jerry Byanski and Larry Walter (retired employees) with a Landscape Designer from our sister city Takaoka, Japan showcasing the new Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Calm Water Sensory Tent is proudly sponsored by AWS Foundation.
The Calm Walter Sensory Tent will be available at special events held throughout the year.
Take control of your sensory needs through crafts, discussions with sensory professionals and other resources. This spring we are offering one DIY craft that involves all 5 senses on the 2nd Friday of each month. The March project is a Sensory Pillow, which is customizable to anyone’s sensory, motor, or memory needs. April’s project is Floam, which has a unique and calming texture and is easy to make. In May, use your artistic abilities or just have fun while painting with Bubble Wrap. Sessions begin promptly at 6:10 p.m. The generosity of the AWS Foundation allows this program to be offered free to the public. Registration is required. Deadlines are 2 days prior to each workshop .
Code Date Day Time
290200-F1 3/10 F 6-8 pm
290200-F2 4/14 F 6-8 pm
Bubble Wrap Painting
290200-F3 5/12 F 6-8 pm
# Sessions/Fee: 1/FREE
Location: Park Foundation Pavilion, Promenade Park, 202 W. Superior St.
Podcast on Special Inclusive Programming
Check out a podcast with Riley Hollenbaugh, Riverfront Program and Events Manager, as he discusses special inclusive programming this winter at Promenade Park.
Promenade Park, South Boat Dock
202 West Superior Street
All Ages Welcome
Tours on Sweet Breeze will be available late spring of 2023.
Relax and enjoy a guided cruise on the Fort Wayne Rivers. Sweet Breeze, Fort Wayne’s authentic canal boat replica is offering 45 and 90 minute tour lengths. This fully accessible tour will be a fun experience for everyone! Each tour provides an opportunity to learn something new about Fort Wayne through its riverfront.
$30/person for a 90 Minute Tour or $20/person for a 45 minute tour. We also plan to have 60 Minute Tours on Thursday evenings for $23.
(children 2 and under can sit on an adults lap for no charge)
Purchase tickets on-line next SPRING! IF you prefer, you can purchase tickets via phone (260) 427-6000 or at 705 E. State Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805.
We will be offering various Specialty Tours again in 2023. Check back next spring for additional information.
Private Rental Cruises
Check out the information below on private rentals available starting this summer!
Private Rental Brochure
Private Rental Pricing
Private Rental Tour Information
Private Rental Agreement
Above is a video of Sweet Breeze riding along the river. See below for basic tour information!
Basic tour information
Interested in a field trip or a private rental on Sweet Breeze? Call Amanda Black at 427-5023 to learn more.
Restroom facilities are available. The boat is fully accessible.
A special thanks to Mark Jones, Friends of the Rivers, for this photo!
A Little Background Information:
Sweet Breeze was built by Scarano Boat Builders out of Albany, NY. It is flat-bottomed, aluminum hulled boat which is 54’ long, has a draft of 2.75’ and an air draft of 8.5’. The new build was modeled after 1840s canal boat, but in order to better fit our waterways, was scaled back to ¾ the size of the historic canal boats. It is powered by a single 55 HP Marine Diesel Volvo Penta engine. It was delivered by a lowboy trailer in January 2017, craned into the Maumee River on May 20th and christened on June 5th. The Sweet Breeze is wheelchair accessible.
A Brief History
Fort Wayne’s history is tied to canal boats and to the Wabash and Erie Canal. The Canal was a shipping canal that linked the Great Lakes to the Ohio River via an artificial waterway. The canal provided traders with access from the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 478 miles long, it was the longest canal ever built in North America.The canal began operation in the summer of 1843, yet only operated for a decade before it became apparent that it was not economically viable. Even when the canal boats were operated at extremely slow speeds, the banks rapidly eroded, and the canal had to be constantly dredged to be operable. The last canal boat on the Wabash Canal made its last docking in 1874 in Huntington, Indiana. Sweet Breeze recreates the mystery and excitement of what was to be a new era of commerce and travel in the Midwest. Fort Wayne was the highest point on the canal (i.e. the summit), so Fort Wayne earned the name “Summit City”. Canal boats carried people and goods on our rivers and canals from 1843-1874 which was much faster than burdensome wagons. Drafts animals, usually mules, pulled long, narrow canal boats by a rope on a path next to the canal, called a towpath.
Sweet Breeze is launched at Guldlin Park on May 12, 2022 and ready to make her voyage to Promenade Park!
Yesterday I had the pleasure to take the Sweet Breeze boat tour. Absolutely everyone involved from tickets to disembarking was a great representative of FTW Parks Dept. Mark also was a delight and knowledgeable of the history. It was a wonderful 90 minute boat ride. Thank you, Carolyn T.
Our thanks to you and your staff for your service to our Senior Saints and for your assistance in helping our Senior Saints with their wheel chair, walkers, canes, etc. on our tour of the rivers of Fort Wayne. Your staff, your docent, your captain and his assistants provided our Senior Saints, with our special needs, the assistance to enjoy the river tour. You and their service was above and beyond what we would have expected. Larry G.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation is offering Sweet Breeze Boat Tours through a partnership with Friends of the Rivers.
2023 School Group Field Trips on Sweet Breeze
Friends of the Rivers will again be offering on-river school group field trips that meet Indiana DOE Standards for Social Studies (Indiana and Regional History) for grades 3, 4 & 5 and Science (Ecology) for grades 4 – 11. All field trips are open for all abilities on our fully accessible boat.
The 45 minute field trips will again have a discounted cost of $5 per student underwritten by Friends of the Rivers. There is a minimum of 20 youth per tour. A maximum of three school staff are admitted free and any additional adults are charged the community tour rate.
AWS Foundation fully funds our Adaptive Education tours. Friends of the Rivers underwrites a limited number of field trips. Please call Amanda Black (427-5023) to reserve a discounted field trip for your school.
Please see www.forfw.org/field-trips/ for additional educational information.
Sweet Breeze Field Trip FAQ's
Additional Sweet Breeze Videos
Above is a video of Sweet Breeze being launched for the 2022 season. Purchase your tickets in the SPRING to ride Fort Wayne's replica canal boat along our rivers.
Sweet Breeze ends the 2022 season! Sweet Breeze is pulled from the river to go to her winter home! We thank you for joining us on a tour this season.
Additional videos are available on the Friends of the Rivers link under River Views!
The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department has initiated a riparian management plan that will improve and protect the shoreline and water quality for generations to come.
View the City of Fort Wayne's Riparian Management Plan
If you would like to participate in a Riverfront cleanup, please sign up online to find the scheduled time that works best for you.
If you have a group of 10 or more volunteers, please contact KayeC Jones at 260-427-6408 to arrange a cleanup for your group.
Volunteers will clip honeysuckle limbs from bushes, cut down the remaining trunks with handsaws and carry the brush to an area in the park. All tools and work gloves will be provided. The honeysuckle stems are not prickly and the brush isn’t heavy. This is a family-friendly activity so children are welcome, too. Please dress for the weather! Close-toed shoes, like tennis shoes, are recommended.
Thanks to over 2,122 volunteers who have dedicated 8,991 volunteer man-hours by removing 90 tons of invasive species and more than 38,288 pounds of trash from banks and waterways. The volunteer investment saved the city a total of $171,014 to date!
Pictures of Before/After Work
Spy Run Before
Spy Run After