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Massive Investment in South Bend Parks Announced

Monday, September 25, 2017

South Bend is proving the city’s commitment to quality-of-place improvements with what South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says is the largest parks department investment in the history of the city.

Thanks to community feedback, the new My South Bend Parks & Trails program will, in a statement from the city, “fundamentally change the landscape” of the city’s green spaces.

According to the city, this plan has been in the works for quite some time and is based on input from hundreds of hours of public meetings, dozens of resident engagement sessions and several city, parks and neighborhood plans. The program will include park, trail and riverfront upgrades. Buttigieg says it will “address shortcomings in equity and safety, provide economic and health benefits and improve ecological standards,” across nearly every park in South Bend.

Other aspects of the program include:

  • Better park and riverfront connections
  • Expanded compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Enhanced security and lighting at park locations
  • New playground equipment
  • New splash pads
  • A new ice rink
  • A new event space
  • Renovated recreation centers
  • Upgraded nature trails

Some projects are already underway, and the majority of included projects are expected to be complete by 2020 and all projects expected to be complete within five years of now. Funding for the included projects is sourced from a variety of sources including TIF districts, Regional Cities Initiative funding, federal grants and local partnerships. Over $18.8 million has already been committed with $12 million of that coming from outside grants or partners. Two separate bonds totalling just over $24 million have been requested as part of the city’s 2017 budget process as well.

For project lists by park and much more information, visit:

South Bend