Mayor Tom Henry and Parks & Recreation Director Steve McDaniel celebrated the grand opening of the Wolf Family Learning Center at Salomon Farm Park off Dupont Road. The Learning Center added more than 4,000 square feet to a smaller facility and will offer many recreational opportunities to this popular park.
“We’re fortunate to live in a community that values parks and the importance of education,” said Mayor Henry. “Our entire city is appreciative of the efforts of the Wolf family and the Salomon family. Together, they’ve made significant contributions to the quality of life we enjoy in Fort Wayne. The expanded learning center is a tremendous addition that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”
The Salomon family gifted 170 acres in 1996 to the Parks and Recreation Department, with the understanding that a working 1930’s farm would be maintained. This historic farm had become an island in the middle of a very busy and growing suburban area. Chris, Maxine and daughter Lynne Salomon felt the land could help city kids learn the value of agriculture and the land could offer a respite to the busy urban area that had surrounded it.
“Don Wolf has been involved with the planning, funding and activity at Salomon Farm Park since its inception,” said Director McDaniel. “His accomplishments are too many to list, but we owe a debt of gratitude to Don for his commitment and knowledge, as well as his generosity.”
The $560,000 expansion of the learning center now offers a professional-grade teaching kitchen, a classroom area, fully accessible restrooms, a large gathering area and rental space for 240 people. This amenity joins historically appropriate facilities including a restored barn (popular for weddings), a farmer’s market, a historic equipment barn, a summer kitchen, blacksmith shop and much more.
Volunteer farmers, gardeners, beekeepers, animal care, DeKalb County Horsemen’s Association and blacksmiths join the Tri-State Antique Tractor Club, and Flax and Fleece Spinning Guild in putting their love and stewardship into Salomon Farm Park, making it the historic and agricultural experience that it has become. Last year, more than 1,500 volunteer hours contributed to the Salomon Farm Park.
This fall Salomon Farm Park will be offering School Field Trips, Culinary Classes for preschoolers, a Culinary Series for Elementary ages, Natural Dye Workshop, Wool Applique, cocktail classes, Baking classes as well as Special Events including Concert on the Farm, Salomon Farm Fall Harvest Festival, Handmade Homemade Sale as well as the weekly Farmers’ Market. Many of these classes would not be possible without the expansion of the learning center.