Mayor Tom Henry was joined today by Fort Wayne Park Foundation President Rick Phillips and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel to announce a new community campaign to support the city’s newest park.
“The purpose of this campaign is to create a legacy endowment for Promenade Park,” said Phillips. “With the public’s participation, we can create a private funding source for future activities, improvements and maintenance at the riverfront park.”
While the Promenade Park construction was fully funded due to grants and pledges from many sources, no endowment was set up to help the park into the future. It was determined that this effort would need public support, and the Park Foundation took on this challenge. They created a website (https://fwparkfoundation.org) for anyone to contribute, from a $10 donation to larger donations. And as a special opportunity, the Foundation is offering donors at the $500 – $4,999 level to have their names engraved on the Promenade Seawall Steps leading to the river.
Mayor Henry and Director McDaniel today expressed their support of the Park Foundation and its new campaign to benefit Fort Wayne’s citizens. “I’m encouraged by the community campaign effort to support the Parks and Recreation Department. We’re fortunate to have the Park Foundation as part of our community,” said Henry. “These private funds, together with city support, will enhance and maintain what will be an amazing park.”
The downtown park, named Promenade Park for its riverfront location on the St. Marys River, is under construction and is due to open in the summer of 2019. It is located north of Superior Street between the Historic Wells Street Bridge and Harrison Street. This property will focus on water activities and the new recreation opportunities our rivers offer. The Promenade Endowment will help support improvements, updates and programming along the rivers, and will be operated by the Fort Wayne Park Foundation, a nonprofit charity. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made by the secure website https://fwparkfoundation.org/ .
In addition to announcing the Promenade Park community campaign, the Park Foundation is also launching the Build the Future fund which will provide additional funding to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department as needs are presented or opportunities arise in any of the city’s 87 parks.
Park Foundation Board President Richard Phillips explained the importance of this two-pronged campaign, “We recognize there is a need to begin a fund dedicated to Promenade Park as this will be one of the biggest parks in the system with many opportunities to serve our community through special programming. We also recognize that, to enable us to act quickly when an unexpected need arises in any of the parks, the Park Foundation must have adaptable funds available. Our Build the Future Fund will enable us to be responsive to those needs throughout the park system.”
The Park Foundation was created in 1974 by concerned citizens who wanted to be sure that Fort Wayne’s city parks were maintained and improved through the years. They followed in the footsteps of city founders who wanted to secure green spaces and recreational activities for the city residents. Over the years, they have contributed millions of dollars to programs, parks and facilities. These include Headwaters, Courthouse Green, Freimann Square, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Foellinger Theatre, Salomon Farm, Lindenwood Nature Preserve, Robert E. Meyers Park at Parkview Field, Buckner, Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground at Kreager Park, Foster, Buckner, Lakeside, Lifetime Sports Academy, Neighborhood Youth Centers, McMillen Community Center and many more activities and parks.