Friends of Foster Park win changes to park improvement plan
The City of Fort Wayne adjusted changes to beloved Foster Park based on residents’ concerns and input.
In January, city officials announced a plan by Hills Forrest Smith Golf Course Architects for improvements to the golf course, held public hearings and then created an online survey to get public input on the plan.
While the plan was built on public input, the revelation of its impact on the popular pathways drew even more public interest.
And earlier this week, the Friends of Foster Park Facebook Group announced the news that the biggest concern–the wide trail that runs along the south and west of the park–will remain as is.
That trail, which was once a road, is key to the park as a point of connection in the community.
Friends of Foster Park member Wendy Stein said it is more than a path.
"But it's like group activity," Stein said. "So you see, four or five friends out for a walk, or people are running into their neighbors and standing to chat or teaching their kids to ride bikes there, because that's part of the park. It's not just a trail connecting to somewhere else. And so to take that away, would really detract from that full park experience."
Foster Park is just a few years away from its centennial.
The city adjusting to the community’s concerns has meant a lot to those who love the park.
“I think people are quick to sometimes want to make things confrontational and that is not what we wanted to do," she said. "It's very gratifying to see that things can work like this and that a people can come together and and sort of unite around a concern.”
A public hearing in late October will allow residents to speak with parks department staff and see the finished plan.
Other changes include the installation of water features on the golf course that can be then used for irrigation, as well as relocating the maintenance building.