Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Could Include Environmental Center

Aug 20, 2015

The St. Joseph River near IPFW.
Credit Public Domain. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Environmental stewardship. It’s a phrase that many people wouldn’t be able to define, but an IPFW professor wants to bring it to Fort Wayne.

Area groups are trying to build an environmental stewardship facility in Fort Wayne. But what exactly is “environmental stewardship?”

IPFW biology professor Bruce Kingsbury says it’s something everyone should care about.

“Environmental stewardship just means taking responsibility for the environment, considering what our impacts are on the environment and acting in an educated sort of a manner,” he said.

Kingsbury says this includes monitoring water quality, which is why he suggested incorporating the environmental center in Fort Wayne’s riverfront development project.

Kingsbury is also the director of the Environmental Resources Center, or ERC. He says the facility would be a collaboration between the ERC, Fort Wayne and other organizations.

Fort Wayne’s Planning Director Pam Holocher says the building would be used for researching environmental issues, like water quality in Fort Wayne’s rivers. It would also educate visitors, with a possible collaboration with Science Central.

Holocher says she thinks the facility could bring more visitors to Fort Wayne.

“This would be a destination in itself, but it would be a complement to the other destination,” Holocher said. And while it would be an environmental center, I think we’re really looking at kind of a multi-use facility.”

The other uses could include conferences or weddings.

For now, the facility is still in the beginning stages. The groups involved are currently raising money for a feasibility study, which Holocher says could cost around $50,000.