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Nearly $50 million in investment headed to South Bend Parks

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — South Bend is committed to making the largest investment in its parks in city’s history.

The Arts, Parks and Venues Department announced Wednesday; $50 million in investment will fund a holistic overhaul of the city’s parks system.

The city is taking a thirds approach to paying for this overhaul.

Private and outside funding will cover almost $19 million of the costs, TIF funds nearly $11 million and park bonds (new and old) will cover the rest about $18 million.

Total it’s almost $50 million in parks investment.

“Parks are so much more than just greenspace and a place where people play,” said Aaron Perri, the executive director of Venues Parks & Arts. “It’s a place that, really, people call home.”

For the past two years, the city has been focusing on turning around neighborhood parks so you can feel more at home.

“A five year plan to invest heavily into these amenities and make them something we can all be proud,” said Perri.

A $5 million dollar bond afforded major changes in areas like Fremont Park.

The city is planning on doing a lot more with nearly $50 million.

“This will be the most significant investment the city has made in its parks system,” said Perri. “Really not since the ‘50s have we’ve seen this dramatic of investment in the park system.”

That dramatic investment started in 2015.

Several parks saw new additions like the MLK center.

It got a new AC unit in addition to park upgrades.

There are dozens of capital projects in progress, including landscaping at the recently improved Kelly Park.

And down the road, major construction is planned for quite a few parks and the riverfront trail.

You can keep track of the major projects on the My SB Parks and Trails website.

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