At the North Highlands Neighborhood Association meeting of Dec. 11, the issue came up repeatedly about what can we do to improve Hamilton Park for the residents of the area. In doing the research and follow-up on the question from the residents, we have found information on a splash pad design that was proposed sometime ago. After my conversations with the Board of Works and Natalie Eggman, the public relations officer for the parks department, Eggman contacted Steve Schuhmacher, project administration manager of the parks department. Schuhmacher sent the design concept and estimated cost of a splash pad.
Schuhmacher’s letter points out that Councilman Tom Didier approached the parks department about building a splash pad in Hamilton Park, and it has sat on the shelf until now because of the lack of neighborhood support. With what Mayor Tom Henry has publicly supported for the stabilization of neighborhoods, this splash pad would help the resurgence of the Hamilton Park as the gem of the North Highland Neighborhood and of the surroundings neighborhoods.
The urban park is one element of the urban lifestyle that is of the utmost importance to a stable and healthy lifestyle of the residents and the children of the neighborhoods. I do think that this project would fit for the funding under the Legacy funds that are being used in and around Fort Wayne for the stabilization of downtown areas and the stabilization of existing neighborhoods. The demographic reports bear out that the North Highlands Neighborhood is a neighborhood in transition to a younger demographic with more children in the neighborhood. As Nahoum Cohen stated in his book on urban design: The urban park is a necessity understood all over. Conservation is related to life around it and will retain its role in the city’s web. Hamilton Park is just that a necessity, and we need to improve the park for our children and grandchildren
I would ask if we can get this project back on track and bring a splash pad to Hamilton Park. What do we as a neighborhood and residents of Fort Wayne need to do to make this splash pad a reality for the gem that is named Hamilton Park?
JOHN E. MODEZJEWSKI
President, North Highlands Neighborhood Association