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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
A park at 2306 South Wayne Ave. is one of three remodeled parks in the Creighton Home Neighborhood Association area.

Creighton parks bloom thanks to grant

– A commemorative stone had already been placed near the front of the property at 2306 South Wayne Ave.

“Creighton Home Neighborhood Association,” the inscription says. “1794-1994.”

But the property, once an empty lot between two-story homes – one white, one gray – has received a significant facelift thanks to a $50,000 grant.

The official dedication of the remodeled park, and two other small parks on the 2500 and 2600 blocks of adjacent Fox Avenue, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the South Wayne site. Mayor Tom Henry and neighborhood dignitaries will be present for the ceremony.

The $50,000 used for the project completed by professional landscapers came from the city’s Community Development Block Grant Funds. The grant was issued March 31, 2012.

Benches, herb towers, blueberry bushes and a large rain garden area are included in the three areas of the Creighton Home garden.

“I think it’s great,” says Darrell Kindschy, the 13-year president of the neighborhood association. “It’s a great improvement to our neighborhood, and it’s probably one of the better things that ever happened.”

In addition to their aesthetic value, Kindschy said he hopes the parks will absorb some of the flooding that occasionally hit the area after severe storms. The rain gardens were added to the project to help absorb whatever flooding may occur.

“Some of the purpose of that is to collect water that goes into the alleys that floods the place,” Kindschy says. “That was the concept behind it. That’s one of the uses of it.”

By conducting between 12 to 15 workshops annually, the city has encouraged homeowners to install their own rain gardens, according to Anne Marie Smrchek, a professional engineer and stormwater manager with City Utilities. As of August, more than 1,000 residents have attended the workshops since they were offered in 2009.

“There are benches there, and people can sit and read or enjoy themselves,” Kindschy says of his three neighborhood parks. “Other than that, the use will probably be the view of it. People can walk through it and sit down and talk great about it, I hope. And don’t vandalize it.”

Committees from eight neighborhoods competed for the two available grants after participating in a series of classes from Leadership Fort Wayne, Best Practices Neighborhood Initiative.

The Williams-Woodland Park neighborhood received the other $50,000 grant. Its project is ongoing.

stwarden@jg.net

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