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Parks' investments, repairs continue in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — South Bend Venues, Parks and Arts (SBVPA) director Aaron Perri presented the department’s annual report Monday and laid out the city’s plans for the next three years.

“We’re certainly excited by the physical improvements but more excited about the outcomes that come out of these types of investments,” said Aaron Perri, SBVPA director.

Through about $50 million dollars of investment, SBVPA leaders are looking to move the needle in South Bend’s public spaces, be it social equity in communities that could use it or health and wellness.

“There’s a real reason why we do the work we do, it’s not just about fun and games, even though fun and games is important too,” said Perri.

Monday, the city’s park commission got a review of 2017 for parks and trails in South Bend and a look at where it’s going in three years.

Perri also announced SBVPA is looking to launch a mobile parks experience in the fall.

The department was approved $600 thousand to fund a vehicle that would provide a variety of pop-up opportunities for communities.

The vendor making the vehicle also created the Oscar Mayer wienermobile.

Those results were encouraging to new council woman Sharon McBride who was also looking forward to seeing more investment in her district.

“Now I’m coming on board having a lot of input in some of the areas that were maybe not looked at as other areas. It’s been a thrilled being a part of seeing some of the things in the third district coming to life,” said McBride.

While new life comes to district 3, some parks and trails could use a revival after the historic flooding the city saw last month.

“On assessing all the damage, we anticipate that can be upwards of $3 million in the parks alone,” said Perri.

The department is seeking relief funds to cover those costs but they’re telling people to heed its warnings until the damage has been repaired.

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