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South Bend riverfront parks to see big changes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

A facelift is in the future for South Bend parks.

The Department of Venues Parks and Arts is on its final planning phase to revitalize public areas along the riverfront.

This development plan spans about 8 miles of the St. Joseph River and has been in discussion since August.

“We’re excited about introducing a new park system, a reinvigorated park system,” said director Aaron Perri.

The city is hoping renovating parks near the river will bring attract more people to downtown South Bend.

“These amenities won’t only be for the residents, visitors will come and be attracted to what we see here,” said Perri.

At Howard Park, the city is planning on transforming the green space that once separated the park from the river.

“We’re going to address some the natural flooding that happens along the river walk and create some kind of natural wetland along the river walk there,” said Perri.

In addition to a wetland habitat, the park will get a splash plaza and a new ice rink.

Northside Boulevard will also be utilized for festivals.

“There will be space at Howard Park unlike anything you’ll see in the city,” said Perri.

Down the river, Seitz Park will be re-imagined.

An overlook will be built in the current East Race.

The city also plans to build a pavilion for special events n Seitz Park.

“We’re waiting for the University of Notre Dame to install their hydroelectric turbines, that’ll start in October and we’ll follow that project afterward,” said Perri.

Perri says this project will cost $10 million and will be partly funded by regional cities money.

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