Talks continue on the fate of Leeper Park's duck pond

NOW: Talks continue on the fate of Leeper Park’s duck pond

South Bend, Ind. —

The fate of South Bend’s Leeper Park is up in the air.

Wednesday, city officials met with neighbors who are split on whether the popular duck pond should stay or go.

The staple in this community could undergo a major change.

And just the thought of change was enough to solicit quite a few folks to fill the Near Northwest Neighborhood Community center.

 “Are they going to suggestions from the community or is it set and they’re going to accept suggestions from the developers?” asked one neighbor.

The many residents that showed, had mixed reaction on the city’s plans.

The current proposal would see the pond removed and some parts of the park extended to the river.

It’s huge change that also peaked the interests of several council members who showed up to Wednesday’s meeting.

“We’ve gotten some initial feedback at other community meetings over a six month process total so now we’re getting feedback on initial reports,” councilwoman Jo Broden.

Officials presenting at the forum explained the vision for the park’s future.

They say they want to keep the park clean, and keep the wild animals there healthy.

“I hope people realize it’s just not good for waterfowl to feed them, ducks and geese feeding is tempting to do that, but it’s bad for the animals,” said Garry Harrington, the director of Rum Village Nature Center.

The city’s Venues, Parks and Arts Department has held three community forums and received more than 12,000 comments and questions since it started developing a riverfront parks plan.

The plan will be presented to the South Bend Park Board on June 27.

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