Volunteers breathe life into one of South Bend's oldest gardens


A group of volunteers is working to breathe life into one of South Bend’s oldest gardens.

They’re calling for everyone to help resurrect the roses at Leeper Park.

Restoring Leeper Park has grown into a community wide effort.

“We just came out here and started weeding and shoveling,” said Volunteer Andrew Elegante.

“Everything was totally overgrown, weedy,” added Horticulture Curator Larry Clifford.

Long time South Bend resident Larry Clifford said the historical city park garden, located on Michigan Street near downtown South Bend, was established in 1906.

Residents once flocked to it, just to get a glimpse of the prolific red roses grown there.

But in the last five to ten years, Clifford said it has fallen apart.

So he is calling for a helping hand.

“Just the fact that people are interested and excited about it makes me want to be involved. That they care enough about it that they’re putting their own time and energy and money into things is really valuable and important,” said Elegante.

Clifford wants this garden to again blossom into the local attraction it once was.

“We want to have a nice, clean, peaceful, serene place that people can come and see the beauty of the roses. But also sit and contemplate and think about nature,” said Clifford.

Beginning Sunday April 24th at noon, volunteers can help resurrect the roses at Leeper Park. People interested can also check for updates on Facebook by searching ‘Resurrect the Roses at Leeper Park.’

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