Mary Gibbard Park

Mary Gibbard Park

Lehman & Lehman and the City of Mishawaka recently unveiled plans for a new outdoor bike park for kids — complete with BMX jumps unique to northwest Indiana, that will be among the new features of Mary Gibbard Park, which the city hopes to reopen next summer after a $1 million overhaul.

So will a new playground, a low zipline, WiFi and a splash pad to replace the small pool in this park at the southwest corner of the city.

Kids at nearby LaSalle Elementary School gathered in assembly Monday to see the final plans, swooning and cheering. Back in the spring, they’d drawn pictures of what they wanted in the park. Many of them, like the bike park, will be reality.

Mishawaka Parks Superintendent Phil Blasko pulled out a mural with several of the kids’ wish-list drawings. That will be painted on a wall at the park, he told the students, explaining, “One day you are going to be able to say, ‘Hey, I helped build this park.’” If the kids take ownership, he believes, they’ll want to take care of it rather than vandalize it.

Read more about the park features in theSouth Bend Tribune news article here.

How Can Neighborhood Parks Attract More Users?

How Can Neighborhood Parks Attract More Users?

"The United States is home to more than 108,000 parks, ranging from large regional parks and natural resource areas to sports complexes and small “pocket parks.” Most urban residents live in close proximity to one or more neighborhood parks, which are ideal places for people to engage in physical activity, such as sports, brisk walking and other forms of exercise. U.S. guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity for youth and 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for adults. However, fewer than half of Americans currently meet these guidelines and that inactivity is contributing to a growing epidemic of chronic disease. Given that park space and facilities already exist, what would it take to encourage people to use this space to be more physically active?

Historic Preservation Commission Award

The City of Mishawaka's Historic Preservation Commission presented Lehman & Lehman with an Award for Adaptive Reuse "for their outstanding efforts to preserve and bring a new use to..." the building that houses our office.

We purchased and moved into the house in 2002 after some interior renovation. While we knew the house was built in 1915 for $6,100, we were surprised to learn that one of the prior owners was former Mishawaka Mayor and Postmaster, John Herzog.

We are proud of our prairie-style office with its signature green tile roof and thank the Commission for the award.

Bethel College Unity Garden

Bethel College students, faculty and staff are joining together to create a “free to pick” garden on Bethel’s campus. The project is a collaboration with South Bend Unity Gardens, the college’s Enactus student team, and individual faculty who are passionate about beginning a garden on campus.

As you will see in this video, Chuck Lehman, President of Lehman & Lehman, was selected to assist with the Garden design.

The Bethel College Unity Garden, or BUG, will join more than 50 other area gardens affiliated with Unity Gardens, a non-profit group started by Sara Stewart, a graduate of Bethel’s Master of Science in Nursing program and a 2013 recipient of the college’s Professional Achievement Alumni Award. The mission of Unity Gardens is to improve community health through access to fresh fruits and vegetables while bringing together a diverse community.  In helping the BUG get off to a good start, Unity Gardens will provide soil testing, seeds, and the help of a master gardener.

Students, faculty and staff gathered in November to dedicate the garden site, and planting will begin in the spring. Community members are encouraged to stop by the BUG, located near the corner of Russ St. and Forest Ave., and join in the gardening efforts – whether through planting, weeding, watering or enjoying the fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs as they become available. For updates on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and a ripening schedule, visit the BUG Facebook page,

Lehman & Lehman was pleased to lend a hand to this worthwhile community project.


Hillis Hans Park, Mishawaka

The City of Mishawaka recently added inclusive play equipment at Hillis Hans Park. In 2011 Lehman & Lehman designed plans for a makeover of Hillis Hans, a neighborhood park south of downtown Mishawaka, that included a new picnic pavilion, new lights, a new brick sign, walking paths and new curbs and street surfacing around the park. We are proud to have also been a part of these new additions to the Hillis Hans Park. Read the South Bend Tribune story here.


Bethel College Prayer Garden Dedication

The upperclassmen council of Bethel College (Mishawaka, IN) hosted a senior forum that led to the idea of building a prayer garden for the Class of 2016's class gift to the college. Lehman & Lehman was then commissioned to develop a conceptual plan.

The goal was to provide a peaceful place to use for intentional prayer. A prayer garden also allows a space for solitude and quiet, and to get away from dorms, noise and distraction.

Bethel College recently held a Prayer Garden Dedication for this new addition to their college campus.

Valparaiso's Tower Park

Lehman & Lehman was commissioned by Valparaiso Parks to create an overall master plan for Tower Park. Yesterday the plans concerning the future of the Tower Park baseball field were presented to the public.

Tower Park's Baseball field, thanks to a donation from the Samardzija family and Valpo Parks Department, will undergo renovations to update the field with a variety of upgrades culminating in its reinvention under the name of Samardzija Field.

"This is part of our continuing efforts to preserve our park system but also preserve the culture and legacy of our community," said Valpo Parks Department Director John Siebert. "This is the latest example of our extraordinary community culture of leaders giving back."

Mike Bultinck, Landscape Architect, presented the conceptual plans. Check out the full story here.

 Mike Bultinck • Landscape Architect • Lehman & Lehman, Inc.

Mike Bultinck • Landscape Architect • Lehman & Lehman, Inc.



Kids to Parks Day

Saturday, May 21st is Kids to Parks Day, sponsored by National Park Trust. They are encouraging children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town. 

Visit to find Activity Guides, an Adventure Book, and more information that will help jumpstart your adventure!