Tourism Award for Central Park

Visit South Bend Mishawaka holds a Tourism Awards Reception each spring, during which professionals and organizations that have had a positive impact on tourism in St. Joseph County are honored.

The following is the statement of award for the “Barnes & Thornburg Tourism Investment Award” as presented by Rob DeCleene, CDME • Executive Director •Visit South Bend Mishawaka:

“Now it’s time for our final award of the evening before our scholarship presentation – the Barnes & Thornburg Tourism Investment Award. This award was established in 2012 to recognize a venue or organization, which has demonstrated a visible investment, commitment and dedication to the growth of tourism in St. Joseph County. We’ve already talked tonight about how the River Lights have transformed the experience of downtown SB. Well, the same can be said of a transformation of a different sort in downtown Mishawaka.

I think I mentioned earlier for everyone to get to Spicer Lake if you haven’t been there yet, and now I’ll double down on that statement for Central Park in downtown Mishawaka. Just last summer, right around the Fourth of July, Central Park was rededicated as a newly imagined destination on the banks of the St. Joe River in downtown Mishawaka. In fact, quoting the vision for the project, the concept for this park is a “city-wide destination family park.” We like the word “destination” a lot at Visit South Bend Mishawaka.

Consider these project details and amenities:

  • Total construction cost of $4.9M
  • A 28-foot tall rope-climbing tower – reportedly the tallest “play” climber in the United States
  • A variety of play equipment that accommodates over 100 kids at a time
  • A programmable interactive fountain
  • Five rentable pavilions for events ranging from 24-70 people
  • An open event lawn surrounded by a multi-purpose walk
  • All entry archways, pavilions, and shelters designed with a timeless appearance of simple metal and stone

This investment by the City of Mishawaka was intended to be a generational transformation of a marquee city asset. Having just spent two hours there this past Sunday for the Mayors’ Ride, I can assure you this intent and vision has been realized.

For providing residents and visitors with perhaps the nicest city park in the region, I’m pleased to present the City of Mishawaka with the 2016 Barnes & Thornburg Tourism Investment Award for Central Park. Accepting the award is Reg Wagle, President of the Mishawaka Parks Board.

We, at Lehman & Lehman, take great pride in having been the Landscape Architects and Planners for this award-winning park and congratulate the City of Mishawaka.