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 the South Bend Tribune news article here.