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City of South Bend to see $50-million revitalization of parks, trails and riverfronts

WSBT 22 photo

In the next five years you will start to see improvements to the parks, trails, and riverfront in South Bend.

It's part of a nearly $50-million investment by the city.

In Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s annual address to the Common Council Monday night, he said the two most expensive things on the city's agenda this year are making a decision on how to re-route the South Shore and investing in our parks.

He says that will benefit everyone in South Bend.

"This is the biggest investment that our parks and public spaces have ever seen. It's a lot of resources, but we also think we're going to get a lot back from that investment in terms of healthier, more equitable, fast-growing community,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Some of these projects are already underway and it's not just the riverfront that will see improvements-- the project will touch nearly every neighborhood in the city.

Buttigieg says the major renovations being done to the Charles Black Center on South Bend's

west side will be a game changer.

"This is also a big part of our chance to really enhance the access of people of every level of income,” Buttigieg said.

South Bend is not the only city making this kind of investment. Mishawaka is planning to install an outdoor fitness court. City leaders in Elkhart are banking that their River District Project is going to revitalize downtown by adding retail space and more places for people to live.

A primary goal of a lot of these projects is to attract more families and individuals to settle in the area.

"We're certainly not the only city to realize the value of making these investments and I think it's a very good thing that cities across our area are doing it because it lifts the whole region up,” said Buttigieg.

The public's input has been crucial to the plan.

"It was created by the community. Every single one of these things that will get completed has somebody's fingerprint on it one way or another,” said Aaron Perri, Executive Director of Venues Parks and Arts.

City planners and engineers are hard at work figuring out how to execute everything.

Mayor Buttigieg says the projects will help people in our community feel more connected.

For more information on the project visit: http://sbvpa.org/mysbparksandtrails/

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