The Crusader Newspaper Group

Reed Park reopens with a splash after renovations

Children will have a newly improved park and splash pad to keep them busy this summer, with the completion of improvements at James Reed Park. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was joined by Indiana American Water President Deborah Dewey and representatives from the National Park and Recreation Association and the Knight Foundation for an opening ceremony recently.

1IMG 41233 e1500564335183
COUNCILWOMAN CAROLYN ROGERS makes remarks about Reed Park, which is in the 4th District.

“We are excited about the changes at Reed Park,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson. “The project is completely in line with our efforts to bring something different to the community. Our children and families will be able to spend time together, learn about nature and enjoy outdoors.”

The renovations at Reed Park were made possible through a generous $125,000 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation’s (AWCF) Building Better Communities signature grant program, administered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a $12,100 grant from the Knight Donor Advised Fund of the Legacy Foundation, and the City of Gary.

1IMG 41555“As the provider of water service to northwest Indiana for more than a century, our commitment to this community is strong,” said Dewey. “Beyond providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable water service to our customers, we are proud to lend our support through the American Water Charitable Foundation to this exciting project. We hope area children and families – our customers – will enjoy this beautiful park for many years to come.”

“NRPA is proud to partner with the American Water Charitable Foundation to help provide this unique play space to the residents of Gary,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. “This enhanced space will increase opportunities for physical activity and connect children, and families to the wonders of nature through their local park.”

Park improvements included the south end being converted into a nature play area that will allow children to explore nature indigenous to Northwest Indiana. The play area also encompasses natural features that stimulate the human senses; bongos for sound, edible trees for taste, sand and water for touch, and plants like lavender for smell. The park additionally will feature a splash pad, rain and butterfly garden, and outdoor classroom. Children will also be able to learn about storm water management, wetlands, and watersheds.

1IMG 41566The James Reed Park is located at 1400 Pennsylvania Street in the city’s Midtown area.

“The American Water Charitable Foundation is proud to support projects that help children and families develop a greater sense of appreciation for the environment in a fun and engaging way and also help encourage the continued viability of our nation’s water resources,” said AWCF President Laura Martin.

1IMG 41473
CITY OF GARY Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (left) and Chief of Staff Dayna Bennett test the water spray feature of the renovated Reed Park at the ceremonial event to reopen the park on July 13, 2017.

Mayor Freeman-Wilson concluded, “We are grateful to all of our partners: American Water Charitable Foundation, Indiana American Water, NRPA and Knight. The improvements at Reed Park are great for this area of the city and for the community as a whole.”

The opening day ceremony featured park tours, gardening, water play, and refreshments.

Recent News

Scroll to Top