After several meetings and discussions, the final version of the Franke Master Plan has been released.
Improvements and changes are planned for the park in northwest Fort Wayne. It is nearly 100 years old and is home to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Foellinger Theatre, Shoaff Lake, bike trails and much more. The improvements could continue through 2030.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department asked for public input along the way in designing the changes. WANE 15 News took you to one of the meetings.
From the Parks and Recreation Department:
Programming in the park has also been increasingly popular for many years. The Franke Park Day Camp program has been in operation since 1946 and has served several generations of Fort Wayne families. The Fantasy of Lights event each November and December draws over 20,000 people to the park for a seasonal display of lights, raising money for Blue Jacket, an organization that provides training and opportunities to anyone with a barrier who is striving to earn gainful employment. Finally, the BMX track draws hundreds of cyclists each year from around the state to compete and train.
In spite of its tremendous success, the park suffers from a number of challenges, including periodic flooding, issues with traffic circulation and wayfinding, and parking efficiency. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department knew that these challenges must be addressed through the development of a master plan so that the community may continue to enjoy Franke Park for the next 100 years.
The master planning process occurred from September 2018 through April 2019 and was directed by Alec Johnson, Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, RATIO Architects, and an Advisory Group consisting of major park stakeholders. In addition to advice and guidance from the Advisory Group, the process included a robust public input component. The planning team conducted interviews with more than 60 individual stakeholders, and an online portal to the process was created that disseminated information about the planning process and resulted in more than 1600 responses to two separate surveys, and two public open house events drew more than 150 residents.
You can look through the final plan here: https://www.frankeparkplan.com/