‘Growing’ downtown is Positively Fort Wayne

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If you’ve ever walked through one of Fort Wayne’s many parks, you might not have fully noticed all the plants and flowers there. In fact, there are thousands to take in while visiting.

“We do about 33,000 plants and flowers in all the gardens and the parks,” said Lynda Heavrin, Manager of Landscape and Horticulture with the City of Fort Wayne.

In just about every park and in between you can see the city’s work. And there is quite a bit of history behind it.

“We grow all these plants at the Lawton Park greenhouse. And I don’t think people realize that we’ve had greenhouses over in Lawton Park for almost 100 years. The first ones were built in the 1920s. So they’ve been planting flowers in the parks for about that long,” said Lynda.

Twelve full-time and 10 seasonal gardeners work to maintain the flowers and plants. It’s a labor of love. But how much labor goes into that love?

“Probably not as much as you think. It depends on, of course, weather and how fast the weeds are growing. But once we get them in, once they get established, it doesn’t take that much care. We have irrigation in some of the parks, and that helps. But hand watering, if we have to do, takes a little more time.”

Time that the city of Fort Wayne is more than happy to put in, making the teat that does it Positively Fort Wayne.

“It’s beautifying the city. It’s the same reason we have pots of flowers up and down the streets in Fort Wayne. It’s really a beautification. We have a lot of people come here just to see the flowers between Foster, Freimann…You don’t see it out in city parks that much. So, we’re kind of unique in that way. And I think we’re known for having so many flowers in our parks.”

Also something you might not see in a city’s parks: vegetables and fruits. At Freimann Square, you’ll find banana trees. You’ll also see vegetables growing. Lynda said you’re free to take the vegetables, within reason.

To learn more about the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, click here.

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