News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Advocates, enthusiasts, public invited to inaugural Rivers Summit
Opportunities for input available at kick-off, workshops
(June 24, 2011) – Fort Wayne river advocates invite people interested in riverfront development and furthering Fort Wayne’s three rivers as a natural asset for the city and region to attend the 2011 Rivers Summit Tuesday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 29 at the Grand Wayne Center.
“As evidenced by the steady growth of our local waterfront businesses and large attendance at river-related events, the Rivers Summit is the next step in fully recognizing our water assets,” said Dan Wire, co-chair of Friends of the Rivers and one of the summit’s organizers. “The Rivers Summit’s mission is to unite people and communities to protect and improve the St. Joseph, St. Marys and Maumee rivers and their watersheds through education and outreach. By participating in the learning and discussions, individuals will help define what responsible river development can be.”
The Tuesday evening kick-off will encourage people to “Think of the Possibilities” and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mayor Tom Henry, State Sen. Dennis Kruse and Rep. Marlin Stutzman are scheduled to address why the rivers are important to Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana. It is free and open to the public.
Wednesday is a day-long workshop with break-out sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is open to anyone and has a $15 registration fee that includes lunch. That portion of the summit will have sessions on “Promoting the Progress” and “Pursuing the Challenges.” Registration will be available on site Wednesday. For a full schedule of events, visit www.riversummit.org.
Both days will include time for attendees to provide feedback and ideas about how to make the St. Joseph, St. Marys and Maumee a better resource and driver for economic development.
“Fort Wayne’s three rivers are the very reason our city was founded in 1794. As we have seen remarkable improvements to the vitality of our downtown, we need to extend that energy to our rivers. Mayor Henry understands our waterways are underutilized and is excited to see how we can make them a community asset,” said Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy. “Our rivers need to be a driver of economic development and community pride. The Rivers Summit will help jumpstart the conversation.”