News release from the Headwaters Park Alliance:
Headwaters Park Alliance finishes tree planting
(April 25, 2013) – The tree canopy at Headwaters Park has finally been totally restored ten months after the devastating June 29, 2012 storm. Winds gusting to 91 miles per hour were reported in Fort Wayne that day. Damage to the park was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars due to cleanup, tree trimming, and tree replanting.
The Headwaters Park Alliance raised private dollars to manage the storm clean up and prepare the park for the summer festivals. Over the past nine months, the Alliance has also raised funds to trim back a number of damaged trees and replant 14 Bradford Pear trees in the northwest section of the park. The Alliance also raised funds to restore flower gardens and new landscaping to other areas of the park as well.
Geoff Paddock, Executive Director of the Headwaters Park Alliance, announced that final replanting of trees and additional landscaping of gardens and shrub areas were taking place during the cool and wet spring weather of April. He also pointed out that taxpayers had not born any of the cost of the cleanup or tree purchases.
“The Alliance has spent over $60,000 to bring the park back after the devastating June 29 storm, and to refurbish flower gardens and other plantings” Paddock said. “We thank many individuals for stepping up and contributing funds to help us with this project. Thanks to their generosity, Fort Wayne taxpayers have not been charged with any of this cost,” Paddock said. “This is one of the advantages of having the Alliance manage the park. We have raiseD thousands of private dollars for a variety of projects.”
The fourteen large mature pear trees cost over $750 each and should grow to maturity in a few years, filling out the tree canopy that was lost after last summer’s storm. Anyone can purchase a tree for just $500 and have a commemorative marker placed next to it.
“As Memorial Day approaches, this would be a perfect time to purchase a tree for a loved one. A name and date and brief salutation can be part of the commemoration. We can engrave up to 36 characters over three lines on a brick marker, which would be placed at the base of the tree. This is a great way to recognize a relative or friend.” Paddock said.
Anyone interested in the tree project or in making a contribution to the Headwaters Park Alliance can call Geoff Paddock at 260/425-5745. The contribution is tax deductable.
Headwaters Park Alliance accomplishments
- Built both the Lincoln and Rothschild Pavilions and later expanded the Rothschild Pavilion with private dollars and inspected them for safety. Recently completed maintenance renovations to the Lincoln Pavilion.
- Established and added money to the maintenance endowment for the park.
- Established the only outdoor ice skating rink in the area and have run it for ten seasons with nearly 222,000+ skaters.
- Worked with the Department of Parks and Recreation and private donors to treat and preserve 123 ash trees in the park from the emerald ash borer infestation.
- Raised $20,000 in private dollars for the 2010 landscaping and tree plantings near the Rothschild Pavilion.
- Raised $40,000 in private dollars for the 2012/2013 landscaping and tree plantings near the Rothschild Pavilion and near Hamilton Sculptures.
- Raised private dollars to clean up from the June 29, 2012 storm and have it ready for the Three Rivers Festival.
- Helped new events get organized and built and maintained a calendar of over 40 events each season, with many quality events returning year after year.
- Raised over $5 million since 2000 (previous Headwaters Park Commission raised $10 million from 1993 to 2000) and saved taxpayers money with our operation.
- Funded and produced, with PBS WFWA Channel 39, a 60 minute documentary of the development and historical significance of the Headwaters Park Flood Control Project. Program was aired in late 2012 and early 2013.