Ft. Wayne MarketLocal News

Fort Wayne ranked “4th worst city” for recreation

(Photo Supplied/ Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): In a list of 100 cities, Fort Wayne comes in near the bottom when it comes to recreation.

That’s according to a study by personal finance website Wallethub, which ranked the 100 largest cities in the U.S. across 48 key metrics like basic living costs, accessibility of entertainment, and the weather.

Fort Wayne ranked 96th in Music Venues per Capita, 89th in the percentage of parkland in the city limits, and 85th in the percentage of the population with a park within walking distance.

San Diego, CA ranked #1; Indianapolis came in at 80th. Find the full study here.

It’s not unfamiliar territory for the Summit City, as the Trust for Public Land has also ranked Fort Wayne low on such lists.

City officials have typically pointed to work on Promenade Park, plus the city’s series of connected trails, as strong points that such studies don’t take into account. The City also is in the process of revamping Franke Park.

Steve McDaniel, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director, released the following statement to WOWO News regarding the WalletHub rankings:

“The Parks and Recreation Department strives to provide consistent, quality, low-cost recreation opportunities for citizens. While WalletHub’s study included a wide range of criteria, such as commercial entertainment and favorable weather, these findings did point out areas we have already been working to address, including walkable park access, which is happening now as you see many new walking paths being built throughout the city, including over 48 miles of trails in our parks. Those paths are intentionally being linked with many of our parks that previously were not as easily accessible to neighborhoods.

Amount of designated parkland was also considered in their results, and projects like Promenade Park in downtown Fort Wayne are a result of our efforts to find new, appropriate park locations to offer spaces for recreation to more of our citizens, which currently totals over 2,800 acres of parkland in 87 parks. In the past five years, we have also made over 20 million dollars in improvements to our existing parks to increase the quality of recreation for our citizens, and much of that work is a result of our ongoing communication with the public. We regularly gather public feedback and use their comments to inform our planning process. In fact, we are currently planning our next comprehensive public assessment, which allows the community to share concerns and suggestions for the future direction of our parks.”


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