Editor's note: Rosie O'Grady is co-chair of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods. The Your Neighbor column is written by a member of a local nonprofit group and appears frequently in Neighbors.
Our February meeting convened with introductions all around of those associations in attendance and then broke into three separate groups. The reason for this was to accommodate several representatives of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, who would be speaking to each group about the Salomon Farm Park, the future of the parks and trees.
It was fast-paced as the speakers rotated to each group and then came together at the end to see the plans for the future of Salomon Farm Park.
Saloman Farm is 170 acres of a working farm, complete with livestock, as was intended when the Salomon family donated the land and buildings to the parks department. This is one of the jewels of the parks system with a farmers market, walking path (nearby YMCA) and a pond bordering DuPont Road.
The team was led by Al Moll, director of the city parks department, along with people with expertise in their fields. We learned the wonderful old red barn is fully refurbished and is home of many receptions and parties. We heard about the trails, gardens, wetlands and farming equipment of the '30s and '40s kept in running order at the farm, with intentions of expanding it even more.
Regarding trees in our city, which we had 52,000, and more than 20 percent, or 14,000, were stricken by the emerald ash borer. Treatment and removal of these trees are being triaged according to worst cases and available funds.
We were also reminded that we can “twin” with our city in planting trees in our park strips by going half, or $75, for each tree planted.
Another wonderful asset is the Community Center downtown, which sponsors activities for both young and old year around.
A new free service was also introduced to neighborhoods that assists homeowners in finding trustworthycontractors and businesses for home-improvement needs. This service is particularly valuable in that so many of our citizens get scammed each year. To learn more about this free service, call company owner Tony Messuri at 676-2032 or go to www.thehomeownershelper.com.
The “round robin format” for NWAP meetings is popular because it allows for smaller groups, and easier ability to hear and ask questions of each speaker. But it is more time-consuming, which resulted in our meeting running overtime and made our reports shorter than usual. We hope you can be with us Thursday night, when we return to our regular meeting style with Ricky Kemery, horticulture educator at Allen County's Purdue Cooperative Extension office, just in time for spring planting tips and gardening ideas.
You can always contact us through www.neighborhoodlink.com/NWAP, and we hope you join us for coffee and refreshments at our March meeting.