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Task force report on Memorial Park expected Thursday at Fort Wayne Parks board meeting

This memorial to local World War I soldiers stands near the Glasgow Avenue entrance to Memorial Park. A task force is supposed to release its recommendations Thursday on improving the park, which was created 100 years ago to honor Fort Wayne and Allen County residents who died while serving the U.S. military during World War I. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
The Art Smith memorial stands at the highest point in Memorial Park, commemorating the pioneering Fort Wayne aviator. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
Some trees haven't survived after being planted last fall to replace the original trees in the Memorial Grove at Memorial Park. Many of the original trees had to be removed over the years because they had died or had been badly damaged by storms. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
This monument honoring Allen County military veterans is one of the newer monuments in Memorial Park, which located at Maumee and Glasgow avenues. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)

Area military veterans and park users should find out Thursday what a special task force recommends for improving Memorial Park at Maumee and Glasgow avenues.

The ideas from the Memorial Park Task Force will be presented during the meeting of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department’s board of park commissioners at 10 a.m. Thursday in Room 30 on the lower level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

The park board created the task force in June 2017 with a goal of members making recommendations by November 2017.

At the time, parks department leaders said task force members would be asked to study issues such as restoration of monuments in the park, upgrading landscaping, park maintenance, replacement of dead or missing trees, parks department programming offered at the park and capital improvements needed.

The park, which is 100 years old this year, was created as a memorial to Allen County men and women who died while in U.S. military service during World War I. Parks department officials said in early 2017 that Memorial Park then was one of the lesser-used city parks.

Military veterans, some park neighbors and others turned out in force, however, to oppose Indiana Tech’s early 2017 proposal to build a softball stadium, track-and-field complex, and athletics training and office building in the park.

The university withdrew its proposal after strong opposition from U.S. military veterans and parks and historic preservation supporters. Indiana Tech later bought the Donald Ross Golf Club at South Calhoun Street and Tillman Road and is converting half of the course to the athletic facilities it proposed building at Memorial Park.

At Thursday’s meeting, the park board also will receive an update on downtown riverfront development work, which includes building Promenade Park along the St. Marys River in downtown Fort Wayne.

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