South Side neighborhood celebrates growth with new pallet park

The Mount Vernon Park neighborhood is dreaming big with their new park which was designed and built by the kids and adults who live here.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A neighborhood in southeast Fort Wayne hosted a block part Saturday. The goal is to celebrate progress in the area and shape a vision for the future.

The Mount Vernon Park neighborhood has four priorities they focus on to better their neighborhood: beautification, recreation, social gatherings and infrastructure. Saturday, they celebrated recreational success with the opening of a pallet park.

The project was a collaboration between Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center, the Mount Vernon Park Neighborhood Association, and various other entities.

The new park was designed and built by the kids and adults who live here.

“So when we call it a community park, it’s not just a park that’s in our community,” said Rena Bradley, community development director of Bridge of Grace. “It’s a park that was built of and for our community.”

She calls the park a symbol of the neighborhood’s overall growth.

“One part of what we do is we try to shift the perception of this community,” she explained. “I think when a lot of people think of the southeast, they think of it as a place that’s not so great and that’s staying that way and is stagnant and we want our community members to see that this is a place that can grow that can evolve, that can change. That success and living well doesn’t have to mean leaving the neighborhood. It can mean staying here and making sure this place can evolve and grow and change with them and they’re really the ones that can make that happen.”

Plans are already in the works for another neighborhood park which will open next summer.