For many years, Fort Wayne and the surrounding area relied upon the St. Marys, St. Joseph, and the Maumee rivers for navigation, economic development and drinking water plus many more activities. As time passed, the rivers were largely ignored (except during flooding). Very little activity occurs in and around the rivers.
In recent years, the City of Fort Wayne and its citizens have undergone a detailed study of the possible uses for our rivers. From the study, it was concluded that the riverfront holds much promise and plenty of possibilities, and can enhance this community to attract new talent to Fort Wayne and give a boost to community development.
The Riverfront Fort Wayne Conceptual Plan was realized as a result of the Legacy Fort Wayne community initiative, which sought to determine the best investments for funds received as a result of proceeds of a long-term lease and recent sale of the City’s electric utility.
The Legacy Fort Wayne Task Force created by Mayor Tom Henry in 2011, identified Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront as a key opportunity area for investment. The Task Force recommended the Riverfront Fort Wayne Study as the first step to realizing the potential of the downtown riverfront area as a vibrant, regionally important destination on the north side of the City’s downtown.