Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Mishawaka, Indiana with my wife. She was hired to photograph a wedding so I had an afternoon of time to spend with my son. Of course, I took my camera along. Before hand I researched what to do there and what public spaces they might have to offer. The first thing that came up was Beutter Park. Let me tell you something, this place delivered!! I spent the afternoon playing in the park with my son and snapping photographs. The park is aligned with the riverwalk which is basically a concrete sidewalk upÂ both sides of the St Joseph river through the downtown area of Mishawaka. It is all nicely landscaped and well thought out.
There are many water falls and plenty of open green space. I can tell how much of a hit it must be with locals, because I sawÂ enough people out walking, biking, fishing and roller bladingÂ to be competitive with aÂ typical spring day on the canal in DT Indy. If you get a chance to visit Mishawaka, it is worth at least 20 minutes of your trip to park and observe. I will leave you with some photos that I took. This is truly a great public space worth spreading the word about.
I lived in Mishawaka until I was 10 and have lots of relatives in the area. The skyline still looks strange to me without the Uniroyal factory that was the prior occupant of what now is parkland, and it’s great to see what has become of it. Mishawaka has a nicely preserved downtown and I hope this park is a catalyst for the city, although its economic fate is closely tied to South Bend.
This project was designed by Rundell Ernstberger Associates – the same firm that designed the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. It is great example of how strong municipal leadership and inspired design can turn a seemingly hopeless liability (in this case the Uniroyal Tire Superfund site) into a cherished community asset, leading to revitalization, reinvestment in downtown, and a renewed community connection to their cultural history and natural environment. It is indeed a great little story that deserves to be told.
I have more pics of this park that were taken in the Spring if you would like them. Just for a different perspective. Let me know.
I like the park but watch out for geese poop!