Renovations to Leeper Park begin in wake of duck pond removal

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - While many are still reeling over the loss of the Leeper Park duck pond, the city of South Bend is not wasting any time starting new renovations.

Thursday kicked off the groundbreaking of the park's improvement project. First on the list was installing an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible playground and paths. Visitors will also see the new Studebaker Fountain.

Later on in the year, they will take on street improvements for visitor safety and a new wildlife overlook.

It's all to make the area more accessible for everyone and modernize some aging features.

"This isn't just about grass and swing sets," Executive Director of Venues, Parks and Arts Aaron Perri said. "It's about economic impact, about social unity, about things like public safety and health and wellness. We have a better community when we have quality shared spaces."

The city says the project should be done later this summer, but the central part of the park will be closed during renovations.