In 1993, the City of South Bend began a neighborhood revitalization project for the Sample-Ewing Development Area (SEDA), a portion of the city that was struggling to retain its identity. A major aim of this project was the revitalization of the design of the Southeast Park, a new community recreation facility that would serve as the heart of the neighborhood.
The Eppley Institute worked directly with the City of South Bend, as well as with community members, the faith and business communities, local law enforcement, and social service agencies, to create a vision plan for the Southeast Park. With the assistance of these community members, the Eppley Institute:
- Conducted interviews and meetings to develop a recreational needs analysis,
- Conducted a community “visioning” process to build public support for the role of the park in the revitalization of the neighborhood, and
- Created a master plan for the development of the Southeast Park.
The Southeast Park visioning process spoke to a need within the community for a safe, secure, and active park with emphasis on recreational needs and links to the larger community. Additionally, the Southeast Park vision plan afforded the unique opportunity to transform a troubled neighborhood by developing a park facility that specifically supports community needs and provides a quality recreational experience.