How Fort Wayne’s community gardens are growing more sustainable, connected neighborhoods

How Fort Wayne’s community gardens are growing more sustainable, connected neighborhoods

“I’ve met more of my neighbors in the past three to four years doing this than I have the entire 30-some years I’ve lived here.” As rent, groceries and the cost of living rise, many residents near Downtown Fort Wayne are turning to community gardens to supplement their weekly meals. “Our garden is used every day by neighbors here,” says Chris Walker, President of the Bloomingdale neighborhood, just north of Downtown along the Wells Street Corridor. “There’s somebody here at least four times a day. Food prices have increased, and we’re in a food desert where there are not a lot of healthy, affordable options.”  Walker considers Bloomingdale one of Downtown’s few affordable neighborhoods left, on the brink of ever-expanding riverfront development nearby. As property values...

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What’s happening with housing at Electric Works? We ask developers about affordability, artist lofts & more

Q&A with Kevan Biggs, President and Owner of Biggs Group A rendering of The Elex, a mixed-use housing development at Electric Works that will “wrap” around the West and North sides of the current Union Parking Garage, fronting on Broadway. (Courtesy) Kevan Biggs, President and Owner of Biggs Group, speaks at the Electric Works sign lighting event in January 2023. (Courtesy) The first housing development at Electric Works, known as the Elex, will wrap around the current Union Parking Garage, left. (Kara Hackett) The Elex will “wrap” around the West and North sides of the current Union Parking Garage, from the ground level up five stories. (Kara Hackett) The Elex is scheduled to break ground this summer, with completion in early 2025. (Kara Hackett) From the earliest days of...

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How much do you know about the inner workings of Allen County government?

How much do you know about the inner workings of Allen County government?

Q&A with consultant and educator Andrew Downs For more than a year now, a court-ordered project to expand the Allen County Jail has been a hot topic in Fort Wayne. In April 2022, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered the county to address understaffing and overcrowding issues at the current jail in Downtown Fort Wayne, saying its capacity must expand to more than 1,000 inmates. The jail is currently considered “operationally full” at 593 inmates, and at times in recent years, its capacity has exceeded 800. In response, Allen County's three commissioners, who are charged with managing the project, have said the only way to meet this demand is to build a new jail—and quickly. Since then, nearly every step of the project has prompted public outcry, from its hurried pace of development, to...

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The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

https://youtu.be/0c9D5O_gZcs Our latest episode of "The Collaborative Corner" features an insightful conversation with Rachel Blakeman, Director of the Community Research Institute (CRI) at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Learn about CRI's efforts to broaden its...

Land Banks: How They Work, and Why Fort Wayne Needs One

Land Banks: How They Work, and Why Fort Wayne Needs One

“We need land banks everywhere.” Nate Howard, the Executive Director of Muncie Land Bank, has seen what positive changes can come from rehabilitating abandoned and vacant properties in his area. An empowered land bank can reduce blight and save taxpayers money, plus...

The Collaborative Corner | Rachel Blakeman

The Collaborative Corner | Zach Vessels

Meet the mastermind behind Creatorspace! In this episode of The Collaborative Corner, Zach Vessels shares how he built a thriving creative community from the ground up. Tune in to hear about his journey, the impact on local creators, and the power of collaboration in...