Mishawaka’s $1M overhaul to include bike park

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Oct 182017
 
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Bike park, new features unveiled for Mishawaka’s Mary Gibbard Park
By Joseph Dits South Bend Tribune

MISHAWAKA — A new outdoor bike park for kids — complete with BMX jumps unique to northwest Indiana — will be among the new features of Mary Gibbard Park, which the city hopes to reopen next summer after a $1 million overhaul.

So will a new playground, a low zipline, WiFi and a splash pad to replace the small pool in this park at the southwest corner of the city.

Kids at LaSalle Elementary School gathered in assembly Monday to see the final plans, swooning and cheering. Back in the spring, they’d drawn pictures of what they wanted in the park. Many of them, like the bike park, will be reality.

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Sneak peek at new LaSalle Trail in St. Joseph County

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Oct 112017
 
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By Joseph Dits South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND — The new extension of the LaSalle Trail isn’t officially open yet. Then again, there aren’t barricades at Darden Road to stop curious bikers and hikers who head north to check it out daily — including a regular stream of them Sunday when I took the GoPro camera and previewed the fresh concrete.

It was a fall treat. Sunshine polished sparks of autumn color that had just spread a little more. Twigs and tree litter peppered the path from Saturday’s rain. Towering trees and neighborhoods mark the character of this 1-mile trail extension that the county is paving between Darden and Auten roads — a segment of the greater trail that now spans, with gaps, from Mishawaka to Niles.

As we reported in The Tribune in July, officials hope to fill all of the key gaps in the Mishawaka-Niles trail by the end of next year, including about 1.1 miles from Auten north to the Michigan line and a separate 1.2-mile stretch just north of U.S. 12 in Niles Township.

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Bike trail from Niles to Mishawaka set to be complete in September 2018

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Aug 012017
 


By Travis Robinson | Posted: Mon 11:43 PM, Jul 31, 2017
In just about a year from now, you’ll be able to ride a bike from the East side of Mishawaka, all the way up to the North end of Niles.
The idea to bike to and from Mishawaka and Niles has been talked about for decades. After finally starting the project almost one decade ago, that vision is almost reality.
With the 34-mile bike trail nearly complete, both Niles natives and newcomers say they’re excited to see what comes out of it.

“Something besides just going up and back the little niles trail,” Soon-to-be Niles resident Tom Vinton said. “Now I can actually go someplace for the day.”
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Niles Township works to bridge River Valley Trail gap

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Jul 312017
 
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NILES — North of the Indiana-Michigan state line, one curvy little gap cuts the Michigan portion of the River Valley Trail in two.It’s a 1.2-mile stretch in Niles Township that has interrupted the ride or hike for trail users for several years.

But finally it’s on track to be completed — possibly in just over a year’s time.

 “We’re almost there,” said Jill DeLucia, chairwoman of the Niles Township Parks Commission. DeLucia’s hoping residents come to the Township Hall on Bell Road for an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today to take a look at the final plans and to give their input.

“Whether it’s the location of benches or avoiding a certain area or making sure there’s signage in a certain spot, you get some great feedback from the public,” DeLucia said. “Any feedback is helpful in crafting a plan.” Wightman & Associates of Benton Harbor has engineered plans for the 1.2-mile piece of trail, which will fill the gap from where the township’s existing trail, which starts at the state line, ends at Brandywine Creek Nature Park to where the city of Niles’ portion of the trail picks up to the north at Fort and Third streets.

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