City, Rotary Club team up for water jet fountain

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Rotary Club of Fort Wayne members meet with Ron Dick of Design Collaborative to discuss the Riverfront Development Project.

The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne continues to live by its motto “Service Above Self” with its recent sponsorship of the water jet fountains, part of the city’s riverfront development project.

The $26 million project is intended to create an innovative and exciting location for Fort Wayne residents and visitors to commune and enjoy the city and rivers.

The fountain is an idea organized by the riverfront development project’s design team. It is part of the project’s phase 1A, projected to be complete before the end of 2018. The fountain is designed as a complement to the adjacent natural water and for people to interact with the rivers, said Al Moll, director of parks and recreation for the city of Fort Wayne. During the warmer months, the fountain will be available for children to play in.

“We are grateful that the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne took the initiative and were willing to be part of the overall project,” said Moll. “This is a model for other organizations to follow as we all invest in our future.”

The water jet fountain, which will be located on the south plaza east of the Compass Pavilion, will be operated and maintained by the city’s park department after its completion. The fountain will cost about $200,000 and construction will begin in August.

The majority of the club members agreed that becoming involved in the riverfront development project was a way the club could continue its support of the city, something it has continued to do over decades.

The club sponsored the Centennial Clock Tower in 2015 as a part of the club’s centennial celebration while also supporting more than 100 Little Free Libraries.

Prior to 2015, the Club also coordinated the first public swimming pool in Lawton Park, developed the Circle of Hope trail in Headwaters Park, developed the Avenue of Trees on Clinton Street, and helped coordinate Lincoln Highway to come through Fort Wayne. It also cleans up the riverbanks twice a year and supports education through mentorship, scholarships and foreign exchange programs.

Legacy Funds, Regional Cities funds and donations currently support funding for the riverfront development project.

The fountain will receive funding through these avenues and also through donations from members of the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne, matched funds and fundraisers.

The Big Easy Feast on Feb. 28 is one such fundraiser. The event will be hosted at the Lincoln Financial Event Center at Parkview Field and tickets cost $30. The club will also run a pledge drive to continue raising funds for the water jet fountain.

The Second Century Planning Committee within the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne is looking ahead to how the club can contribute to the city of Fort Wayne in other ventures in the future, though nothing is concrete yet.