A Changing Landscape

Introduced earlier this year, Boomer has reactivated neighborhood parks throughout South Bend. The impact of this program has seen a multitude of partnerships and neighborhood awareness. Over 2,500 people have attended a Boomer event so far, with more to follow throughout the upcoming months. 


Neighborhood Parks 
As part of the My SB Parks & Trails initiative, 18 neighborhood parks and restrooms were given upgrades. Restrooms were brought up to current ADA standards and playgrounds received new, modernized equipment for play. Parks play an important role in healthy child development, which is why the My SB Parks & Trails initiative continues to show impact within South Bend. 

Studebaker Kids Play Free 
This beloved 9-hole course teamed up with the First Tee of Michiana for a new initiative to offer free golf for kids throughout the summer. In the 4 months that it was instituted this year, over 350 passes were issued to kids and over 600 rounds were played for free at Studebaker Golf Course through this new imitative.  

Community Partnerships 
Partnerships between business and organization and VPA continue to grow and thrive! Because of the community’s support and these partnerships, area youth are experiencing a variety of exciting things in South Bend. From the Potawatomi Zoo hosting summer campers to the South Bend Cubs teaming up with both the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and Charles Black Center, the opportunities for South Bend’s youth to get out and have memorable experiences continues to thrive.   

The Century Center’s Bendix Theater will soon be transformed into an E-Sports arena, hosting a variety of video gaming events. The E-sports industry is estimated to grow its’ audience to over 495 million worldwide in 2020. Funded primarily by hotel/motel tax, the Century Center hopes to see a capacity usage increase, therefore increasing overall spend in our city. 

Youth Scholarships 
More than 15 million children in the United States younger than 18 years live in poverty (American Academy of Pediatrics). These children experience disparities in education, health care, and socioeconomic resources, which is why the VPA Youth Scholarship Fund continues to be a priority. Thanks to generous supporters and special events like the Director’s Youth Scholarship Golf Outing, VPA is proud to offer subsidized rates to programs and special events throughout the year. This year, the golf outing brought in over $10,000 for the fund. 


Spanning 39 parks, over 900 acres and 20 miles of trails, My South Bend Parks & Trails is a combination of park, trail, and riverfront upgrades that will fundamentally change the landscape of South Bend’s shared green spaces. “Delivering upon the community’s vision is what makes our city so special and it’s what will ensure a lasting, meaningful impact” said Aaron Perri, Executive Director of Venues Parks & Arts.