Lightly tree-shaded, Coquillard is one of the city’s oldest Neighborhood parks. Incorporated into the parks’ system in 1906 it has functioned as an anchor to the neighborhood since its earliest development. Coquillard’s open space is laid out to accommodate open play and open field games.
History of Coquillard Park
Source: A History of St. Joseph County Indiana by Timothy Edward Howard, 1908
In 1889, Alexis Coquillard, who inherited the enterprise and public spirit of his namesake uncle, the first Alexis Coquillard who is credited with the founding of South Bend, also showed his zeal for public parks by offering four lots to the development of Howard Park and offered to the city, for development of a new park, a fine tract of land of almost 100 acres on the east side of the corporation. He went as far as to lay out this proposed park, plant trees and grade boulevards, walks and drives. In Coquillard’s imagination, the City of South Bend was about to have one of the finest parks in the west.
Unhappily, Mr. Coquillard, in the midst of his laudable undertaking and in what should have been the prime of his active and useful life died on February 25, 1890. With his death, the life also seemed to leave the noble project which he had so fondly cherished. It was not until 1906 that all controversies as to this gift were settled and the City accepted, in compromise of all of its claims, a tract of just over ten acres, taken out of the total grounds in dispute. It is from this portion that the current Coquillard Park takes its origin and claims its name. Coquillard Park’s inclusion in the city’s system is first described in a comprehensive summary of the conditions of the park system of the city, at the close of 1906 from the report of Herman H. Beyer, the park superintendent for that year. An excerpt:
“The year 1906 was marked by numerous park extensions in South Bend. The city acquired in the past year approximately seventy-eight acres of park property,distributed as follows: Coquillard park, comprising 10 acres, secured by the city in the settlement of the old Coquillard Park litigation. The ground is in the northeastern part of the city on East Campau street.
“A great deal of work has already been done in the new park grounds. At Coquillard Park a great many trees and shrubs were planted; the entire park was seeded, and laid out for drives and walks.”
Sidewalks along the edge of Coquillard are being completed as part of a Public Works project to improve walkability and safety across the entire city.
Playground Upgrades completed
Playground upgrades include adding two new features and benches in new locations.