Want to help make Fort La Play Porte even better for our kids? Now’s your chance

An artist’s rendering of planned improvements at Fort La Play Porte. (Image provided)

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Do your kids enjoy playing at Fort La Play Porte? They’ll enjoy an even better Fort soon, with some help from the community.

A “crowdfunding campaign” has been launched, sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and spearheaded by the LaPorte Park and Recreation Department, LaPorte Park Foundation and Fort La Play Porte Renovation Steering Committee. If the local campaign reaches its $50,000 goal by March 10, the Fort La Play Porte Redesign and Rebuild project will receive a matching grant of $50,000 from the IHCDA.

“Unfortunately, playgrounds are aging throughout our state and country, including Fort La Play Porte,” said Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “With a successful crowdfunding campaign, this park can be redesigned and rebuilt to better serve those of all abilities in LaPorte and surrounding areas.”

This campaign focuses on preserving the existing character of the 19-year-old playground in Kesling Park and the redesign will increase accessibility, visibility and add new features like a zipline.

“This playground has been used and loved by countless families in our community over the last 19 years, including my own,” says Michelle Shirk, Fort La Play Porte fundraising committee co-chair. “We are very grateful to IHCDA and Patronicity for their support as we move forward with this exciting redesign and rebuild.”

Initial funding for the Fort La Play Porte renovation has been provided by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and La Porte Park Foundation.

Donations of any amount are welcome. For more information on the project and to donate, visit www.patronicity.com/FortLaPlay or www.fortlaplayporte.com, or email Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber at mschreiber@cityoflaportein.gov.

By the way, did your family paint a donation tile for the original Fort La Play Porte playground build? If so, you can continue that tradition when you donate $50 or more to the new campaign. Check out the details and the various giving levels at www.patronicity.com/FortLaPlay.

12 Responses to “Want to help make Fort La Play Porte even better for our kids? Now’s your chance”

  1. 18th & Andrew

    Jan 18. 2019

    Fort La Play Porte… yikes.
    Who names these things? Wasn’t there an opportunity to name it after someone in our history (distant, recent, otherwise) ?
    How about Abraham Andrew Park or Hazel Harrison Park?

    In light of this week’s unfortunate news, and with nothing but respect and sincerity, why not Bob Burns Memorial Park? If you knew the guy… the least this community could do is name a park in his memory.

    Reply to this comment
    • Georgette Mearns

      Feb 19. 2019

      We helped build the playground some 20 years ago. My boys are now 30 and 35. We had a ball working with the community. We all had jobs to do. We worked along side with friends, and people we never met. Even our Doctor was there working with us! The kids also worked. It was very exciting. I think I still have our T shirt we bought, it’s saved in my memory box. The name for the playground was picked from all the entries the community put in. It was made into a contest. That was the winning name!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jeff Barnard

    Jan 20. 2019

    I am SO glad I’m not the only one irritated and saddened at the idiocy of the name Fort La Play Porte. I am in favor of naming La Porte parks after ANY distinguished La Portean or American as long as he or she has no criminal record…come on! This is nearly as foolish as the flower pots that take up much needed parking spaces downtown. We have a great, little community and we should spend more time than three minutes naming areas of interest and more than five minutes planning the beautifying of our downtown without making parking even worse.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Tomi

    Jan 20. 2019

    I would like to see a fence around the playground with one way in and out so parents know the kids cannot run off or worse be taken away. If you go with more than 1 child it is difficult to keep your eyes on all if they dont stay together.

    Reply to this comment
    • good point

      Jan 21. 2019

      Great suggestion Tomi. Should be standard with any playground these days.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Laportean

    Jan 21. 2019

    Please keep the name of the park. It is a park for children to “play “ which happens to be designed like a “fort “ which is part of the heritage of this area and it is located in LaPorte. Let the kids have an area of a much larger park that they can call their own. Not everything has to be named after some person that these kids will never meet or study in school.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jeff Barnard

    Jan 22. 2019

    to Laportean, I heartily agree that not everything has to be named after people, but the fort’s name itself is just so terrible… 😉

    Reply to this comment
  6. Gorgeous Jim

    Jan 27. 2019

    I really like the the original name of Fort La Play Porte, my Daughter who’s 18 now really enjoyed playing on it 10-12 years ago, and I’m sure that she would also like to see it still to remain being Fort La Play Porte. Everything doesn’t have to be named after people !

    Reply to this comment
  7. Remember

    Feb 04. 2019

    The children in the community named it. Maybe some one involved with it 20 years ago can elaborate…

    Reply to this comment
  8. sue

    Feb 04. 2019

    My frustration when taking toddler grand kids there is access for grandma! haha….I find it difficult sometimes to get in some of the areas and crawl around to grab escaping toddlers. The kids love it but, some areas need to be more adult friendly. They love it and think its great fun to escape when grandma can’t get to them very easily. Secondly, whats the big deal about the name? Yeah, it’s awkward to say but, why does stuff always have to be named after someone? Then down the line if someone makes a huge donation, the name just gets changed. Saw that happen at the college I attended. It is after all a fort.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Ricj

    Feb 05. 2019

    Let us not forget the folks who dedicated their money time and effort in the construction of the original playground. I hope their memories will continue to be recognized.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Cindy

    Feb 05. 2019

    This is exciting news for La Porte. My family has many great memories at Fort La Play Porte and I am happy to see it getting refurbished to allow another generation to enjoy! I love the focus on accessibility for all and some new features like a zip line and obstacle course. My family has already made our donation and I hope others will do the same. It will be fun for my now grown kids to make another tile. This is a positive thing for our community and I hope all will see and support it as such!

    Reply to this comment

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