Neighbors are fortunate to have an abundance of parks and greenspaces within walking distance.
Located at the Eastern border of the Near Northwest Neighborhood is Leeper Park, a National Historic Landmark. Designed by George Kessler in 1903, the park features the finest tennis center in the City and is home to the South Bend Tennis Tournament every summer. The duck pond is a gathering place for parents and children to enjoy feeding the animals and is adjacent to the playground with swings, slide, and jungle gym. A community maintained garden is located at the Southern end of the Park along Lafayette Boulevard. Its brick path reminds visitors you are entering a place for all to enjoy.
The views at Leeper Park are spectacular! From the top of Riverside Drive you have a beautiful view of the St. Joseph River, Leeper Park Bridge, Madison Elementary School, and tennis courts. The winding carriage trail (Riverside Drive) crosses Michigan Street to the Rose Garden, the 1895 North Pumping Station, and a pedestrian bridge to the island. The 1820 Pierre Navarre cabin is located here and offers residents a great place to relax and enjoy the tall oak trees.
A visit to Leeper is not complete without taking a stroll through Chapin Park located above the park. A part of the Near Northwest Neighborhood, Chapin Park is a local historic district and features some of the most beautiful Victorian homes in the City.
Shetterly Park is located along Riverside Drive which connects one historic district to another. It is a quiet park to enjoy the panoramic views of the river.
Brownfield Park, named after the Brown family, is at the northern border of the Near Northwest along Angela Boulevard, and adjacent to the Riverside Historic District. It has a basketball court tucked in at one end, swing sets for the kids at the other end, and a large open meadow used for football and soccer practices.
The Triangle Garden, a community flower garden, is in the center of the neighborhood; it is bordered by Portage, Sherman and Vassar Avenues. Designed by residents of the Near Northwest it offers Spring, Summer, and Autumn color as you drive to work or walk the neighborhood.
Muessel Grove Park is at the western edge of the Near Northwest Neighborhood along Vassar Ave. at Wilbur Street. The park is named for the family that operated a local brewery adjacent to it; in addition the family owned some of most prominent houses in our neighborhood. The park features a grove of tall oak trees providing shade for summertime activities. It also has two baseball diamonds, a basketball court, a pavilion and lots of picnic tables. The soccer field is used by local schools and neighborhood children.
All these parks are well maintained by the South Bend Parks Department. They offer today’s families the same opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors, as they have for over 100 years.