In 2002, Nappanee purchased approximately 30 acres of agricultural land bordering the Nappanee’s Northwest side to supplement its existing well field at West Side Park. Nappanee also began thinking about potential Park and Recreation uses for the real estate that would be complimentary, and subject to, its use as a well field. One potential and complimentary use of the well field that came to Nappanee’s attention was the use of the real estate to develop a fitness complex with trails, open space, and athletic fields. Future plans included linking Wellfield Park to a pathway/trail system that connected it to other Parks throughout the City.
Nappanee began to refine and consider those actions which would be necessary to develop Wellfield Park. The Northwood Soccer Club, Inc. (the “Soccer Club”), an Indiana nonprofit corporation with Section 501(c)(3) status had been formed and was already operating a youth soccer program in Nappanee for area youth, including the formation and operation of travel teams participating in competition with other area soccer clubs. Nappanee and the Soccer Club began discussions relative to the potential for developing a soccer fields on the north part of the park.
As the development of the Wellfield Park continued, Nappanee and Wa-Nee began discussions as to potential development of a premier field at Wellfield Park which could be utilized not only by Nappanee’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Soccer Club, but which could also be utilized by the NorthWood High School boys and girls varsity and junior varsity IHSAA soccer programs as the site of their home IHSAA soccer matches. Nappanee, desiring to pursue the development of the premier field with artificial turf, seating, lighting and other amenities, consulted with designers and estimated the cost of the premier field at $750,000.
Wa-Nee has agreed to consider allowing Nappanee to utilize seating equipment, scoreboard, and team benches at the soccer field currently located at Memorial Field. Use of the premier field for post season IHSAA tournament play is a goal for NorthWood High School. Providing a location for the premier soccer field in Wellfield Park will allow the high school to move its soccer programs from the current location at Memorial Field and allow Wa-Nee Schools and the Boys & Girls Club to work out a lease of the land to build a new Boys & Girls Club next to Nappanee Elementary School.
Nappanee is committed to the future development of Wellfield Park through infrastructure improvements to accommodate parking, storm water drainage, pathways, lighting, water, and restrooms. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds are currently budgeted for incorporating these improvements to promote health and wellness in the community. Trails in and around Wellfield Park will allow for walking, jogging and biking. Future plans include a pedestrian bridge over the Berlin Court Ditch to tie into a trail to West Side Park and a connection to the trail along Main Street that will eventually tie into Stauffer Park.
PRELIMINARY DESIGN AND LAYOUT FOR WELLFIELD PARK