Jim Pankop - Park Director
Kendallville's finest assets include its parks and recreational services. Founding fathers quickly recognized the beauty of Bixler Lake and it's surrounding natural areas east of town. As early as 1854, the lake was utilized as the community swimming hole, and private land on it's shore was set aside "as a place of public resort where all trees were to be protected and no buildings were to be built". A fifty passenger steamboat, The Flying Dutchman, began operation in 1866, the first of numerous boating services providing transportation to the lake's eastside park.
Over these many years, farsighted civic leaders purchased additional land surrounding the lake. Bixler Lake Park now entirely encompasses the beautiful 117-acre lake, more than 500 acres on its perimeter, providing a vast array of recreational opportunities! Unique features include a self-guided wetland nature area with deep woods and waterfowl observation platforms, Victorian gazebo, native grass and wildflower field, community gardens, campground, sports complex and many others.
The Kendallville Park and Recreation Department maintains these facilities and conducts numerous programs to enhance the quality of life of our residents. Offerings include programs to improve fitness, educate in the area of our native Indiana ecology and conservation and promotion of the arts. Community-based special programs, events and festivals are also conducted.
Our mission is to provide quality parks and facilities, open spaces, natural areas and leisure services which will enhance the well-being of Kendallville citizens.
We invite you to investigate the many opportunities available through the Kendallville Park and Recreation Department. There is something of interest here for your enjoyment.