Harris Township Park (HTP)

Harris Township Park and playground at Brummitt Road are now closed for the season

The Brummitt Road park and playground are closed until spring, as happens each year.

The township’s new Elm Road playground remains accessible but please note the parking lot is not plowed, garbage pickup is suspended, and pickleball nets have been removed.  As a reminder, the church across Elm Road from the park welcomes visitors, and has a playground suitable for smaller children.

This year, Harris Township again refreshed the mulch at the Brummitt Road playground, and replaced worn and vandalized playground pieces.  We hope these (expensive) improvements were appreciated, and are happy to see so many visitors at the park when it is open.  When it is closed – typically late November to mid-March – we ask that you not park outside the front gate or enter the property.

Interested in more places to get outside year-round?
1) We encourage you to contact the County Parks Department and ask them about providing a county park in Harris Township.  None exists today, yet they own property on Anderson Road with no plans to utilize it.  They also have a PARKS budget in excess of $1,700,000 which is partially funded by Harris taxpayers.  In contrast, the entire township operations budget is $144,000 with no line item specific to parks.
2) If you live closer to city limits – recently creeping north into the township up Gumwood Road, Fir Road and Capital Avenue – you might also contact the City of Mishawaka.  There is no Mishawaka park north of Day Road, and of course none in Harris Township.

Harris Township is doing it’s best to fill the recreation gap, but what we can do is limited.  We thank you in advance for your understanding.

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Our volunteers rock! Brummitt playground is upgraded as a result

A small group of volunteers helped the township fix swings, swap out vandalized panels, and replace faded sails above Harris Township’s Park at Brummitt Road.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to the team who worked so hard to improve the community.

The mulch was recently refreshed, too.  Doesn’t the park look great?  We think so.  THANKS again.

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HT’s parks are closed for the season; see you next Spring

Harris Township Park on Brummitt Road is now closed for the season.  The gates are locked.  There will be no garbage receptacles, nor any restrooms in place.  Look for the park re-opening in March of 2017.

Elm Ped Park on Elm Road is also effectively closed for the season.  The pickleball nets have been removed, and the baseball bases will be removed.  There is no garbage pickup; please don’t attempt to leave garbage in the bins.  The driveways and parking lot will not be snow-plowed.  The basketball hoops will remain up so, weather permitting, it might be possible to play a some basketball.

Attention friends of Harris Township Park:  The back, large parking lot was recently resurfaced at a cost to taxpayers.  Soon after, somebody damaged the surface by doing donuts with a vehicle.  That prompted us to close the back gate — allowing for continued use of the up-front playground.  While the township hoped to keep the park open as long as the weather remained nice, somebody actually removed fencing so they could get to the back lot and once again do donuts.  As a result, the decision was made to close the entire park for the season, earlier than planned.  You can personally ‘thank’ somebody if you ever catch them in the act, or call the St. Joseph County Police at 574-235-9611.  We intend to.

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Parking lot resurfacing complete at Harris Township Park

The large parking lot has a new surface!  The old one had larger chunks of recycled pavement, and was getting uneven in many spots.  The new surface is made from screened, recycled asphalt.  Sincere thanks to the County Commissioners, and to Chip at the County Highway Department for making the materials available to the township.

Northern Indiana Construction spread and compacted the material.  Thanks to them as well.

If you see anyone abusing the new surface, including doing donuts in the lot, please get a license number and let us and the county police know about it.  It only takes one bad apple to ruin a lot (pun intended), and unfortunately we have at least one horrible apple out there.

 

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Parking lot upgrade at Harris Township Park

Not all the ‘action’ is at Elm Road.  The parking lot at Harris Township Park is getting a new surface.  The project might be completed yet this week.  Of course, your township officials are delivering this upgrade while keeping down costs.

Many thanks to St. Joseph County, and to Northern Indiana Construction.

If you visit the park often, we’d love to hear what you think about the upgrade.  And, please keep an eye out for those who may try to damage the new surface … as we’ve had some issues in the past.  Thanks!

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Soon – help will be wanted, part time seasonal

Upcoming Job Opportunity at Harris Township

During the late summer of 2016, applications will be accepted for the position of Maintenance Manager, with a projected initial start date of October 1st, 2016.  Interested parties should begin to prepare a statement of qualifications.

The position will be seasonal (approximately March through November), and part time (approximately 20 hours per week) on a relatively flexible schedule, paid at a competitive hourly rate based on experience and skills.  No benefits.  The position requires a vehicle.

Sample expected responsibilities include oversight of township parks and cemeteries, lawn and tree maintenance, trash removal, cleaning, playground inspecting, court maintenance, minor repairs, and working with service providers.  Also: being on-call via phone or text, ownership of problems, plus planning for and implementing improvements across a variety of areas including parking, lighting, signage, bird habitats, rentals, and security.

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Thanks, Eagle Scout candidate Eric Baker!

It’s much easier to find a seat at Harris Township Park, thanks to Eric Baker.  The Eagle Scout candidate installed four picnic tables in the playground area, and eight wooden tables on two newly-created pads adjacent to soccer fields.  Come try them out when the park reopens in the spring.

Eric initiated, planned and implemented the project this fall – while leading a team of volunteers.  We wish Eric quick appoinment to the level of Eagle Scout.

Thanks, Eric!  — from Harris Township and the ECHO Soccer Club

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Granger Community Church (is) 4Michiana

Volunteers from Granger Community Church (GCC) recently spread playground mulch, built bird boxes, and planted trees at Harris Township Park as part of their ongoing 4Michiana campaign to serve local community organizations.  Check out the program at their web site gccwired.com, or navigate there via our Partners page.

Dozens of wonderful volunteers gave their Saturday morning this spring to improve the park.  We are very grateful!  Special thanks to Jeanna, Cassie, Dale, Jon and Shelly.

Come to the park this summer to check out the softer play’ground’, and in 20 years to admire the walnut trees bordering the toll road.

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Bluebird!

It took until June, but a bluebird was spotted at Harris Township Park. It is nesting in a bluebird box that was installed earlier this year.

Thanks again to the Audubon Society, and specifically Laura Fuderer who took these pictures on June 19th. Interested in seeing wildlife up close? Volunteer.

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The Birds of Harris Township Park

Laura Fuderer, Conservation Chair of the South Bend – Elkhart Audubon Society, has been keeping track of the birds frequenting Harris Township Park.

Here is the list of birds spotted at Harris Township Park:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Wood Duck (a pair)
  3. Mallard
  4. Turkey
  5. Red-tailed Hawk
  6. Killdeer (confirmed nesting)
  7. Gull species (Ring-billed?)
  8. Mourning Dove
  9. Northern Flicker
  10. Eastern Kingbird
  11. Blue Jay
  12. American Crow
  13. American Robin
  14. European Starling
  15. Chipping Sparrow
  16. Song Sparrow
  17. Northern Cardinal
  18. Red-winged Blackbird
  19. Common Grackle
  20. House Finch
  21. Cedar Waxwing
  22. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
  23. Eastern Towhee
  24. Bluebird (breeding)
  25. House Sparrow
  26. Baltimore Oriole (breeding)
  27. Gray Catbird
  28. Brown-headed Cowbird
  29. Green Heron
  30. Horned Larks
  31. Barn Swallows

This list will be updated ongoing!  (last update from 7/26/2015 visit)

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