Mayor Tom HenryMayor INVITES RESIDENTS TO “Discover Fort Wayne”

Program Launched to Build Community Attachment

I know many of you are like me: born and raised right here in Fort Wayne. We feel an attachment to this community that goes beyond just loyalty – we have a strong pride in where we live and we know our City is going in a positive direction. In other words, we can’t imagine calling any other place home. I want more people in Fort Wayne and Waynedale to be as “attached” to their community as we are. That’s why I recently launched the “Discover Fort Wayne” project.

This new initiative is designed to strengthen the connections Fort Wayne residents have to their hometown by experiencing some of the wonderful opportunities our city offers. Like many of you, I’m troubled when I hear people say there is nothing to do in Fort Wayne only to find out that they have never explored or enjoyed their community or experienced the numerous opportunities. I made a list of all the interesting events someone could attend in a year. My list quickly grew to nearly 500 items. I thought I was onto an idea worth sharing.

My thinking is borne out in a recent John S. and James. L. Knight Foundation’s “Soul of the Community” study. The study looked at questions such as: What makes residents love where they live? What draws people to a place and keeps them there? The results in a nutshell: Attachment. Further, attachment is characterized by quality of life issues such as openness, events and activities, and aesthetics — the beauty of the community.

The study found a significant relationship between attachment and a community’s economic success. Where we connect, we invest. Where residents share a sense of belonging and a commitment to making their city the best it can be, opportunity grows. “Discover Fort Wayne” will build the bonds of attachment, which can become a bridge to economic growth and prosperity.
The survey found attachment increasing in Fort Wayne, but we can make that grow even faster. Here are some ways residents can “Discover Fort Wayne” in the next few months:

Through a video project called My Fort Wayne, I’m asking you to share stories about what makes Waynedale special to you personally and what you like about living there. Record yourself or others telling these stories then submit the video via YouTube. Check out to see a sampling.
Get out and enjoy one of the many social opportunities in the community. In the next few months look for special promotions and incentives available that I hope will encourage you to join in Fort Wayne activities, events and attractions. Go to to find out more.

Stop and enjoy the beauty that is all around you. With the weather warming, Fort Wayne’s award-winning parks and trails await walkers, runners and cyclists. Find a spot to picnic under the trees. Visit a Fort Wayne site that you may not have seen before or look with new eyes at something you may pass every day but never noticed.

In order for pride to grow and each of us to become a great ambassador, we’ve got to get to know one another and celebrate our city ourselves. Before we can achieve it, we’ve got to believe it.

Let’s Discover Fort Wayne.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer