SOUTH BEND – Right now, it's a drainage ditch on the south side of South Bend.
So why is the city considering spending millions of dollars to fix up Bowman Creek?
The creek starts near Madison Road and U.S 31 and flows north, emptying into the St. Joseph River on Lincolnway East.
A lot of people don't even know it's there.
The long forgotten stream has been abandoned and abused for years. It's filled with trash and on most days doesn't even have a current.
Now, the South Bend Public Works Department is looking at ways to restore the creek to its natural state, with parks and trails running along new park space.
The project is still in the early planning stages, but the city says its generating a lot of momentum among neighbors, who are sick of seeing the stream in such bad shape.
But some people who live on the south side think other problems should be addressed first.
“It’s unfortunate,” described Public Works Director Gary Gilot. “Often times, rivers and creeks are some of the most valuable property in a community. This one’s been treated more like an open sewer. It’s degraded.”
“I believe cleaning up and getting rid of some of the drug dealers and prostitutes that come down here, that should be the main priority,” said homeowner Linette Ford.
If the plan moves forward, one of the most expensive aspects would be unearthing the section of Bowman Creek that runs under Riley High School.