SOUTH BEND -

A grassroots group wants to make sure South Bend's Howard Park doesn't get "thrown under the bus."

They say a deal to buy the old Transpo headquarters on Northside Boulevard near the park could put the park in jeopardy.

They are worried the park's playground and skating rink will be moved away from the river.

"There's going to be a road cut right through here," said Karen Schefmeyer with the Howard Park East Bank Neighborhood.

Schefmeyer is doing everything she can to get her message across, including wearing a bright yellow shirt that reads "Save Howard Park" in black lettering.

She also has more than 500 signatures on petitions.

"How many open spaces do you see like this in cities? It usually gets cut up, gobbled up, eaten up by developers," adds Schefmeyer.

Her grassroots group is concerned about plans to build housing, up to 900 or more apartments, on the former Transpo administration building and what that means for the Howard Park area.

They are especially worried about one proposal which calls for major changes to the Park.

"It will take out and wipe out this playground equipment. The senior center is gone. According to this plan, the ice skating rink is gone, too," explained Schefmeyer.

Schefmeyer also believes important negotiations regarding the future of Howard Park have gone on behind closed doors. She is so upset about it she filed a formal complaint with the state, citing that Transpo has violated the "Open Door Law."

It's an allegation Transpo denies.

"Transpo has been very committed to an open and transparent process throughout all of this." said Amy Hill, Transpo's Marketing Director.

But Schefmeyer is taking her fight to social media, a website and Facebook page with nearly 250 likes.

"We want to see the park enjoyed for generations to come. This should be a no-brainer," said Schefmeyer.

Due to community concerns and input from South Bend leaders, Transpo re-opened and extended the deadline for final bid proposals to this Friday.

Hill says she is not sure when the proposals will be made public.

She added they want to move forward as quickly as possible with the sale of the land that held their former headquarters.