- Work to begin this year to improve recreational opportunities close to home for children and families.
- Upgrades to be paid for by recently discovered unspent bond funds.
Forty city parks and playgrounds nestled in neighborhoods across the city will be renovated over the next two years, under an $11.7 million plan detailed today by Mayor Mike Duggan and City Parks & Recreation Department officials. Community and City Council members joined the Mayor to unveil the plan at Simmons Playground in District 1 on Detroit’s northwest side, one of the 40 parks slated for improvements.
Anticipated improvements, which still are being finalized through an ongoing community participation process, include new playgrounds and equipment, new walkways, landscaping and more.
Ten of the 40 parks will be renovated this year, and the remaining 30 next year, Mayor Duggan said.
The 10 parks planned for improvements in 2016, along with their anticipated needs are:
Fields Playground, 16601 Florence
Walkways, picnic area, fencing
Simmons Playground, 19450 Chapel
Walkways, playground, basketball
Bale Playground, 18673 Winthrop
Playground, walkways, fencing
Liuzzo Playground, 20053 Winthrop
Walkways, picnic area, basketball
Calimera Playground, 19493 Joann
Playground, walkways, basketball court
Hansen Playground, 542 Drexel
Walkways, horseshoes, junior basketball
Latham Playground, 5082 Seneca
Playground, fencing, other amenities
Boyer Playground, 6203 W. Vernor
Walkways, playground, picnic shelter
Walkways, landscaping, sports field
Walkways, picnic area, basketball
“These are not the City’s large marquee parks that already have seen improvements. These are the local parks that many families can walk to from home without ever having to cross a major road,” said Mayor Duggan. “As we bring back neighborhoods across this city, we are making sure we bring back the neighborhood parks along with them.”
Mayor Duggan said the City’s recreation and general services departments identified the 40 locations based on several key criteria, including which unimproved parks had the highest concentrations of children and senior citizens living close by. Another consideration was the size of the parks; all 40 are no larger than 5.5 acres.
Continuous improvements, community input
Over the past two years, parks in the city have been undergoing a renaissance. In 2014, the City, with the help of more than 70 Adopt-a-Park volunteer groups, resumed regular mowing and cleaning of approximately 250 parks that were not being maintained in years prior due to City budget cuts. Last year, the City spent $1 million to improve seven neighborhood parks, including Arthur, Edmore-Marbud, Optimist-Parkgrove, Ryan, Tuttle and Wilson. The 40 neighborhood parks slated for improvement in 2016-17 are part of the Parks and Recreation Improvement Plan, which outlines the City’s strategy to improve parks and recreation facilities. The improvement plan, which has had considerable community input, focuses on prioritizing parks in every area of the city, with the goal of creating quality public space accessible to all Detroiters.
City Seeks Community Input
With these 40 parks identified for improvements, the City soon will solicit additional community input to determine the improvements and amenities each park will receive. A public meeting will be held in each City Council District to discuss the projects planned within each. The City also is planning two public meetings – one on the east side and one on the west side – to discuss its overall Parks & Recreation Improvement Plan. Once those dates and locations are established, the information will be made available on the City’s Web site and at City recreation centers.
How improvements will be funded
During his budget address to City Council in February, the Mayor revealed that his Chief Financial Officer, John Hill, had discovered $50 million in bond funds that had gone unspent over several decades. Of those funds, $11.7 million has been earmarked for the park improvements. The remaining funds will pay to build out a high-tech real-time crime center at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters and to construct a new 8th Precinct for the Police Department.
Last year, the City spent $1 million to upgrade seven parks around the city, including Arthur, Edmore-Marbud, Optimist-Parkgrove, Ryan, Tuttle and Wilson.
30 Parks to be Renovated in 2017
Cook Playground, 16001 Fenkell
Hackett Playground, 17236 Avon
Marx Playground, 18201 Greenview
Reid Playground, 20625 Santa Clara
Clinton Playground, 8145 Chalfonte (Transferred from Detroit Public Schools)
Diack Playground, 13889 Curtis
Gorham Playground, 19969 St. Marys
Varier Playground, 15639 Thatcher
Wells Playground, 20159 Griggs
Collins Playground, 11618 Alpena
Luce-St. Louis Playground, 13490 St. Louis
Marruso Playground, 19908 Annott
Syracuse Playground, 19192 Syracuse
Yaksich Playground, 18160 Anglin
Brewer Playground, 12450 Hayes (Transferred from Detroit Public Schools)
O’Brien Playground, 11938 E. McNichols
Dueweke Playground, 4975 Sheridan
Franklin (LaSalle) Park, 2380 S. LaSalle Blvd.
Gordon Playground, 1935 Atkinson
Stewart, 12701 14th Street (Transferred from Detroit Public Schools)
Yates Playground, 2499 Blaine
30th - Herbert Playground, 5000 30th Street
Nagel Playground, 3100 Wabash
Sak Playground, 4322 Kinsman
Scripps Playground, 3666 W. Grand River
Szafraniec Playground, 4513 Campbell
Doan Playground, 9946 Prest
Greene Playground, 9177 Robson
Phelps Playground, 9982 Sorrento
Richard Allen (Nardin), 9516 W. Grand River