Boggs School to build universally-accessible Boggs Park in Islandview neighborhood

What’s happening: Officials at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit are planning to build a universally-accessible park and playscape at their campus on the city’s east side. And a statewide placemaking initiative should help them do just that.

What’s planned: Dubbed Boggs Park, the new park will feature a playscape with areas for performances, gatherings, public art installations, and green space. The play areas are being designed with people of varying learning styles and mobility in mind, including poured-in-place surfacing and continuous looping, six feet-wide pathways for ease of movement for those in wheelchairs. Universally-accessible playground equipment will be installed, and plans call for both active and quiet areas to meet the varying social needs of its young people.

Who’s behind it: The James and Grace Lee Boggs School, a place-based community school named for the renowned Detroit activists, has partnered with the Boggs Educational Center Project Team and Detroit Disability Power on the project. The non-profit school is a tuition-free public school academy, or charter school.

How they’re doing it: The Boggs Park project has been accepted into the Public Spaces Community Places program, the state’s long-running placemaking initiative that awards matching grants to enrolled projects. Should organizers successfully raise $75,000 through a crowdfunding campaign by Monday, July 17, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will contribute a $75,000 matching grant.

The Boggs Park crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, which is available online.

Why it’s important: “The park designers understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ and the park reflects the diversity of people who will use it,” Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power, says in a statement. “Specifically, this park considers the needs and preferences of people with different learning styles and different mobility, including various mobility equipment.”

The James and Grace Lee Boggs School, and soon-to-be Boggs Park, is located at 7600 Goethe St. in Detroit.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.