New park planned for NW Goldberg neighborhood to honor local basketball legend

Efforts are underway to build a new park in NW Goldberg, a neighborhood situated between New Center and the Wayne State campus.

Community development organization NW Goldberg Cares is currently engaged in a crowdfunding campaign to help build Curtis Jones Park, which is named for local basketball legend Curtis Jones. According to the organizers, Jones was a resident of the neighborhood and a basketball star at Northwestern High School in the 1960s. Though he never played in college or the NBA, Jones was described locally as the “Magic before Magic” Johnson. Organizers say that Jones struggled with literacy and part of the new park’s mission will be to assist in literacy efforts among area athletes.

Sadly, Jones passed away at the age of 49 in 1999.

The park itself will be located at the intersection of Vermont and Ferry Park Avenue. Plans include the Curtis Jones Basketball Court, accessible play equipment, green infrastructure and landscaping, public art, and more. Programming efforts will include youth sports camps, senior citizen fitness classes, health fairs, and interactive sports and educational classes and workshops.

The crowdfunding campaign for Curtis Jones Park is part of the Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. If NW Goldberg Cares successfully raises $50,000 by July 9, the MEDC will contribute a $50,000 matching grant to the project.

The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, which can be found online.

“This is our third time leveraging the PSCP (Public Spaces Community Places) program. Each time we have been able to progressively increase our fundraising goal which has allowed us to increase capacity and accomplish larger placemaking projects,” says Daniel A. Washington, founder and executive director of NW Goldberg Cares.

“Simply put, the Curtis Jones Court would not be possible if it wasn't for the PSCP program. We know that for the first time in a decade, NW Goldberg will be home to a basketball court for the entire community to enjoy – regardless of if they play basketball or not.”

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

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