Solar power, seating, landscaping, and more planned for two North Corktown parks

The latest placemaking initiative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is targeting not one but two parks in Detroit’s North Corktown neighborhood.

The Public Spaces Community Places program offers communities the opportunity to kick-start their placemaking projects with the help of a crowdfunding campaign and matching grant.

The two parks, North Corktown Commons and Intersections Park, could receive significant upgrades should their crowdfunding campaign prove successful.

The North Corktown Neighborhood Association and Heritage Works, the two nonprofits partnered on the project, have until March 22, to raise $27,000. The MEDC will then contribute a $27,000 matching grant if they meet their goal.

The crowdfunding campaign is hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

“One of our main priorities as a neighborhood association is to create, maintain, and activate public green spaces. As a completely volunteer-run organization that is free for residents to participate in, the support from the MEDC is giving us the opportunity to create a higher quality experience for our community than we thought would ever be possible,” says Will McDowell, board member of the North Corktown Neighborhood Association.

“This matching grant is also fulfilling one of our dreams of creating a solar-based power system, making our park safer and a real-life symbol of our passion for renewable energy.”

North Corktown Commons, first dedicated in 2019, is a formerly vacant lot at the corner of Ash and Cochrane streets. Community-led efforts have transformed the corner lot into a public space with seating areas and, in pre-COVID times, community events.

Money raised via the Public Spaces Community Places initiative will help install a solar-paneled pergola shelter, gravel walkway, new seating, and restored and improved landscaping.

Meanwhile at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks boulevards is Intersections Park, which features two 20-foot-tall obelisks honoring the two icons for which the boulevards are named. Heritage Works built and provides programming at the park.

The crowdfunding campaign and matching grant will help repair benches and walkways and complete an interactive word search to be inscribed throughout the park.

Both spaces will continue to be used for public gatherings and cultural events.

The crowdfunding campaign for the North Corktown Parks Renovation and Solar Installation project can be viewed online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

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