Creating parks from scratch: Two Detroit placemaking campaigns take look to raise funds

Underutilized and vacant plots of land on both the east and west sides of Detroit are on the verge of transformation.

The state’s placemaking initiative Public Spaces Community Places has picked up projects in both the Berg-Lahser and McDougall-Hunt neighborhoods, helping to raise the funds necessary to complete each.

The Detroit-based nonprofit EcoWorks intends to build a green gathering space adjacent to its main offices at the corner of Seven Mile Road and McIntyre Street. Designed in the Celebrating Community process in tandem with the Detroit Center for Collaborative Design, the pocket park will include such amenities as a playscape for children, community kitchen, bike rack, and bus shelter.

The space will also include sustainable features like permeable pathways, community garden beds, and a stormwater management system. A flexible open space will be used for an outdoor classroom, concerts, movie screenings, and more.

Should EcoWorks successfully crowdfund $50,000 by Sept. 24, the MEDC will contribute a matching grant of $50,000.

Meanwhile on the eastside, the Bailey Park Project nonprofit is trying to raise $6,000 through a crowdfunding campaign of its own. Should they successfully raise the amount, the MEDC will contribute a matching grant of $6,000. Bailey Park Project has until Oct. 8 to raise the money.

Located in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood, the Bailey Park Project would transform eight parcels of vacant land into the new Bailey Park. The park features an ADA-compliant and all inclusive playground. Also planned is a walking path, community gathering space, and landscaping.

Both crowdfunding campaigns for EcoWorks and the Bailey Park Project are hosted on the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

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