New-look pocket park features playground equipment in NW Goldberg; construction begins on their next

What’s happening: NW Goldberg Cares has officially put the “Play” into Rest. Play. Ride Park. The NW Goldberg-based community development corporation celebrated the official opening of their new-look pocket park in late June, now complete with the installation of a geodesic climbing dome, conga drums, chimes, a xylophone, and climbable play equipment, the last of which was made by THING THING, a Detroit-based manufacturing studio that up-cycles plastic, foam, and other materials.

Interactive musical equipment, like this xylophone, highlight new play features at the park.What it is: Rest. Play. Ride Park started as Rest & Ride Park, a pocket park first built in 2020. NW Goldberg Cares would then receive a $64,000 grant as one of the winners of the Play Everywhere Design Challenge, a partnership between the national nonprofit KABOOM! and the Build to Play Initiative, which is supported by Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, allowing for the purchase and installation of the interactive play and musical equipment. The park fits into the CDC’s plans to build 20 neighborhood pocket parks by 2025.

[Read “20 by ‘25: Take a tour of the rapidly expanding network of pocket parks of NW Goldberg” as part of the Model D Explorer Series.]

Where it is: Rest. Play. Ride Park is located at 6326 Linwood St. in the NW Goldberg neighborhood. Nearby, Henry Ford Health is nearing completion of its own pocket park, New Milwaukee Plaza.

Why it’s important: “First and foremost, 90 percent of our programs are kid- and family-based programs. So when we think about who we serve — and our constituents overall — our community has a lot of youngsters in it. And for us, it's really important to provide opportunities for them to know and be proud of their neighborhood and to have amenities and resources in our community,” says Daniel A. Washington, founder and executive director of NW Goldberg Cares.

Rest. Play. Ride Park was first built in 2020 to provide respite for riders of the 29 Linwood bus route. Play features, like this geodesic dome, were added this year.
“People don't think about it all the time — and especially if it's so accessible in their own community — but having a playground is so needed. And it was such a gaping void here that you could just tell. No matter where you drove in the neighborhood, and no matter who you talked to, people would say, ‘Look, we really need a playground for our kids.’ And of course, this isn't even a full-blown playground. That’s what’s coming next.”

What’s next: That playground Washington alludes to is Curtis Jones Park, construction of which is now underway.

“We're super super excited about it. As you might remember, it's our largest public placemaking project to date,” he says. “There's a full, NBA-size basketball court with six hoops and backboards. There's a walking path for our elderly residents. There’s a full-blown playground area for our children. So, with all that being said, we're super excited that its broken ground and we’re anticipating opening day to be sometime this September.”

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

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