New park in NW Goldberg neighborhood to receive additional upgrades, interactive playscape

At the beginning of 2020, the bus stop for the 29 Linwood line at the corner of Linwood and Ferry Park wasn’t much more than a signpost in the ground. By late summer, the vacant lot adjacent to the bus stop was transformed, becoming a community asset with the addition of public art, landscaping, and a covered bus stop, sheltering riders from the elements.

It was the work of neighborhood nonprofit NW Goldberg Cares. The community development organization built a network of funders — including DDOT, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and a public crowdfunding campaign — to raise the money necessary for improvements.

Rest & Ride Park, as it was then named, is the third pocket park built by NW Goldberg Cares, with Art Park and Holland Maze Literacy Park preceding its development. Now, approximately half a year after its construction, NW Goldberg Cares is celebrating 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.

NW Goldberg Cares will use the funds to bolster Rest & Ride Park with interactive playspace equipment, transforming Rest & Ride Park into Rest. Play. Ride Park, an activated playground for neighborhood children.

Among its features will include interactive musical equipment. This is no accident as the Motown Museum is one of the NW Goldberg neighborhood’s most famous resident institutions.

“We’re home to the Motown Sound, one of the most renowned sounds in the world and we’re really proud of that. We want these kids to be immersed in music,” says Daniel A. Washington, founder and executive director of NW Goldberg Cares.

“We want kids to be able to play outside and have this be accessible to everyone. And we want to make sure that they know that music is a big part of where they’re from.”

A public input session will be held online this Wednesday, March 10, to get design ideas from neighborhood young people. Similar events are planned through April and construction should begin this spring. Washington expects the park to be completed by the fall.

Rest. Play. Ride Park is part of a larger vision for the neighborhood nonprofit, one that includes building 20 new public green spaces and pocket parks in total. And while it’s anticipated that the parks could lead to further development, Washington stresses that the people of NW Goldberg come first and everything else comes after.

“Our projects aren’t temporary. These aren’t placeholders for future development, where four- and five-story buildings will be built one day,” Washington says. “These parks are becoming part of the DNA of our neighborhood.”

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