Groups work together to raise money for a new pocket park in Hamtramck

In Michigan’s densest city, public green space is relatively hard to come by.

But a new campaign is underway to convert a vacant lot into a pocket park on Hamtramck’s Trowbridge Street.

Sandwiched between two homes, a vacant lot located at 2134 Trowbridge St. could soon become the Salam Peace Park, thanks to a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, city of Hamtramck, and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.

The parcel itself was a gift from a "civic well-wisher" wanting the city to turn it into a park.

Organizers for Salam Peace Park have until Saturday, Sept. 26, to raise $22,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Should they reach their goal, the MEDC will then contribute an additional $22,000 as a matching grant.

The project is part of the state’s Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative, which is hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

"The City of Hamtramck is very excited to partner with Wayne Metro on the development of Salam Peace Park. This park will not only provide Hamtramck residents with a natural space for rest and recreation, it is also a testament to this community’s commitment to embracing diversity and international harmony," says Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski.

"We also appreciate the support of Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Patronicity, who provide us with a platform that allows individuals from around the world to support this project, and the ideals it represents, with their donations."

According to numbers provided by Salam Peace Park organizers, Hamtramck’s parks combine to make up approximately 2.6% of the city’s area. Neighboring Detroit, meanwhile, has more than double that, with parks making up 6.4% of the city’s total area. However, these numbers pale in comparison to other American cities, including Austin, Texas, at 15% and New York City at 27%.

With Hamtramck being a city of only 2 square miles yet having the highest population-density numbers in Michigan, it’s a unique opportunity for the community to convert a vacant lot into a public playspace and greenspace.

Student volunteers from the Wayne State University urban planning program have designed a concept for the park, which includes green space, a children’s play structure, bike racks, park benches, and landscaping.

Money raised from the crowdfunding campaign and matching grant will be used to build the park, an estimated $44,000 cost.

"Creating pocket parks and other inviting public spaces is key to great placemaking," says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of Michigan Municipal League.

"Salam Peace Park will add to the vitality and attractiveness of this Hamtramck neighborhood."

To view the Salam Peace Park crowdfunding campaign, visit the Patronicity platform 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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