Sunday, August 18 — More than 1,000 visitors celebrated the opening of Detroit’s Palmer Park new home for a state-of-the art Splash Park, thanks to the generosity of Lear Corporation and support from the City of Detroit. Lear also donated a picnic lunch, free “Splash” t-shirts for the first 300 children and other festivities for the Opening Day party.
The water started flowing at the Opening Celebration on Sunday, August 18, providing welcome relief from the heat for children of all ages. The Detroit Fire Department joined the celebration, providing additional sprays of water and fun for the children. At first, temporary problem in a water main delayed the Splash Park fountains from spraying, but was quickly fixed and turned on during the event.
The People for Palmer Park (PFPP) applauds the efforts of Lear Corporation and the City of Detroit for donating time, effort and funds to build the Splash Park. Palmer Park was chosen by the City of Detroit Recreation Department as the location for the second splash park in the city to be built by Lear. The new Palmer Park Splash Park will be motion-censored and will be programmed to turn on at 10:00 am, and automatically shut off at 10:00 pm, when Palmer Park closes.
Construction at the site of the former pool began in Palmer Park this past Monday, July 15, and will be complete by mid-August 2013. The City of Detroit suggested Palmer Park primarily because the PFPP, a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity, has adopted the park and has collaborated with the city and community to revitalize this treasured recreation and nature site. PFPP has launched extensive recreational programming this summer, offering baseball (in partnership with the Legends League), organized weekly bike rides, tai chi and yoga classes, and tennis lessons for children and adults (in partnership with the US Tennis Association).
“The Splash Park provides a safe, fun and creative play atmosphere for families, and will encourage more people to enjoy this wonderful park. The People for Palmer Park is extremely grateful to Lear Corporation and the City of Detroit for selecting Palmer Park,” stated Rochelle Lento, President of PFPP. Lear has also committed to building a new picnic shelter and renovating the former pool house into a community center.
The Splash Park will replace the non-functional pool in Palmer Park, which has been closed for many years, after vandals removed all mechanical infrastructure for the pool. The site of the Palmer Park pool is now a large excavated hole, which has been drained, and will be filled with a stable material, followed by the construction of the Splash Park.
“Through Mayor Bing’s fundraising efforts to support recreation and parks, LEAR Corporation continues to invest in the community. The partnership between PFPP and the City has proven beneficial as we see wonderful projects such as the new Splash Park and playscape at Palmer Park. These enhancements will provide additional recreational opportunities for all generations,” stated Alicia Minter, Director of the City of Detroit Recreation Department.
In the near future, the City of Detroit also has plans to construct a new playscape in the area adjacent to the pool. The People for Palmer Park have been working with the General Services Department on design, siting, selection of the proposed structure and more.
“We fully intend to support the playscape by redesigning the landscaping, adding park benches and bike racks to the area surrounding the playscape with privately donated funds,” added Sarah James, PFPP board member and fundraising chair.
Palmer Park is located between McNichols (Six Mile Road) and Seven Mile Road, and just west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI 48203. The Splash Park and playground will be located on Merrill Plaisance, which intersects with Woodward Avenue just north of McNichols and borders part of the southern periphery of the park. These new additions are important contributions as PFPP strives to make Palmer Park a destination site for healthy living and recreation, as well as a protected nature reserve.