About People for Palmer Park
About People for Palmer Park
People for Palmer Park (“PFPP”) grew out of strong neighborhood concern for the viability of Palmer Park (“the Park”), which was in part inspired by the City’s announcement in 2009 that it planned to close the Park. Led by enthusiastic tennis players, a grassroots movement of residents and neighbors from all surrounding communities began meeting and organizing. Many of those early organizers remain active with the PFPP.
- Cleared miles of impassable trails in the Park
- Sponsors regular monthly (in season) Park clean-ups
- Sponsors weekly bike rides and walks in the Park
- Established a garden club to plant flowers and plants at entryways
- Sponsors an architectural Walking Tour of the Park and surrounding historic apartment buildings in Palmer Park (600 people in attendance in 2013)
- Sponsors a Harvest Fest, Children Storytime & Holiday Caroling Event since 2011
- Sponsors a Winter Fest each year since February 2012 inclusive of children’s activities (sleigh rides), a doggie fashion show and more
- Developed a natural compost area for neighborhood gardeners
- Winterized, secured historic log cabin (removed all animal debris/cleaned interior).
- Sponsored a Log Cabin Day fundraiser in June 2012 and Log Cabin Day event each year
- Facilitated the removal and trimming of dead or invasive species in the Park
- Supported the City’s annual fishing derby at the Park
- Participated and supported the City’s development of an architectural marker at the entrance of the Park at Woodward and Six Mile
- Raised $8000. to add landscaping, benches, bike racks and more to the new playscape installed by the City in the Park (2014)
- Sponsored a neighborhood plant sale – May 2012
- Planted an apple orchard with volunteers – May 2012
- Outdoor free Yoga classes in the Park to every Saturday during the summer since June 2012 and a free yoga for kids class in 2014.
- Established a USTA approved tennis program for children 10 and under, growing each year since, June 2012
- Developed a website to inform the community of all activities
- Built an urban educational garden with eight raised beds and pumpkin patch with the support of a grant and volunteers from Home Depot, summer 2014; hired a part-time farm manager, our first staff position.
PFPP has developed a close partnership with the City of Detroit Recreation Dept. and the General Services Division and all of our activities have been done in full concert and communication with City representatives. We began our meetings with the City Recreation and GSD in the summer of 2011. We have presented a 25-Year Master Plan, which includes both a diagram plan as well as the specifications for the planned improvements, for their consideration and approval. Over the past year, we have no less than six meetings with City representatives including Alicia Minter, Brad Dick, Tim Karle, Craig Bristow (retired), Karen Petola (retired), Scott Brinkman, Trina Tucker and Ron Brundidge. In September 2011, five copies of the 25-Year Master Plan, Site Maps and Construction Forecast were delivered to Ms. Minter. In addition, minutes and attendee lists from the two community charettes were provided.
“Trim, prune, uplift, remove diseased, non native or soft wood invaders, per each orchard section, disk, harrow, plant fruit trees and install no mow native turf.” This section calls further for the planting of 1124 fruit trees.
A few facts abut the orchard: All 600-700 trees were donated to the People for Palmer Park. All labor to prepare, till, plant and fertilize the trees was voluntary. The PFPP intends to pay for and engage a watering truck to assure viability of the trees. We also intend to sponsor an apple harvest event to pick all the apples when ready.
“The purpose of this orchard is to help pay for the cost to maintain and improve the Park specifically along the guidelines that have been spelled out in the 25 Year Master Plan & Construction Forecast, which should also be posted on the PfPP web site.The Apples will be a part of the Mounted Police Horses diet, (apart from oats and hay they can only eat carrots and apples). They will benefit from organic food, while helping to save feed/food cost so that more horses can be added to the team/patrol. The once lawn area directly under the apples will be converted into a native low non flowering meadow grass mix that will have a height of 6-10″ only. The area will never need to be mowed again. This will save on fossil fuel consumption and save the trees from being scarred by an errant mower deck.The maintenance and upkeep will be minimal. Select pruning in spring to shape and maintain good health and airflow and then 1-2 day visits when the apples are right and ready for harvest. The rows have been perfectly spaced 18′ on center which at maturation will provide a service alley 9′ wide to drive up and down with the tractor, making the harvest via hay wagon as easy as reaching out and loading up. Harvest looks to be 4-6 weeks only.The surplus will be for donation/sale at Farm Direct prices, Honey crisps 320% less than at the local store, organic fresh from the vine with all donations being paid to PFPP, to be used for the Park Construction forecast.The trees will bear fruit this year as they are already 3-5 years old. Yields will be relatively low and should start to come in late Summer/Early fall.”
From our historic records, we have learned that the Palmer family maintained an orchard in the park. We believe we are returning the park to its natural historic use.
PFPP planted the orchard, is maintaining it, and assures the community that it will benefit from this beautiful and vital improvement to the Park.