A collaborative project between seven different organizations including Jefferson East, Inc. and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, is forging new relationships between Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park residents through the redesign of a public park at the Detroit-Grosse Pointe Park border. An unveiling ceremony for the project will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Fox Creek Park, located on the corner of Jefferson and Ashland in Detroit.
The unveiling ceremony will highlight renewed strategies to strengthen relations between Jefferson Chalmers and Grosse Pointe Park through placemaking. Speakers will include Detroit City Council Member André Spivey, Grosse Pointe Park City Council Member Daniel Clark, local historian Nick Sinacori, and Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park residents.
Over the past six months, neighborhood youth active in the Jefferson Chalmers Youth Connection, a program led by Hope Community Outreach & Development, have participated in the planning and implementation of landscaping improvements to the park as well as several art installations including a custom-made mosaic of Pewabic tiles. Future projects include a rain garden design challenge in partnership with the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.
“We wanted to focus our efforts on finding a way to provide more opportunities for Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park residents to work together,” said Joshua Elling, executive director of Jefferson East, Inc. “By having a Detroit park serve as a connector, we hope to help achieve the vision of one big community versus two walled-off communities.”
“Fox Creek Park: Art Beyond Borders” is one of seven projects throughout the city selected by a community review panel to receive a Detroit 67 Placemaking Grant, funded by the PNC Foundation in partnership with Community Development Advocates of Detroit and the Detroit Historical Society. The placemaking project, which builds upon community-led efforts that began in 2006 to transform a vacant lot into a public park, highlights the Detroit 67 Project’s theme Looking Back to Move Forward through its reflection of the history of Detroit’s lower eastside as well as ways to improve safety and accessibility along the Jefferson Avenue corridor.
“The Fox Creek canals play such an important role in Detroit’s history and neighborhood fabric, including when Jefferson Chalmers and Grosse Pointe Park were once part of the Village of Fairview,” said Jennifer Reinhardt, Detroit preservation specialist for the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. “By using art as a bridge that can bring people together, our project both protects a vital community space and facilitates dialogue about the Detroit-Grosse Pointe border.”
To learn more about the Detroit 67 Project, visit www.detroit1967.org.