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The Islamic Center of Detroit is aiming to rename a neighborhood park to 'Muhammed Ali Park'

The move is part of the community to honor Black history month
Boxing Muhammed Ali and Joe Bugner
Posted at 4:01 PM, Feb 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-13 22:39:45-05

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Detroit's Belton-Mark Twain Park plays a key role in helping families around the neighborhood to relax and enjoy the outdoors, and that is one of the biggest motivations for the Islamic Center of Detroit to renovate it.

"The reason behind renaming it to Muhammed Ali is other than just the religion and that he was a great model of a Muslim, but he was also known to build communities," said Administrative Associate for the Islamic Center of Detroit Rawan Shihab.

Shihab from ICD says the $350,000 renovation plan aims to make the park a safe, pleasant, and family-oriented place for all. It will feature a playing area, picnic area, soccer field, basketball court either a running or walking track.

Detroit District 7 Manager Mona Ali says the city supports the center’s efforts to revitalize the park, but the renaming process will be up to the city council once the petition requirements of a total of 500 signatures are met.

"They have done a lot in general in regards to helping with blight in the area and keeping the neighborhood up and running, so we are looking forward to what they are able to do with the park," said Ali.

Last year ICD provided nearly 10 million meals to the community.

Their year-round donation drives also supported thousands of families across Michigan.

Shihab says the center is one of the most charitable organizations across the state and helps anyone in need.

"Especially the ones coming new, as refuges and not refugees, and community in large not just Muslim community, we’ve been trying to get better whether it’s with mental health or food assistance," said Shihab.

And by remodeling the park, the center is hoping to continue with its philanthropy work in the new year.

"Most of the parks nearby are all across like a major street, so it's better to have something walkable nearby. So I think it will be very important to have a space to connect the ICD with the community in general," said Ali.

The ICD needs 300 more signatures for the petition to go through. The petition can be accessed here.