Detroit launching parks improvement effort with renovation of Clark Park

DETROIT (WXYZ) - City officials are hoping to attractive more residents by creating unique outdoor spaces.

Clark Park is scheduled to be renovated with unique features.

This comes after a national survey ranked Detroit 88th for its park system. City officials say that number should change in the next few years.

Detroit Planning Director Maurice Cox is excited to invest in city parks, like Clark Park.

“I have enormous confidence in the future.”

The park will have a splash pad, gathering area for food trucks and festivals, with restrooms and a new lighting system so it can be used at night.

They’re also creating pedestrian walkways making it easier to get to.

“These are the things that make a difference in the quality of life.”

This comes after the Trust for Public Land ranks Detroit 88th for its ParkScore. That is a fall from last year’s 75th place.

The study measures four factors: park access, size, investment and amenities.

The city is spending $21 million dollars to use towards at least 10 new or existing parks over the next five years.

The public and private funds are part of a bigger revitalization project to increase the value in neighborhoods.

“Even in areas that don’t have a park we have vacant land and we can reimagine them as those amenities that families, in particular families with children, want to have in their neighborhood.”

That’s what they did to build the Ella Fitzgerald Park.

The city took 25 vacant lots or blighted homes and are transforming it into 2.5 acres of outdoor space.

Cox is confident the new and improved parks will be appealing to residents.

“If we are going to hold onto the families we have and attract new families, there are the first kinds of investments that will do the trick.”

Construction at Clark Park will begin next summer, after officials take a year to finalize details.

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