DETROIT (FOX 2) - Detroit is one of a few major U.S. cities that does not have a National Park within city limits but a state senator has started a change.org petition to change that.
Stephanie Chang started the petition to restore Detroit's historic Fort Wayne as a national park.
Fort Wayne, which sits along the Detroit River off Jefferson Ave near the community of Delray, has fallen to neglect despite it's rich history which dates back to the 9th century when Native Americans used the area for burial bounds.
It was also the site of the opening shots of teh War of 182 and was the official end of hositlities between the American Government and local indigenous people who supported the British.
There's more to that, Chang writes:
Fort Wayne, Detroit’s jewel, has historical significance related to the indigenous community and the War of 1812, as it was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Springwells, which ended that conflict. Fort Wayne also has great significance to World War II veterans and the African American community, housing the National Tuskegee Airmen's Museum. Many men and women took their oath to serve our country on the grounds of Fort Wayne. The Fort is Detroit’s untapped resource. Were Fort Wayne to become a national park, it would join the ranks of such famous urban national parks like Fort McHenry in Baltimore (which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the “Star Spangled Banner”) and Fort Sumter in Charleston (where the Civil War began). These national parks have generated great economic benefits in terms of jobs and tourist dollars to their surrounding communities. As a national park, Fort Wayne could do the same for Detroit with both economic and cultural benefits to all of Southeast Michigan.
If Detroit were to donate the land for use as a national park, there would be secure funding which would require the National Park Service to fund improvement and maintenance.
Chang wrote in the petition that, with the start of the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, "now is the time to seize opportunities to improve a neglected part of Detroit’s Riverfront and history. "