Detroit announces $12M plan to renovate 40 city parks

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Some much-needed improvements are on the way  for about 40 of Detroit's parks and neighborhood playgrounds.

The city reopened Henry Tuttle Park last summer on Detroit's northwest side and a short drive away, there is Simmons Playground where renovations are set to begin this July.

"We do need some basketball hoops and the swings need to be upgraded," said Faye Spivey, a resident.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced a plan to invest $11.7 million to improve 40 parks throughout Detroit. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2018.

"Three years ago, this park and others like it all over the city were not maintained at all," Duggan said.

Duggans said it is a great step in rebuilding the neighborhoods, but some Detroiters say that some responsiblity falls on residents to also help maintain them and not leave trash or abuse city parks.

"It is very important that they stay clean along with the neighbors in the community, and the city helping out. we should be able to maintain and keep our community clean," Spivey said.

City leaders say renovating the parks and addressing the blight you see, will go hand-in-hand."

charlie beckham
group executive for neighborhoods

"We'll be taking care of these houses probably most of the summer," said Charlie Beckham, group executive for neighborhoods. "The ones you see are boarded up, we're going to be checking our logs to see if they're owned privately or if we own them in the land bank. If we own them in the land bank, we can move them a lot faster."

The director of Parks and Recreation says the city will be working with neighborhood police officers to help monitor the parks.

Also in the future, residents who want to hold picnics or events at city parks will have to contact Parks and Recreation first.

"We'll make sure that we know they are there," said Alicia Bradford, director of parks and recreation. "So we can notify the community as well as our general services team to make sure the park is maintained and cleaned."

This appears to be an effort that's going house by house, and block by block to improve the city.

"It inspire you to go on and to buy homes in the city and to take care of your property," Spivey said.