Detroit couple turns vacant lots into park, activity center on city’s west side

Couple creates Moore Park, includes activities such as basketball, archery

Vacant lots are turning into parks in Detroit.
Vacant lots are turning into parks in Detroit.

DETROIT – A Detroit couple created a nonprofit with multiple educational and recreational activities for the kids.

It includes zip lining, basketball and even archery for the kids. It’s free for all neighbors and residents nearby as long as they’re in the program.

“I feel more blessed to be able to do it than for somebody else to take advantage of it,” said creator, Jacqueline Moore.

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It all started with a dream and now years later, it’s known as Moore Park.

“To bring a community together was easier said than done, so we implemented things that we knew would draw them together. Let’s just come and share some space and have a good time,” Moore said.

Located in the back of home on Lenore Avenue, Willie and Jacqueline Moore started the nonprofit organization, SDM2 Project Education, in 2011.

Prior to the transformation, the place was just a combination of vacant lots.

“That was exciting for us, so we turned it into the first area that we turned into an area for our youth,” Jacqueline Moore said.

After time passed, the couple decided to buy more lots to expand further on their aspirations. A total of 5,300 square feet was bought, equaling one big back yard with more than enough activities for the youth.

“Whether it’s reading, whether it’s poetry, whether it’s taking a walk, whatever it is, you have to let people know that they’re valued,” Jacqueline Moore said. “We really feel privileged that we’re allowed to be in this space and to help our neighborhood be what we all want it to be.”

Across the street is a house also owned by the couple. There are poetry readings and free tutoring for all the kids participating.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.