Renovated plaza on Detroit riverfront makes a splash

DETROIT - Three and a half miles of pathways, parks and green space have been reconstructed along the Detroit River. The newly renovated Mt. Elliott Park Plaza is the third plaza to get a face lift and it's making a splash in Detroit.

"We wanted to kind of design it around the Great Lakes -- some of the boats and ships that were here years ago and some of the industry. You'll see some of the rice bags and barrels," said Will Smith, chief financial officer of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.

Work on the park began two years ago, but it opened Friday to the public -- making the east end of the riverfront about 80 percent complete. It's not *just* about the water fountains here.

"Bring your families, picnic. Enjoy the water feature. We probably will be adding a lot of programming down here. We have a literacy program as well. It's a great asset to the City of Detroit," Smith said.

What was once known for its rundown and vacant buildings, is now a place of serenity.

"We have 24-hour security and that is one of our themes, to be safe [and] clean down here on the riverfront," Smith said.  

The ultimate goal for the conservancy is to renovate a five and a half mile stretch from Belle Isle to the Ambassador Bridge.

Mt. Elliott Park Plaza will be open until about October, depending on the weather because it's seasonal.

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