Detroiters contribute to transformation of Palmer Park

Project part of $12 million multi-sport investment in eight parks across city

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Natasha Dado

DETROIT - Volunteers were busy at Palmer Park in Detroit on Saturday building new equipment and laying down mulch, which they say is a lot harder than it looks.

The effort was a part of a partnership between the City of Detroit and groups including the People for Palmer Park and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.  

When it comes to rebuilding the city and, more importantly, shared community spaces, it comes down to neighbors working together.

A coalition of volunteers got started on the transformation of Palmer Park early Saturday morning. 

"I want to contribute to the community. We live in the area, so this is something kids will play on, great effort glad to be here," said Marlayna Tuiasosopo, a volunteer.

The transformation at Palmer Park began with new tennis courts. A ribbon cutting ceremony is expected to be held Saturday afternoon. 

At a cost of $1.3 million, the tennis program now has nine adult courts and six youth courts.

"We specifically situated the courts next to the playground," said Meagan Elliott, chief parks planner for the City of Detroit. 

Many of the participants work for the nonprofit, KaBOOM, which made sure volunteers safely put park equipment together. The nonprofit helps build playgrounds across the county. Its approach is a community-based build model. 

"When you have a role in uplifting community and put pieces together to have that tangible representation of your community, it's unmatched," said Imani Jackson, senior project manager of KaBOOM. 

Many of the families who volunteered Saturday will enjoy Palmer Park for years to come. And parents say they want to lead by example.

"Just like how I expect them to do their chores and contribute to the family...we live in the community and we should always give back," Tuiasosopo said.  

This is part of a $12 million multi-sport investment in eight parks across city. The goal is to have it completed by next summer.

To volunteer for future projects, click here. 

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