Romanowski Park in Detroit 1 of 50 set to close after failed Belle Isle deal

Volunteers cleaned up park last summer, worried about future

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - When Detroit City Council rejected the deal to have the state operate Belle Isle, it cost the city $6 million.

Neighborhoods like the one near Romanowski Park in Southwest Detroit will soon pay the price.

Romanowski Park is among the 50 city parks that Mayor Bing says will close.

The 313-Propect worked with volunteers and residents to reclaim the park from disrepair last summer.

"We were blindsided, it was such a work of love" said Aisa Villarose Berg co-founder of the 313-Propect. "To hear that the city is turning its back on something that took thousands of volunteer hours to create is really heartbreaking."

"We built 13 picnic tables, 10-feet long. We installed grills, we installed bike racks, we re-painted the play structure which was previously almost burnt to the ground," said Berg.

Closing the park doesn't mean the city will put walls up to keep visitors out, but it means the city will no longer maintain the grounds.

The park's 2o6 acres won't see repairs, there will be no lawn mowing or trash pickups.

Residents who call the park a refuge for children say if the city abandons the park, they will take up the challenge.  

"We would love the city to help, but we are prepared to keep the park going. We have really done to much work to see this die and to see the sense of community die. It's going to take a bit of effort to keep up, but we need to," said Berg. "We can't let this community down."

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