Project EverGreen has received a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help the national non-profit add vital elements to finish the renovation of Detroit’s Gmeiner Park and plant the seeds for future green space restoration projects in the city. The grant will also provide resources to the community that will help them care for the parks for years to come.
“Parks play a vital role in the health and well-being of youth and adults alike. Connecting people to their parks also enhances social well-being, relationships, safety and local environmental health,” said Project EverGreen Executive Director Cindy Code. “Together with the generous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places grant program, we were able to restore Gmeiner Park and set the table to continue to create healthy, thriving parks across the city of Detroit for generations to come.”
The 30-day crowdfunding campaign encouraged Detroit residents, businesses and parks enthusiasts to raise $50,000 to receive the $50,000 matching grant. The 10-acre park located in Northwest Detroit received a new six-foot wide, half-mile walking path to draw people into the park to play and exercise, the installation of mature trees in and around the perimeter of the park, new tables and benches. Work will continue this year in conjunction with Detroit’s Parks & Recreation department when a new inclusive playground will be installed among other improvements. This is the fourth GreenCare for Communities renovation project the national non-profit has completed in Detroit since 2017.
“This successful campaign demonstrates the value and power of community and business working together to elevate their neighborhoods,” Code said. “No one group can do it alone. This matching grant win demonstrates what the private and public sector can achieve working together in support of healthy public parks.”
The work at Gmeiner Park aligns with Project EverGreen’s mission to create healthy parks with actively growing grass, trees and shrubs that work to sequester carbon and produce clean air. Individuals play a critical in the environmental lift in their communities.
Project EverGreen’s partners in the Gmeiner Park project – which provides more than 5,000 Detroit residents with access to neighborhood green space within a 10-minute walk – included the Gilbert Family Foundation, City of Detroit Parks & Recreation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Premier Group Associates.
Michigan-based Re-Tree helped to re-home 16 mature trees – that would have otherwise been destroyed – at Gmeiner Park transforming the park’s tree canopy substantially.
“The Gmeiner Park project has breathed new life into an important community asset and provided new recreational opportunities for residents of this neighborhood in Northwest Detroit,” said Michele Wildman, MEDC executive vice president of economic development incentives “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
The final phase of the Gmeiner Park renovation will be completed this spring and Project EverGreen will be undertaking another park renovation project at a to be determined site this summer.