Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison join city, partners and community to celebrate completed renovation of 10-acre Gmeiner Park
• Park renovation a product of a partnership between City, Project EverGreen, the Gilbert Family Foundation and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan
• Renovated park brings new amenities for residents living in the area of 7 Mile and Wyoming
DETROIT, July 13, 2023 – Today, community members gathered to unveil and celebrate the newly renovated Gmeiner Park in Northwest Detroit. Beloved by thousands, Gmeiner Park has grown to be a community staple and hub throughout the years. The highly anticipated improvement project of the 10-acre park includes new modern amenities, a new playground, a walking loop, and more.
Additional park improvements include:
• A quarter mile-plus walking loop, including a pedestrian connection between Seven Mile and Clarita Ave.
• Two baseball fields with complete renovations
• New playground
• New trees
• New site amenities, including benches, picnic tables, trash bins and bike rack
“I am excited to witness the completion of Gmeiner Park,” said Crystal Perkins, Director of the General Services Department, City of Detroit. “My children, who are now 21, 16, & 14, used to play in this area when they attended after school programs and summer camp at Tindal with Healthy Kidz. During that time, they only had an open field to play games and run around. Now this community and the children who visit the center can enjoy the playscape and other amenities.”
With a high youth and senior population surrounding Gmeiner Park, improvements were deemed vital to spruce up the park and provide new play and recreation opportunities for the community.
“The transformation of Gmeiner Park is a fantastic investment in our community”, explained Councilmember Angela Whitfield Calloway, the representative from District 2. “With its easy accessibility, everyone can enjoy the park’s new amenities. This exciting project inspires our communities to take better care of our public spaces and take pride in our neighborhoods.”
Fundraising efforts for Gmeiner Park improvements began with community outreach and engagement in 2019. After Covid-19 temporarily slowed progress, construction on the park began in December 2022 as a result of a partnership between the City, Project EverGreen, the Gilbert Family Foundation, and Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. More than $315,000 was raised from their fundraising efforts, and the City matched the donation with $256,000 to complete the park renovations.
Project EverGreen, a national non-profit organization committed to helping people work together to create healthy green space, supported the Gmeiner Park renovation by helping manage, develop and landscape the park in collaboration with the City and partners.
“Parks play a vital role in the health and well-being of youth and adults alike,” said Project EverGreen Executive Director Cindy Code. “Connecting people to their parks also enhances social well-being, creates a safe community hub and promotes environmental health. This successful park renovation demonstrates the value and power of community and business working together to elevate their neighborhoods for future generations.”
The Gilbert Family Foundation believes that investing in vibrant and inclusive public space is essential, encouraging residents to connect in unique ways that improve their health, enhance their wellness and strengthen their sense of community. The organization contributed to Gmeiner Park as part of their goal to provide universal access to safe public spaces within a half mile of every Detroit residence.
“By investing in public spaces like Gmeiner Park, we are creating space for residents to foster connections, enhance their well-being and fortify their sense of community,” said JJ Velez, Director of Public Spaces for the Gilbert Family Foundation. “This project allowed the community to reimagine a crucial community asset and introduce new recreational opportunities for the residents of this neighborhood in Northwest Detroit.”
Gmeiner Park is a pillar of the North Detroit community. Located outside of Tindal Recreation Center, Healthy Kidz and the surrounding community have utilized the park for programming. Healthy Kidz is a non-profit that operates Tindal Recreation Center. Because of this, Healthy Kidz played a crucial role in the design concept and engagement efforts surrounding Gmeiner Park.
“Having a new ADA Accessible playground, new baseball diamonds, walkways, benches have been a blessing to this community”, said Maria Adams-Lawton, Executive CEO/Director of Healthy Kidz Inc. “It is exciting watching everything transform from the ideas of a group of teenagers from Healthy Kidz Inc. who was given a challenge in the Summer of 2019 to make Gmeiner Park into a place they would bring their future children and families. This park transformation has been a game changer for Healthy Kidz Inc. and 48221 neighborhoods. I love seeing new families using the park.”
Stay up to date on Gmeiner Park programming here.
About Project EverGreen
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Project EverGreen is a national non-profit committed to bringing people together to make a difference in how yards, parks and communities create a greener, healthier, cooler Earth. Project EverGreen’s key initiatives are GreenCare for Communities and GreenCare for Troops.™ For more information on Project EverGreen, please visit www.projectevergreen.org.
About the Gilbert Family Foundation
The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers. For more information on the Gilbert Family Foundation, please visit www.gilbertfamilyfoundation.org.
About Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.4 billion through more than 85,000 grants to non-profit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information on the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, please visit www.cfsem.org.
About Healthy Kidz Inc.
The Healthy Kidz Inc. organization was founded in 2006 by Maria Adams-Lawton – a teacher in the Detroit Public School system. The organization was created to address the pressing concern to keep Detroit-area youth out of trouble and engaged in positive activities and in safe environments that enrich their minds as well as provide recreational and summer day camp activities. In 2015, through a request for proposals from the City of Detroit Healthy Kidz Inc., was awarded the operational management agreement to operate the Tindal Activity Center for the next fifteen years.During the thirteen-year period on inactivity Tindal fell into despair. Healthy Kidz Inc., had the belief that Tindal Activity Center would rise again, and the City believed it too saying this could be the new home for new programs. Reopening the doors to the community and the young people who needed a safe haven would help stabilize this community. For more information on Healthy Kidz Inc., please visit www.healthykidzinc.org.