Detroit’s Parks Adoption Program: By the Numbers [Data]

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Image credit: Sandra Svoboda

Churches, businesses and other groups are caring for a quarter of Detroit’s parks this year.

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Organizations have adopted 77 of the 307 city parks this year, which means volunteers are mowing, cleaning and planting in the neighborhood green spaces. As part of WDET’s summer-long Parks Project, Sandra Svoboda talked about the Adopt-A-Park program with Trina Tucker, the city’s superintendent of grounds, maintenance and forestry, and with Brad Dick, the director of general services for the city. 

Listen to the whole interview at the link above, or find a transcript below.


Adopted Parks In Detroit

Click on the park name to find out where it is, visit it, and check in on our Parks Watch App


District 1
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
Clarita-Stout Park Advanced Disposal Cook Playground St. Mary’s of Redford Church Eliza Howell Park Friends of Eliza Howell Park Heckel Park Motor City Grounds Crew
Hope Motor City Grounds Crew Optimist-Stout Playground Pristine Impressions & Citadel of Praise Ramsay Playground Grandmont Community Association Riordan Playground Motor City Grounds Crew
Seven Mile-Appleton Playground Greater Grace Temple Wilson Park Detroit World Outreach
District 2
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
Alfonso Wells Playground Healing Cross Foundation & Eight Mile Community Organization Bale Playground Youth Over Everything Party Rental Belden Tot Lot University District Community Association Ben Hill Playground Pilgrim Village Association
Diack Playground Greater Mitchell Temple Gemeiner Park Wesley Community Center Hardstein Playground Keo & Associates, Inc. Joe Louis Park Oak Grove AME
Liuzzo Park Gospel Tabernacle Lollo Park Life Changers International Ministries Max Sawyer Playground Christland Missionary Baptist Church Quincy-Midland Park Lakeridge Village
St. Martins Park Brilar LaSalle-Ford Playlot B&L Moving & Maintenance, Windmill Market, New Bethel Baptist Church & Focus: Hope Salsinger Playfield Detroit Eagles Athletic Club Football & Cheerleading & Fenkell Gospel COGIC
District 3
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
Bringard-Boulder Park Life Builders Cardoni-Dakota Park Recycle Detroit Collins Park Kristel Group, Inc. Conant-Minnesota Second Ebenezer Chruch & Jenkins Construction
Dad Butler Playfield Rizzo Environmental Services Edmore-Marbud Park Joshua Temple COGIC & Mochican-Regent Resident’s Association Farwell Field (Community Garden) Binder Street Block Club O & R Josefiak Playlot Michigan Recreational Construction, Inc.
Karaniewski Park The Karaniewski Family Marrusso Park UPS Marx-Remington Park Rose of Sharon COGIC Schuster Playground Grace Baptist Church of Hamtramck
Twork Park Payne Landscaping & Chick in the Mitt Yakisch Park Adamo Group, Inc.
District 4
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
Corrigan Playground Impact Church & Lord of Lords Christian Church Messmer Playground Motor City Grounds Crew O’Brien Park Refuge Temple Cathedral of His Glory Churches
District 5
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
14th-Marquette Playlot 15th Street Block Club Association Ames Park Burnette Inspirational MB Churches Bradley Playground J&G Pallets and Trucking Calcara Park Bailey Park Project
Commonwealth & Marquette Park Walker’s Heating and Cooling, Inc. Delores Bennett Playground Historic Little Rock Church Dues Playfield Elmwood Park Church of Christ Forest Park (Baseball Diamonds) U.N.I.T.Y.
Franklin Park (LaSalle) LaSalle Gardens Block Club Gordon Park Brothers Always Together Griffin Long Insurance Services, LLC Kercheval-Parker Park Detroit Smokehouse
McShane Playground DMC Consultants, Inc., DMC Construction, Inc., & Cormorant Company Mollicone Playground Greater Christ Baptist Church Pennsylvania-St. Paul Park Renaissance Unity Vernor Playground Holy Ghost Cathedral
Williams Park Motor City Grounds Crew
District 6
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
30th-Herbert Park Tabernacle MBC & Children’s Crusade Boyer Playfield WH Canon Company Cass Park Woodside Detroit & Illitch Holdings, Inc. Cottrell-Erie Park Second Chance COGIC
Harvey-Junction Park Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Co. Lafayette-NYCRR Park Urban Neigborhood Initiative Lincoln Court (Hart Plaza) UAW - Ford National Programs Center Military-Regular Park Military Avenue Church & Jack Doheny Companies
Murphy Playlot Mudgie’s Deli Nagel Park Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Rho Omega Chapter Piwok Park International Gospel Center Tarnow-Kirkwood Park Kirk’s Automotive, Inc.
Sak Park Historic Motor City Baptist Church
District 7
Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter Park Adopter
Phelps Park Third New Hope River Rouge Park (Archery Range) Archers Ministry Weaver-Penrod Park J.E. Jordan Landscaping


Trina Tucker: They have a schedule they need to keep. Every 10 to 14 days, they need to keep the park clean cut and trimmed, and sometimes parks are more heavily used, they need more cleaning than every seven to 10 days.

SS: So it’s just a cleaning program or are they doing other kinds of more creative efforts in the different kinds of parks you have around the city?

TT: It’s essential to keep the parks clean because that’s what brings the people to them. But it’s also very important for them to cut the grass and do the trimming. Sometimes they do flower beds. Sometimes they plant trees and shrubs to make the park beautiful.

SS: Brad, take me through some of the different adopted program around the city and how that coordinates with the city’s overall maintenance and programming.

BD: I think it complements what we do and overlays with it, and some of our adoptees will do a total program where they take care of the park entirely and even program it. They have yoga in the park. They have picnics and family events there. Some of our adoptees need assistance from us with trash collection or mowing in some cases. So we work with them really closely. A lot of our adoptees do special programming events. We have adoptees who do bird walks and animal walks. We have adoptees who maintain archery ranges at one of the parks. So we’ve got a variety of things that are going on. One of our biggest adoptee groups at Palmer Park, they have a fall festival at the park where kids come by and can see goats and cows getting milked and feed chickens and such like that.

SS: Trina, as you’re talking to the adopters, what are they saying about their efforts? Is it the volunteer commitment that they expected or are they finding surprise when they get out in the city parks?

TT: They’re finding surprises. At first it can be overwhelming because of the size of the park. That’s when we’ll come in and partner with them. If they need help in the very beginning cutting, that’s what GSD does. They come in and cut the park. Give them a fresh cut to start with.

SS: Are there characteristics of the parks in the different districts that lend themselves to the adoption efforts or characteristics of the neighborhood that play in?

TT: I believe so. If there’s a lot of children in the community, that’s when they put the efforts forth to keep the parks up.

SS: How do they help what you do in your job as the superintendent of grounds, maintenance and forestry?

TT: They help us a great deal because that’s 77 parks we don’t have to cut, trim or clean, and that helps us devote more attention to our other parks.

SS: And what other kinds of efforts, besides the maintenance, what other kinds things are you doing in the parks?

TT: Well if they call us for trash pick up, we do that. If there’s a need for swings, we go install new swings. If they find that there’s a hazard in the park, just let us know and we’ll come and remove that hazard.

SS: How do you see the Adopt-a-Park program continuing? What have you learned from the last couple years and this administration that you’ll take forward?

BD: I have to admit I was a bit of a skeptic at first when we wanted to increase the numbers we had. We’d been running around the mid 20s in adoptees for many years. When the mayor came in, he set a very high goal and I was like oh, I don’t know if we’re going to achieve that or not. But we did achieve the goal and actually got more than what he was expecting us to do. A lot of people were coming forward, companies, wanting to adoptions with us and partner with us. I think the one thing we’ve done is open the door up to have people come partner with us. Like I said, we’ve gone from maybe 25 adoptees to 77. That’s a huge, huge increase.


Sandra Svoboda, Special Assignments Manager

Recovering Bankruptcy Reporter/Blogger looking forward to chronicling regional revitalization on-air, digitally and through community engagement. Follow @WDETSandra

WDET's Parks Project

This post is a part of WDET's Parks Project.

All summer long in 2015, WDET reported on how parks are impacting Detroiters and how Detroiters impacted the parks.

We asked you to be a part of this work by being the eyes and ears of your local parks. We asked you to help us find out what is going on in the parks in your city and your neighborhood. Were parks being maintained? Who were using the park, and what was happening there? Is it safe?

Detroit Park Watch is produced by WDET 101.9 FM and is powered by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. Support for this project ccomes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



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