Riverside Park, a newly renovated park along Detroit’s west riverfront, is a beautiful new space for residents of Southwest Detroit and visitors to enjoy. Completion of these renovations, however, has been put on hold due to Detroit City Council not approving the agreement for the land exchange agreement the city entered years ago.
Extensive community engagement started in 2015, a master plan was created for what would be the new and improved Riverside Park. The completed portions of the park now include a basketball court, skate park, dog park, multiple picnic shelters, fishing pier, horseshoe pit, amphitheater, and promenade walkway that greets a beautifully designed comfort station, playground, and splash pad. While these amenities have been wonderful for the community, the remaining $2 million, once approved, will add a brand-new parking lot and access to the final piece of riverfront, which is currently not considered safe due to seawall repairs that must be made.
“The land exchange agreement would provide the last push necessary for us to make Riverside the world-class park that residents and visitors from all over deserve,” said Brad Dick, group executive, Services & Infrastructure. “Mayor Duggan’s administration has prioritized neighborhoods and parks and we want to make sure that Riverside becomes the premier park it can be, so residents can enjoy it for generations to come.”
Community advocates are also calling for the park to be completed. Members of the Riverside Advisory Council say the park is now being used more than ever and that adding the new amenities would make the park even better.
“This is the work we need to continue the progress we’ve made” said Gloria Rocha, Southwest Detroit resident, and Riverside Advisory Council member. “I started on the advisory committee several years ago and we’ve held consistent meetings even during the pandemic. To see the park go from what it was, with empty bottles and trash, to what it is now is real payback for volunteers who have given their time and effort to this park.”
City Council approval would provide the $2 million that is necessary to provide access to this beautiful park and the riverfront as well. With this approval, Riverside would become one of Detroit’s premier waterfront parks.