The new-look pocket park includes playground equipment in northwest Goldberg; construction begins on their next

What is happening: NW Goldberg Cares has officially put the “Play” in Rest. To play. Ride Park. NW Goldberg-based community development company celebrated the official opening of its new pocket park in late June, now complete with the installation of a geodesic climbing dome, conga drums, chimes, xylophone and climbing play equipment, the last of which was made by THING THINGa Detroit-based manufacturing studio that recycles plastic, foam, and other materials.

Interactive musical equipment, such as this xylophone, highlights the fun novelties of the park.What it is: Rest. To play. Ride Park started as Rest & Ride Park, a pocket park first built in 2020. NW Goldberg cares would then receive a $64,000 grant as one of the winners of the Play Everywhere Design Challenge, a partnership between national nonprofit KABOOM! and the Build to Play initiative, which is supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, enabling the purchase and installation of interactive play and music equipment. The park is part of CDC plans to build 20 neighborhood pocket parks by 2025.

[Read “20 by ‘25: Take a tour of the rapidly expanding network of pocket parks of NW Goldberg” as part of the Model D Explorer Series.]

Where is it: Rest. To play. Ride Park is located at 6326 Linwood St. in the NW Goldberg neighborhood. Nearby Henry Ford Health is about to complete its own pocket park, New Milwaukee Plaza.

Why it matters: “First and foremost, 90% of our programs are for children and families. So when we think about who we serve – and our constituents in general – our community has a lot of young people. And for us, it’s really important to provide opportunities for them to know and take pride in their neighborhood and to have amenities and resources in our community,” says Daniel A. Washington, Founder and Executive Director of NW Goldberg cares.

Rest. To play. Ride Park was first built in 2020 to provide respite for riders of the 29 Linwood bus route. Game features, like this geodesic dome, were added this year.
“People don’t think about it all the time — and especially if it’s so accessible in their own community — but having a playground is so necessary. And it was such a gaping void here that you could tell. No matter where you drove in the neighborhood and no matter who you talked to, people were like, “Listen, we really need a playground for our kids. And of course, it’s not even a full-fledged playground. That’s what comes next.

And after: That playground Washington is referring to is Curtis Jones Park, which is under construction.

“We are super super excited about it. As you may recall, this is our largest public space project to date,” he says. “There’s a full NBA size basketball court with six hoops and backboards. There’s a walking path for our elderly residents. There’s a full playground for our kids. So with all that That said, we’re super excited to have this pitch broken and we’re anticipating opening day to be in September.

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Harold B. McConnell