DETROIT, June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is celebrating a major milestone today in the continued transformation of the east riverfront with the opening of Mt. Elliott Park in Detroit. Mt. Elliott Park is the Conservancy's third plaza and pavilion to be developed along the east riverfront's more than three miles of completed pathways, parks and green space that are all connected by the vibrant RiverWalk.
To mark the opening and extraordinary public-private partnerships that have made the revitalization possible, the Conservancy joined together with its partners, funders, dignitaries and community leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the transformed park. The Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences choir performed at the opening event and were the first to enjoy the new amenities, including a new water feature.
"Thanks to the support of the community and our many partners, the revitalization of our waterfront continues with the opening of the newly transformed Mt. Elliott Park and Pavilion," said Matt Cullen, Board Chairman of the Conservancy. "Designed with a playful water feature and amenities for all ages, the new park will be another huge draw for visitors and families to this growing world-class destination, the Detroit riverfront."
"I see the future of Detroit every time I walk our riverfront and watch the men, women and children in our community and visitors gathering together to enjoy this spectacular asset," said U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D). "It's why I've remained firm in my commitment to this project, making sure we have a riverfront worthy of our city and its people."
Now open to the public, the completely renovated Mt. Elliott Park & Pavilion features a Great Lakes schooner-themed water feature with water cascades and "kid activated" water cannons, wind chimes and many other interactive features. The park is beautifully landscaped, complete with fishing piers, winding walkways, LED lighting, restrooms and a cafe. It is located at 120 Mt. Elliott in Detroit at the foot of Mt. Elliott and Wight Streets.
All improvements at Mt. Elliott Park have been designed to be universally accessible to those of all ages and physical challenges and the design features have been crafted to be responsive to the nature of the site and authentic to its heritage. The water features in the park were designed in collaboration with Water Odyssey, an international designer of fountains and water parks.
"The development of Detroit's riverfront is a critical piece in continuing to build a strong and vibrant Detroit," said Lt. Governor Brian Calley. "The public-private partnership behind the Conservancy has proven to be a key in successfully building a premier destination for residents, businesses and visitors."
"The continued progress on the riverfront with the opening at Mt. Elliott Park is exciting for our citizens and another significant sign that change in Detroit is real and happening," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "We are proud to support the Conservancy and its partners and all they do to improve our great city."
"Wayne County is a longtime partner and supporter of the Conservancy, and we salute its continued transformation of the Detroit riverfront, which positively impacts the lives of those who live, work and spend their leisure time in our communities," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
"This was an important partnership for the State of Michigan through MDOT, and the Conservancy," said MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. "The park is a great example of what can happen when we all work together to accomplish goals that serve the public."
"The Community Foundation is committed to projects that better the lives of those in southeast Michigan. We were pleased to be among the first investors in the revitalization of the Detroit riverfront and in bringing accessible parks and recreation facilities like this one to the riverfront. We applaud the Conservancy for their great work and stewardship of these important public spaces in Detroit," said Mariam C. Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
In 2014, the Conservancy and its partners have significant development projects underway that will continue the riverfront revitalization, including:
Gabriel Richard Park: Gabriel Richard Park will undergo significant enhancements, including adding new pathways that connect it to Jefferson Avenue, an environmentally friendly parking lot and lights for the labyrinth.
Chene Park Parcels: Work has begun on the parcels east and west of Chene Park to beautify those areas and increase pedestrian access to the riverfront.
West Riverfront: The Conservancy's first phase of development along the west riverfront opens this year. It's a 20-acre, wide-open green space on the site of a former printing facility on West Jefferson. It will feature an extra-wide RiverWalk, three pathways from Jefferson Avenue that provide riverfront access, benches, call boxes, security cameras, bike racks and plenty of green space for activities.
Globe Building: The 43,000-square-feet Globe Building on Atwater will open this fall as the DNR's Outdoor Adventure Center with a variety of interactive exhibits, hands-on simulators and programming opportunities. It will have kayaking, hunting and camping simulators and it is sure to become one of the most popular attractions along the riverfront.
Dequindre Cut Greenway: The 1.5-mile Dequindre Cut is undergoing a half-mile northward expansion that will bring it right into the heart of Eastern Market at Mack Avenue and link it with other greenways in the city.
The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 with the mission to develop public access to Detroit's riverfront and serve as an anchor for economic development. As the permanent stewards of the RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut, the Conservancy is responsible for raising the funds needed for construction, operation, maintenance, security and programming of the public spaces located along the riverfront. The Conservancy's ultimate vision is to develop five-and-a-half miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge on the west to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle. The first phase of the project, three miles along the east riverfront, is now 80 percent complete and spans from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park. The first phase of the west riverfront project, a 20-acre parcel located on West Jefferson that features a wider RiverWalk and open green spaces, opens later this year. Visit www.detroitriverfront.org for more information.
SOURCE Detroit RiverFront Conservancy