Mount Elliott Park in Detroit officially reopens today, putting the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy one step closer to achieving its goal of developing five-and-a-half miles of the city’s riverfront.
The updated park, at 120 Mount Elliott near Wight Street, now features a Great Lakes schooner-themed water feature, including “kid-activated” water cannons and wind chimes. It also claims fishing piers, winding walkways, LED lighting, restrooms, and a café, and “will be another huge draw for visitors and families to this growing world-class destination, the Detroit riverfront,” says Matt Cullen, the conservancy’s chairman.
Mount Elliott Park is the third plaza and pavilion the conservancy has developed along the three miles of east riverfront, which spans from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park, as part of the first of a two-phase project aimed at developing the city’s riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle.
The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, established in 2003, is also making changes to the Chene and Gabriel Richard parks in an effort to increase pedestrian access to the riverfront. Likewise, the 1.5-mile Dequindre Cut is undergoing an expansion that will bring it into the heart of Eastern Market at Mack Avenue and link it with other greenways in the city.
According to conservancy officials, the first phase of the project is now 80 percent complete and the second phase, the development of the west riverfront, is set to begin this year. Once complete, the 20-acre parcel on West Jefferson, on the site of a former printing facility, will feature an extra-wide RiverWalk, three pathways from Jefferson Avenue that provide riverfront access, benches, call boxes, security cameras, bike racks, and green space for activities.
Later this summer, the 43,000-square-feet Globe Building on Atwater will open as the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center with a variety of interactive exhibits, hands-on simulators, and programming opportunities.