Pingree Park, a serene 18-acre green space that is home to towering trees, baseball fields and basketball courts, has been a true treasure for those in the Detroit community. However, over the years, the park had fallen into disarray, making it almost unusable for those in the neighborhood, some of whom have lived near Pingree Park their entire lives.
In November 2017, Project EverGreen went to Detroit to begin renovations on the beloved park, providing the funds and materials that the city could not afford after years of financial difficulties. Phase I of the Pingree Park makeover brought new hope to the people of the area, revitalizing community pride, helping the environment one tree at a time and creating a community hub for the intergenerational neighborhood.
The first phase of the Pingree Park project was just the beginning of helping the Detroit community. Last week, Project EverGreen returned to Pingree Park for phase II of the renovations. Phase II brought freshly planted trees, new natural play mounds, seeding, a new walking path and more to the area.
Volunteers from companies who helped sponsor the project, such as Quicken Loans and Magna Seating, came out to help, supporting Project EverGreen’s mission. Many residents in the neighborhood also volunteered their time and were especially excited to partake in the cookout that marked the end of the hardworking weekend.
One local landscape supporter, Troy Clogg Landscape Associates, was thrilled to be able to spend their time, resources and machinery on the Pingree Park project. After helping with phase I last year, they were eager to come back to Pingree Park, returning with eight Troy Clogg employees who came to the park on their days off so they could help the project become a reality.
Matt Scott, director of operations at Troy Clogg, knows that the hard work and extra time they put in to help this community is worthwhile. According to Scott, if you looked at the park a year ago, you would not have seen children running around on the playground or teams playing on the baseball field. Thanks to Project EverGreen and everyone else who has come together to work on the park, residents can now properly use the facilities.
For Troy Clogg, Scott says that it is all about “giving back to the community.” He and the other employees at Troy Clogg recognize how fortunate they are and feel responsible as a company to help those who need it. They love to see how the residents use the area after they work on a project. Taking part on this particular project and giving joy to residents is a big deal for Troy Clogg.
Scott is nothing but correct when it comes to how much of a positive impact the Pingree Park project has had on the surrounding community.
One member of the neighborhood, Kaytea Moreno Elst, volunteered to help out with her husband and two children. Elst was beyond excited seeing all the new features that would be added to the park, explaining that she loves to spend time outside with her children, but their lawn is not large enough to play in and the busy roads in the neighborhood can be dangerous for children to be near. Her family comes over to Pingree Park almost every single day; the park has basically become their backyard.
Another resident, James Michael, was just one of the many people who stopped by to check out what was going on. When he realized how much was being added to the park, a smile spread across his face as he recalled his childhood, saying, “I grew up on this park here, this was my Sherwood Forest.”
Although there is still work that needs to be completed at the park, including the final steps of adding the new walking path, Pingree Park has come a long way since Project EverGreen first began to imagine how the area could be transformed.
“Pingree Park and the people living in the surrounding community are the real winners,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “With generous financial and in-kind support, this park will get a much-needed facelift. The improved park space will result in a greener, healthier, cooler park, functioning as the lungs of the neighborhood.”
Other Detroit area businesses, who have contributed financially and in-kind to the project include: Advanced Turf Solutions, BASF, Billy Goat, Cool Planet, FMC, Greenworks, Kujo Yard Wear, Lush Lawn, Nufarm, PBI-Gordon, Real Green Systems, Spring-Green, Superior Groundcover, The Davey Tree Expert Co., Sipcam Agro, Sport Field Solutions, Troy Clogg Landscape Associates, Turf Systems, United Turf Alliance and Weed Man Farmington Hills.
Project EverGreen continues to create a greener, healthier, cooler Earth by renovating parks across the country, positively impacting the communities that are in most need of a place that supports relaxation, boosts community involvement and allows relationships, and trees, to grow.