For our first challenge of the 2023-2024 program year, we partnered with the Detroit Parks Coalition (DPC), an alliance of organizations that supports healthy, equitable and vibrant parks through fundraising, collaboration and advocacy. Five teams of Fellows worked alongside the Detroit Parks Coalition staff, park coalition members and community stakeholders as they created deliverables focused on outreach and engagement for Detroit parks – learn more from the perspective of each team here! 

“Heroes are people who say: This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better.” – Former Oregon Governor Tom McCall

And this is exactly the purpose of the Adopt-a-Park Stewardship program — restoring and caring for the parks in their communities. Our team had the pleasure of connecting with stewards across the city of Detroit to learn more about what motivates them, who they serve, and the challenges they face. These key insights allowed us to better explore how the Detroit Parks Coalition and Detroit Parks and Recreation can better support stewards.

One steward mentioned “bringing the community together [a]llows for pride in our space.” Yet, having the resources needed to achieve this goal is key. After weeks of learning, ideating, and testing, we developed three recommendations that focused on training, resources, and communication channels. We were excited to hand over these findings to DPC and hope the Adopt-a Park stewardship program will blossom in the future!

Blog by Fellow Team: Andreia Inges, Sumer Hazime, Kim Swinehart, Bre McKamie, Henry Zhou