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Mayor joins community and partners to celebrate $1.5M newly renovated Balduck Park

2024
  • Project funded in part thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund investment, and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act
  • Detroit’s favorite sledding hill will be better than ever for the next season
  • Infrastructure improvements will reduce flooding on park’s south end

 

Mayor Mike Duggan, community partners, residents and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp, gathered on Detroit’s east side to celebrate the completion of $1.5 million in renovations to Balduck Park.

“Families have come to Balduck Park for generations for sledding and outdoor activities year-round,” said Mayor Duggan. “Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, we have been able to make the beautiful renovations you see today, which will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

The park's renovations include improved park entries and signage, the installation of new walkways, upgrades to and expansion of the playground, along with the addition of a picnic shelter and dog park. Enhancements have been made to Community Hill for sledding. There have been 92 trees planted and beautiful landscaping added along with crucial infrastructure improvements aimed at addressing chronic flooding issues in the park's south end.

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Mayor Duggan joins Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President Daniel Loepp, city officials, and community partners.

 

“Balduck Park, in many ways, serves as the recreational epicenter of this community,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp. “Our company’s partnerships with local businesses, residents and the city have been key to adding vibrancy to the East Warren/Cadieux neighborhood — the area I proudly called home throughout my childhood. This improvement project is one of many investments that are, without a doubt, helping improve the neighborhood’s health and well-being.”

“Balduck is truly an amazing park and a beloved east side treasure,” said Detroit Chief Operating Officer Brad Dick. “The dog park has been very popular with our residents, and Balduck is one of the most heavily programmed parks for our city’s youth. The most famous aspect of the park is Community Hill, which has now been enhanced thanks to the wonderful support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.”

Council Member Latisha Johnson has worked with the City of Detroit to enhance Balduck for years, helping bring improvements even in advance of this renovation project. "Balduck Park is a special place for me,” said Council Member Johnson, District 4. “It is active year-round and there is something for everyone to do. Before I took office, I worked with the community to get funding to improve the basketball courts. The funders and the city of Detroit's General Services Department have done a marvelous job transforming this park into a jewel of which we can all be proud."

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Children from the community using upgraded playground equipment.

 

Funding Balduck Park Improvement Project

As the cherished home to one of the city's most beloved sledding hills, Balduck Park underwent a highly anticipated million-dollar revitalization, made possible through the generous contributions from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF) investment and the impactful support of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA.)

Balduck Park received more than $984,700 from SNF dedicated to enhancing the sledding hill, South playground and dog park. Additional funding of $600,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) facilitated the completion of the remaining work, focusing on improved connectivity and pathways throughout the park. This work further highlights the ongoing commitment to enhancing Detroit’s recreational spaces.

“Our commitment to creating vibrant, high-quality outdoor spaces within walking or biking distance of all Detroiters is at the forefront of the transformation of Balduck Park,” said Jermaine Ruffin, senior vice president of neighborhoods for Invest Detroit. “Through the generous support from BCBSM and others to the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, Balduck Park offers both active and natural spaces, from the sledding hill and sports fields to walking paths and forest trails, ensuring it remains a cornerstone of community joy, wellness, and accessibility.”

The SNF was launched in 2017 by Mayor Duggan in partnership with Invest Detroit with a focus on leveraging investments in four key areas: improving parks, streetscapes, commercial corridors and single-family housing. Along the way, the plans are guided by residents’ input to give them a say in the future of their neighborhoods.

In and around the East Warren/Cadieux neighborhood, in addition to the beautiful renovations at Balduck Park, the SNF has provided funding and support for The Ribbon, Terri’s Cakes, and a beautiful new $8.8 million streetscape. Construction is already underway at The Ribbon, which is an $8 million, 18-unit affordable housing development.

Plans also have been announced for two other key projects in the SNF area along Warren: The Deco and the Arthur Murray. Both are proposed as mixed-use developments that would include affordable housing and retail space. Combined with The Ribbon, these three developments will bring additional affordable housing to the streetscape portion of the corridor in the next two years. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation recently celebrated the opening of two new Motor City Match businesses on that same stretch, spurred by these developments.

For more information on the Balduck Park improvements, go to: https://detroitmi.gov/departments/detroit-parks-recreation/parks-and-gr….

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Newly added picnic shelter and seating area.

 

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