I’m fortunate to work at a company that allows us to spend a certain number of hours every year on volunteer initiatives. Thusly I found myself at Clark Park in Detroit on a Tuesday in mid-June to do some clean-up work through Summer in the City, a local volunteer organization.
Spending time outside on a summer’s day instead of hunched in front of a computer in my gray, florescent-lit cubicle – UMMM, yes, please! AND spending time visiting a new place, to boot, instead of hunched in said cubicle? Double-YES to that!
Clark Park is located in Southwest Detroit, in a part of town that I enjoyed with its big, beautiful old houses, community feel (cue kids running around at a cookout luncheon at a nearby school, people chatting in the street, moms taking their kids to the park), and a bomb ice cream parlor within walking distance (which I’ll totally be covering in my next post!).
The spacious park not only boasts baseball diamonds, a playground area, a community garden, ample fields, and paths for strolling and biking, it also has a ice rink!
I got excited upon seeing the ice rink, which according to Clark Park’s website is “the only regulation-sized outdoor ice hockey rink in Metro Detroit.” I realized it was the rink where the Detroit Red Wings have practiced on at least one occasion and played at least one alumni game. Pretty cool – especially to me as a Wings fan. I need to get over there the next time they grace that ice!
Loads of kiddos were running around Clark Park on the day of our visit, doing activities with volunteers and generally being adorable. The park seemed an ideal setting for such a day camp-type gathering, being as large and well maintained as it was. According to Clark Park’s website, it also hosts community events such as festivals and concerts throughout the year.
Our group did some weeding while we were at Clark Park in the afternoon, beautifying a concrete-paved play area. In the morning, we had done some mega weeding at a nearby Summer in the City garden site, which was super satisfying (I mean, we cleared some MAJOR plant debris!). It was my first time volunteering at a community garden, a long-held item on my to-do list.
I’m not sure how often Summer in the City coordinates volunteer outings at Clark Park, but its website is worth checking out if its mission of enriching Detroit via Play (fostering youth enrichment), Paint (creating murals in Detroit neighborhoods), and Plant (practicing urban gardening) intrigues you: www.summerinthecity.com. And Clark Park is certainly worth checking out if you appreciate green spaces that offer a sojourn from bustling everyday life.
1130 Clark St.
Detroit, MI 48209