Take 2 minutes to help Save Riverside Park.

Tomorrow, there will be a City of Detroit community hearing at 5:30 p.m. at Patton Park, 2301 Woodmere, regarding the so called “land swap” that the Bridge Company is pushing for to gain private control over Riverside Park (aka Conversion Application).  
Many of us have fought very hard to keep Riverside Park accessible to the public.  We know that DTE (cleaning it up), Detroit Riverfront Conservancy (bridge to bridge), Friends of Riverside Park and many baseball leagues and groups have plans for a beautiful recreational use of the park without this conversion request.  The legal and health implications of this application by the Bridge Company negatively impacts our public use, environmental and public health.  Help save Riverside Park. 

Comments regarding the proposed conversion can be submitted by 
David A. Miller, Interim Director
Detroit Parks and Recreation Department
18100 Meyers
Detroit, MI 48235
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Debrabander, Manager
Grants Management Section
Finance and Operations Division
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Constitution Hall
525 West Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48909
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Points you can include:
1)      I urge the relevant agencies to consider the legal requirements attached to Riverside Park due to federal Land & Water Conversation Fund Act and the Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund Act.  Your result will lead you to conclude that the conversion does not meet the necessary requirements that protects the public, retain public use, and more importantly, the health of the public.  Your agencies will also conclude that a decision is impossible due to the lack of documents, assessments and testing of the properties involved.
2)      The applicant has a history in not complying with the law and not acting in good faith to ensure that the public interests are parallel.  Please make sure you are double checking all the claims and documents in the application.
3)      A baseline environmental assessment conducted on the City’s behalf states that “volatile organic compounds and semi-VOCs above Part 201 generic residential cleanup criteria,” including arsenic, mercury, lead and benzene on the mitigation parcel. Since these contaminants make the mitigation parcel unusable for recreational purposes we would urge you to not consider any conversion until remediation has occurred.  

4)      The LWCF and MNRTF requires that “all practical alternatives to the proposed conversion be evaluated.” No other alternatives have been reviewed.
5)      The LWCF and MNRTF require consideration of how a conversion will affect the outdoor recreational usefulness of a site. Increased traffic from the proposed expansion will reduce accessibility to the park. Noise and air pollution from vehicles will make use of the park certainly less enjoyable and may also present health issues to those trying to use the park.
Rashida Tlaib
Sugar Law Center
for Economic & Social Justice (SLC) @sugarlawjustice
313-993-4505 (office)
313-550-8222 (cell)