Our History, Our Vision & Plans

With the threat of park closings and budget cuts by the city, the People for Palmer Park (PFPP) arose from members of the community who love Palmer Park for the gem it was, is, and can be.

A relatively new group, PFPP is a 501(c)(3) organization. PFPP functions as a membership organization and new members and volunteers are necessary and welcome! Core members of the PFPP include residents and representatives from a variety of neighborhood and community organizations.

We believe that with the collective energy, efforts, and talents of the people who use and love the park, it can be revitalized to its fullest potential and restored to what Senator Palmer envisioned when he donated the land for the park in the late 1800s: “a park for the good of everyone.” Palmer Park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, outdoor pool, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, a historic log cabin, and more. With continued city budget cuts and limited financial resources, the city leadership has encouraged creative solutions from citizens to keep our parks alive and healthy. People for Palmer Park accepts this challenge! We can design the park for us, the people who use the park.

We are committed to the preservation, recreation, and revitalization of Palmer Park, for the good of all. Our vision is to create an urban oasis, regional destination, and daily recreation site that will promote an active and healthy community. Our guiding values include preservation of park resources; restoration and preservation of the park’s history; equal benefit and access to the park; creation of a safe park environment; responsiveness to park users and the community; timeliness in our actions; and collaboration and cooperation with city, community, and stakeholders.

In 2011, PFPP and the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department, under the guidance of General Services, began exploring a potential partnership agreement. PFPP and the Detroit City Department of Parks and Recreation, which retains policy control, has discretion over all user permits and events in the park, and provides the current field staff, have been discussing collaboration structures to keep Palmer Park open and sustainable.

Restoration, Preservation, Sustainability and Beautification

PFPP is in the process of developing plans to restore Palmer Park to its former splendor as envisioned by its 19th-century designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles Eliot, and the park’s benefactors. What is unique about our re-development concept is that it incorporates a design of self-sustainability with the intent to create a park that can pay for its own maintenance and improvements. The plan is a work in progress and will be updated as changes are implemented. PFPP has developed short and long-term fundraising priorities and will begin with the restoration of the log cabin, historic fountain, tennis courts, Lake Frances wet lands, and the boundary of the park, as well as establishing long-term operating support.

Please click here to donate.

Beyond the restoration, preservation, and beautification goals, PFPP plans to develop future public programing that will draw on the invaluable resources in Palmer Park and provide education, recreation, and volunteer opportunities for children, teenagers, adults, families, community organizations, and schools. In addition, the PFPP will provide visitor services in the park.

If you’d like to support the park, there are many opportunities for involvement. You can participate in clean-up days, special events, or join a committee to work on specific functions of PFPP.

Click here to learn how to get involved.

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