Downtown Farmington announces plans for new universally accessible pocket park

What’s happening: An underutilized patch of asphalt in downtown Farmington is set to be reimagined as a vibrant greenspace this summer, complete with public art installations, firepits and outdoor seating, event space, and more. Located on Farmington Road, just south of Grand River Avenue and next to Sipp Smoothie & Juice Bar, Enterprise Pocket Park is expected to open come summer 2023.

What it is: The development of Enterprise Pocket Park dovetails nicely with the streetscape project happening along Farmington Road, which itself is transforming the vital corridor into a more walkable, enjoyable space. The pocket park will feature public art, overhead string lighting, firepits, outdoor seating, greenspace, and improved landscaping, which includes trees, hedges, and plant containers. The pocket park is also part of the city’s Syndicate social district.

A park for all: The Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which is leading the project, has partnered with the Disability Network of Eastern Michigan (DNEM) and Grissim Metz Andriese Associates to build a universally accessible park to ensure access for users of all ages and abilities. This includes barrier-free, at grade conditions that allow for wheeled entry and enjoyment.

The Farmington DDA has partnered with the Disability Network of Eastern Michigan (DNEM) and Grissim Metz Andriese Associates to build the universally accessible park.
How they’re doing it: The Enterprise Pocket Park project has been accepted into the Public Spaces Community Places program, a placemaking initiative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Should Downtown Farmington successfully raise $75,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, the MEDC will contribute a $75,000 matching grant.

The crowdfunding campaign has a deadline of Tuesday, Jan. 31, and is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

What they’re saying: “The investment of placemaking development resources in our local community through this matching MEDC grant makes this project possible. The matching structure, incorporating so many local voices through small-dollar pledges, recognizes the strength of our volunteer passion and the high priority Farmington places on public spaces we can all enjoy,” says Farmington DDA Director Kate Knight. “Each time we tell this story and make the ask, it becomes more natural, as the response has been overwhelmingly positive: When will it be ready? Can you give me a flyer to put up in my business? I love the design and illustration. How can I help?”

Visit Patronicity online to learn more about the Enterprise Pocket Park project and campaign.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.