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Lt. Governor Gilchrist II at Groundbreaking of Wilson Park in Detroit

Michigan Business Network
May 13, 2022 9:00 AM


LANSING, Mich. – Tuesday, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II attended the groundbreaking of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park in Downtown Detroit. Under the direction of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the park will undergo construction to become a part of the beautiful Detroit riverfront.   

“As a longtime patron of the Detroit Riverfront, I am proud to kick off the construction of Wilson Park,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Michigan is full of unmatched natural beauty, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park will be no different. Governor Whitmer and I have made historic investments in Michigan’s state and local parks, and we are committed to ensuring that every Michigander can experience and enjoy our natural resources.” 

Located on 22 acres roughly between Rosa Parks Boulevard and 8th Street along the Detroit River, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park currently serves as the western edge of Detroit's RiverWalk. When the new park opens in 2023, it will feature the Delta Dental Play Garden, an expansive lawn for programs and special events, basketball courts in the sport house, and a large water garden   

Historic Investment in State and Local Parks 

The Building Michigan Together Plan invests $450 million in Michigan’s state parks to improve state and local parks and trails to enhance tourism and boost the outdoor recreation industry.  

  • $250 million for state parks, including the creation of a new state park in the city of Flint.   
  • $200 million for local park systems, including transformative greenway projects in Detroit and Grand Rapids.     

Economic Benefits of Parks   

Parks and recreation facilities are a big part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs, and helping sustain small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry supports billions in state Gross Domestic Product and sustains 126,000 jobs and over $4.7 billion in wages and salaries in the state.       

On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit, meaning the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will yield $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses, and local communities.  


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