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Gilchrist attends the grand opening of Wilson Park in Detroit


May 10, 2022


PHOTOS: Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II at the groundbreaking for Wilson Park in Detroit

LANSING, Mich. Today, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II attends the dedication 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 part of Detroit’s beautiful waterfront.

“As a longtime patron of the Detroit Riverfront, I’m proud to begin construction on Wilson Park,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Michigan is teeming with unparalleled natural beauty, and 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 include the Delta Dental Play Garden, an expansive lawn for programs and special events, basketball courts in the gym, and a large water garden.

Historic investment in national and local parks

The Building Michigan Together Plan is investing $450 million in Michigan State Parks to improve state and local parks and trails to improve 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 an important part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs and helping to support small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry contributes billions in the state’s gross domestic product and supports 126,000 jobs and more than $4.7 billion in wages and salaries in the state.

On average, every dollar invested in land conservation generates $4 in economic benefits, which means the Building Michigan Together plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will generate $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses and local communities.

The Lieutenant Governor and a group of people stand in front of a pile of dirt with shovels in their hands


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