Detroit Mayor Dave Bing last week announced that private donations totaling $14 million will allow the city's parks to remain open through the summer.
The announcement comes three months after Bing warned he would have to close 50 parks after the Detroit City Council rejected an agreement that would have leased Belle Isle, the city's largest park, to the state. The closures would have dropped the number of open parks to 57, down from an original 308.
At a press conference last week, Bing said local businesses and foundations have donated a total of $14 million to keep all parks open and programming intact. Donors include the Lear Corporation, which donated $5 million over five years, as well as General Motors, United Auto Workers-Ford, Ford Motor Company, DTE Energy, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
"This is another great example of how the business community and foundations have stepped up to support the city in our efforts to improve the quality of life for our citizens," Bing said. "Even in the midst of a major financial restructuring of the city, we must stay focused on basic needs. In just a couple of months, Detroit children will be out of school for the summer and it is vital that we provide recreational options that will help keep them active and safe."