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11 playground projects win grants in SE Michigan

The Detroit News

A house scheduled for demolition in Detroit's Fitzgerald neighborhood will be transformed into a multi-generational hangout and playground as part of a $1 million joint project involving the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

The foundation, through its Built to Play Initiative, announced 23 grants in conjunction with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit devoted to innovative play areas. Eleven winners in what was called the Play Everywhere Challenge are from southeast Michigan, with 12 from the Wilson Foundation's other area of concentration, western New York.

The Fitzgerald project, called the RePlay Garden, will feature seating areas, plants, a tunnel and tire structures.

Other Michigan projects include:

•RiverWalk Play Everywhere Cubes, unique shaped climbing and clambering structures along Detroit's RiverWalk

•Bryant Community Court, an empty lot in Ann Arbor that will be fitted with basketball hoops, jumping games and solar lighting.

•Finding Fun Downtown in Allen Park, with concrete chess tables, tabletop soccer, cornhole boards and other games

•Go Outside, a set of intersecting play walls in Port Huron with areas for chalk artwork and summer programming

•Hop! In the Name of Love in Detroit, a park where hopscotch players will help create energy to power a light-up wall

•Let It Flow, a series of sites in Mt. Clemens with murals and interactive sidewalk games

•Palmer Coast, a Port Huron installation with summer sliding via tubes, skis, sleds or snowboards

•Play Here, Play Together in Ypsilanti, connecting a busy bus stop to a service building and a vivid playground

•Play It Forward, combining a soccer field with other games in a sector of Dearborn with a large immigrant population

•Walk, Talk & Play on the Boice Parkway, a pathway connecting two city parks in Romulus