Campus Martius 'Beach,' activities to grow
A $125,000 grant is set to bring a larger splash to Campus Martius Park this summer with giant Jenga, beer and wine tastings, and concerts.
The Southwest Airlines Foundation has given a Heart of the Community grant to the Downtown Detroit Partnership, one of five national recipients, for the annual summer "Beach" activities in the popular downtown Detroit hangout. The money will fund new beach furniture and toys, games, landscaping, lighting and programs as well as a beach attendant, the partnership said Tuesday.
"Detroit is really fortunate to have some of the best public spaces in the country and even the world," said Robert Gregory, DDP chief planning and public space officer. "We continue to innovate and add new features and respond to what the public needs or wants."
The partnership is phasing in the updates, though some have already begun. A beach attendant helps keep the public space safe and interacts with visitors.
Local DJs will spin from within a retrofitted Airstream trailer once a month. That starts Saturday. The grant also supports the ongoing music series from local Caribbean and reggae bands on Fridays.
The grant also will help expand the Beach to the shaded southwest garden of Campus Martius. Visitors will be able to play tabletop shuffleboard, ping-pong, giant Jenga and petanque, a bocce-like sport. Future events include beer and wine tastings.
This year's grant is an extension of support from Southwest Airlines to the project. In 2013, the foundation provided $75,000 to help the Beach get started.
"We continually look to new things, new innovative ways, new attractions, new amenities," Gregory said, "to keep the place fresh."