Hamtramck seeks funds for Pope Park upgrades
Hamtramck — A project to renovate a park named after Pope John Paul II will get a $25,000 matching grant if a crowdfunding campaign raises that amount.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp., which would provide the matching grant, announced the fundraising effort Monday with the city of Hamtramck.
Organizers plan $100,000 in improvements to Karol Wojtyla Pope Park at Joseph Campau and Belmont.
"A vibrant Pope Park would help strengthen Hamtramck's downtown business district and bring the community together," said Katharine Czarnecki, community development director for the MEDC.
Planned upgrades include enhanced lighting, the addition of planters and seating and repair of the park's mural, which depicts folk dancers and scenes from the Polish city of Krakow.
Standing over the park is a bronze statue of the Polish pope erected in 1982, four years after his election by the College of Cardinals.
"Pope Park is a destination for people not only in the region, but from all over the world and is of historical importance to Hamtramck," said Kathy Angerer, Hamtramck's director of community and economic development. "The whole city is excited about the project to restore, enhance, maintain and beautify Pope Park."
As of Monday afternoon, the crowdfunding effort had raised $770. Its web page is here.
After the renovation, the park will host formal activities such as Polish Mass and adorations.