Our work has pushed Brightmoor’s Eliza Howell Park to be a valuable and experiential gathering place for area residents.
Eliza Howell Park (EHP) is a 250-acre jewel within the City of Detroit parks system. Situated in Brightmoor, a 4-square mile neighborhood on Detroit’s west side, EHP’s existing land cover includes lawn area, old-growth beech-sugar maple forest, early-successional forest, a vernal pond currently maintained as mowed lawn, and restored prairie.
Sidewalk’s artist residency program in Eliza Howell Park (EHP) has served over 2,000 attendees since its beginning in 2016 and facilitated the design and installation of educational park and nature signage, public benches and additional trash receptacles through multiple planning and design sessions coordinated across residential, governmental and community groups.
From 2016-2018 Sidewalk Detroit hired ten community residents to serve as a Community Leadership Team, meeting monthly and providing project advisement and outreach for Sidewalk’s EHP programming and park improvements. During this time period Sidewalk collaborated with residents and civic leaders to develop a master plan for Eliza Howell Park, commissioning the Detroit-based landscape architecture firm LivingLab to create the final plan documents from 2017-2018. Upon its completion in October 2018, this master park plan was subsequently adopted by City of Detroit Planning Department as the benchmark for EHP improvements and planning in the future. The implementation of this community informed EHP master plan and associated programming is part of Sidewalk Detroit’s long term vision to curate outdoor interventions specific to the Brightmoor community and produce events with the shared aims of engaging residents in artistic and recreational activities.
Our ongoing work
As the leaders and creators of the Sidetrails Artist Residency Program at Eliza Howell Park we :
Commission artists to create socially relevant programming and art projects over 4-8 week periods
Provide weekly programming in Eliza Howell Park in May-October
Collaborate with residents, architects and the city of Detroit to improve park infrastructure and amenities