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Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative

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Arbor Day Event on Apr. 29 Celebrates Extension of Conner Creek Greenway

Celebration to include tree planting, parade and puppet show. DTE Energy volunteers, The Greening of Detroit and 120 school children from the Detroit Merit Academy are among the participants.

Detroit, MI, April 15, 2011 --( The Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) will host an Arbor Day event on Fri., Apr. 29 to celebrate the completion of a new two-mile extension to the Conner Creek Greenway. DTE Energy volunteers, The Greening of Detroit and 120 school children from the Detroit Merit Academy will participate in the celebration on the Detroit River in Maheras Gentry Park at the foot of Conner Ave. The event is open to the public.

The festivities kick off with a tree planting at the park at 9 a.m. Under the direction of The Greening of Detroit, the DTE Energy Green Team will plant the trees funded through DTE Energy.

An Arbor Day parade will follow at 11 a.m. Students from the Detroit Merit Academy will lead the procession along with their puppets made with the Matrix Theater as part of preparations for their original production, “Marshland Security.” Families are invited to join the parade.

After the parade, local officials will provide remarks starting at 11:45 a.m., followed by the official ribbon cutting. U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing are among the invited guests.

The Conner Creek Greenway is part of more than 23 miles of GreenWays Initiative connected paths in Detroit created by the City of Detroit with the support of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The DECC initiated the Conner Creek Greenway to provide residents of Detroit’s eastside with a way to connect neighborhoods and create walkable, bikeable access to the Detroit River.

The first phases of the Conner Creek Greenway include the Milbank Greenway, which passes between Van Dyke and Conner just south of 8 Mile Road and the Conner Playfield section, which begins at the Coleman A. Young International Airport and runs south into the Conner Playfield near Harper and Conner. The greenway will link eastside communities, social agencies, schools, recreation areas and businesses.

“The Detroit Recreation Department is excited about the increased recreation opportunities the Conner Creek Greenway will provide. It connects recreation locations to the riverfront through Maheras Park. Additionally it creates a shared use path for residents to enjoy biking, walking or in line skating,” said Alicia C. Minter, Detroit Recreation Department Director.

The phases just completed include bike lanes on St. Jean from Mack to Jefferson, and the Riverfront Terminus, which runs along Clairpointe from Jefferson to the River in Maheras Gentry Park.

Ultimately, the goal of the Conner Creek Greenway is for a student from a school like Osborn High School to be able to meet his or her friends at the Lipke Recreation Center, stop at the Warren Conner Shopping District and then continue on to a family picnic at the River’s edge.

“We are honored to have been able to play a role in the development of the Conner Creek Greenway,” said Tom Woiwode, director of the GreenWays Initiative. “The creation of this network of greenways involved years of planning and the hard work of many organizations, including DECC, City of Detroit, DTE Energy Foundation and Chrysler LLC. It is a real pleasure to see this dream of so many finally becoming a reality.”

The Community Foundation’s GreenWays Initiative, with funding from supporters such as the DTE Energy Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, has created more than 100 miles of non-motorized recreational trails, connecting 80 communities in the seven-county region. Greenways offer free, year-round opportunities for exercise and recreation, helping to improve the region’s quality of life.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. The Foundation works to improve the region’s quality of life by connecting those who care with causes that matter. The Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $462 million through more than 38,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit

The Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) is dedicated to transforming the eastside by creating active greenways that connect people and communities. DECC’s signature project is the Conner Creek Greenway. More information can be found at

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Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
Mike Ingberg

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