Release Date: May 12, 2017

LTU students raising money to highlight culture in Detroit parks

Bike Park Rendering

DETROIT – Students at Lawrence Technological University’s Detroit Studio are raising money for a bicycle park project in conjunction with Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard Collaborative.

The students, led by Joongsub Kim, professor in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design, are seeking to raise $10,000 – the amount of a matching grant they have received from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for the arts in Detroit.

The students’ vision is to create a network of multi-purpose bike parks where the history of Detroit’s West End neighborhoods will be mapped, narrated and illustrated – highlighting the local culture that produced Detroit legends such as longtime Detroit Tiger Willie Horton, singer Aretha Franklin and other Motown artists.

The vision for the project includes bike parks having sculptural art as bike racks, solar lighting, drought-resistant plants, recycling bins, rain barrel water collection, community gardens, and other green infrastructure – along with signage that maps and informs about the local points of interest and the history of the neighborhoods.

Kim said the West End is made up of several small neighborhoods, but the area’s general boundaries are West Euclid Avenue on the north, I-94 on the south, the Lodge Freeway (M-10) on the east, and I-96 on the west.

The group has established a fundraising page online at http://igfn.us/vf/WGBC. The deadline for the fundraising effort is May 31. More information about LTU’s Detroit Studio is available at www.ltu.edu/detroitstudio.

“The Knight Arts Challenge grant we received is to support the West Grand Boulevard community’s desire to create a ‘West End Tapestry,’ a social and cultural map of the community,” Kim said. “It is to map the rich history and valuable assets of the West End through arts, architecture, urban designand community engagement. Our multi-purpose bike park project is an integral part of this tapestry.”

Said Amar Hoxha, BSAr’14, MAr’17: “I have been part of the bike park project at the Detroit Studio for the past five months. This project is very important to the community as it promotes community engagement and healthy living, and highlights the community’s assets and history. In addition, I have learned many important lessons by working closely with the community. I would appreciate an opportunity to continue working on this project via the Knight grant. I hope with our work and support, the community’s plan can be realized, and we provide the community with a valuable bike park system that other neighborhoods will want to replicate. The matching funds will help us achieve that goal.”

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