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Here you'll find updates for the Palmer Park courts. This includes current and future renovation status.
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The Original Palmer Park Improvement Letter
Dear Handballers & friends,
Ahhh, spring is in the air and summer is close behind. The mellow sound of a blue ball therapeutically reverberating at outdoor courts brings happiness. And a chance to redefine the rules as we go....
The spread of our beloved game is one of the many goals of the MHA. It’s important to our sport to bring up the next generation and pay it forward. Besides, who else will eagerly listen as we share tall tales of games mysterious won against all odds and scorecards?
Which brings me to an incredible opportunity for us to build upon the past and spread good tidings for the future of Detroit handball. There is a cadre of people who are spearheading the refurbishment of the Palmer Park courts. Believe it or not, the place where the Nationals were played is in surprisingly good shape considering the years of neglect. With your help, we can have these babies playable in no time.
I realize at first glance there may be resistance to shelling out money. True, you already have a place to play. Of course you may drive a ways and have to wait in line for a game, but you’re use to it. And you may have given money for the repair of the Belle Isle courts, which has been a long time coming and not all the desired repairs are getting done. Admittedly this gets frustrating.
The elevator pitch.....
We have gotten special dispensation from the City of Detroit to run the show. We will decide what is to get done. We will designate and supervise repair contractors. There is no government bureaucracy to get in the way.
Our contact person at the city, and the local citizens group – People for Palmer Park, are looking forward to helping in any way possible. Granted, sometimes this will mean staying out of our way. The goal is to refurbish the courts to a quality playing center.
We will also have volunteers who will donate time to young people for handball workshops. The People for Palmer Park will track these kids, which will lead to financial support from parents and others in the community.
I realize there may be apprehension to investing in Palmer Park. There is a history of neglect and crime in the area. That is changing. I point out to us all that it wasn’t long ago that downtown Detroit epitomized abandonment. This energy will spread to other parts of town if we make it happen.
The park has undergone many renovations already and has come alive! Later this year the tennis courts nearby will undergo complete rebuild courtesy of the USTA and a major grant.
Short list of repairs completed – funded by donations:
• Tuck-point and paint court walls and ceiling grid. The ceiling grid is in fine structural shape. • Apply top-coat resurface to court 2.
• Install temporary fencing to surrounding court area.
Amenities to be supplied by the city:
• Place benches and bleacher seating in court area.
• Place picnic tables beyond court area.
• Install port-a-john.
• Designate existing parking west of the courts (near mounted police stables) for handball players.
Parking on Woodward exists presently.
Let’s cut to the chase. You can get in on the ground floor and be part of the solution! We need bucks to get it done. Our goal is $100 donations per person, but whatever you can give is appreciated.
We have arranged for donations to be federal and state tax-deductible. Simply make checks payable to People for Palmer Park and write “handball courts” to earmark your donation. Send your check to the MHA at:
Palmer Park Courts
18890 San Quentin Drive
Lathrup Village, MI 48076
Or simply go to our GoFundMe page here:
Thanks much, Stewart Shevin
Palmer Park court rejuvenation committee members: