PARKLATEST NEWS


Here you'll find updates for the Palmer Park courts. This includes current and future renovation status.

New posts are by MHA administrators and members.  You are encouraged to add comments and feedback. 

Please be respectful of fellow users. Trolling posts will be deleted.

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  • 27 Jun 2019 1:59 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hey all,

    Peter Werbe and I met with Farhat Chaudrey (engineer) and Jeff Klein (Deputy Chief of Landscape Architecture) at the courts yesterday. We accessed the north court surface work done by their vendor.  

    First, the work was contracted to be done on the south courts. They mistakenly resurfaced the north (wrong) side. The good news is that the city is having the contractor fix the south courts as it was their mistake.

    We were all in agreement that although the courts look great, the vendor did not prep the cement as expected. Specifically,  grinding down and pouring a suitable self-leveling epoxy before the application of the slip-resistant surface paint. The crack and pop filling was less that appropriate.

    The upshot is that Jeff will meet with vendor to discuss making better of the north courts and approaching the south courts (to make right)  in a suitable manner. He is telling them the court surfaces need to be ground down and filled properly. They will haggle over money and whatever I’m sure. Jeff will get back to me with the results of that meeting. I will update you once I hear back.

    As soon as the south courts are resurfaced, cyclone fencing will be installed around the south courts.

    Once the fence install starts, we will repurpose the mesh from the south to make the north court fencing higher (total 10’). It was  suggested to install a second shorter fence a few feet past the first to keep more balls from heading into the woods. We can repurpose the south T-posts for that. 

    Other notes:

    We plan to clean and apply a sealant to the stepped wall caps. This will remedy vegetation growth on those wall tops. We’ve also noticed seepage coming through and down the side of the walls at a few points. This deteriorates the walls themselves, and has caused new paint at the base to peal in a few spots. 

    We’ll touch up the wall paint after repairs.


  • 30 May 2019 12:23 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    The MHA was given an update today from the General Services Division (GSD) of the City of Detroit.

    Work is scheduled to begin today for renovations of  the two south courts. Resurfacing: This will include grinding down and crack-filling the existing surface. Then a non-skid epoxy coating with gray colorant is applied. After that, 1-1/2" red service and out lines will be painted.

    Installation of back and side fencing will also begin. This will be black vinyl-clad steel cyclone, 1-3/4" mesh. The 10' high backstop fencing will run the 70' span. Side fencing to create a U shape will be 8' high.

    Weather-permitting, this work should take two weeks. The two north courts will remain available for play during that time.


    The GSD was renamed from the more familiar Parks & Recreation Department of years past. The GSD manages construction and maintenance  which includes the city's parks.

  • 21 May 2019 9:38 AM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hi all,

    Courts are ready for play! Nick Morang, Peter Werbe and Stewart Shevin cleaned the courts and shored up the temporary fencing on Saturday, the 18th. There are leaves built up at the base of the fences. We'll clear those out at our next opportunity.

    We will be given a key to the storage building next to the tennis courts (tennis courts are currently under construction). How that key will accessed is being figured out.

    We have yet to hear back from the city as to when court floors and fencing will be installed on the south courts.

    I suggest bringing a broom or better yet leaf blower when you come. There are usually a few leaves resting in the courts.

  • 01 Mar 2019 3:10 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    The City of Detroit was very impressed with the money and work the MHA members and friends put into the courts last year. As a direct result of that effort, the General Services Division (formerly Parks and Rec) has come up with funds to resurface the two south court playing areas ( 2 x 22' x 44’), and install an 8’ cyclone fence with black vinyl coating around the south courts. The city has specked a MasterSeal product for application to the court surface. They have assured me that we will be happy with the result. We are waiting to hear as to when that work will start.

    As that back two courts are in good shape, this will leave us with four playable courts!

    The court resurfacing we did to court #2 last year allowed immediate play. That work was guaranteed for 3 years. Admittedly it proved to be less that satisfactory. Given the city’s readiness to redo that court, we will take it as an investment and lesson learned.

    For 2019 we are checking into -

    - Painting the ceiling grid the same color as the walls.

    - Install a door on the brick storage shed close to the courts. This could keep maintenance items and other goodies for ready access.

    - Beautification to the court area (low height shrubs and annuals)

    - Raising $$ for solar lighting (about 380 per unit). This is to allow for evening play and contribute to safety.

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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:

GoFundMe page for Palmer Park Handball Courts

Thanks much, Stewart Shevin

Palmer Park court rejuvenation committee members:

Scott Johnna

Pete Brown
Peter Werbe

Michael MacDonald

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