Graham Park Streetview 1Grant will provide funding to create a new soccer installation from a vacant lot

Dearborn children would have more opportunities to play and practice their soccer skills under a proposal to transform a vacant lot on Graham Street between Wyoming and Lonyo streets.

The proposal is to create a soccer installation, and funding is available thanks to the efforts of the Healthy Dearborn coalition, the City of Dearborn, and a $63,000 grant from KaBOOM! and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Though the grant has been secured, the project is still pending. It must first be reviewed by the City administration and approved by the Dearborn City Council. The public also will have chance to provide input before the proposed park is finalized, and a date will be announced to receive those comments and insights.

It’s hoped that the park will be completed around August 2019.

Transforming the city-owned vacant lot into a soccer playscape will potentially enhance recreation opportunities for children in northeast Dearborn. The City’s Planning Division and other city officials have been instrumental in pursuing this goal.

The grant will provide the resources for the new facility to have climbing structures, crocheted hoops and soccer obstacle courts.

Sara Gleicher, project coordinator of the Healthy Dearborn initiative through Beaumont Health, said the creation of the new park is in line with the goals of Healthy Dearborn.

“We want children to be active and enjoy sports and exercise in addition to having easy access to green space and parks,” said Gleicher.

“Dearborn currently has 43 parks, but this new soccer park will be unique, and in the heart of a neighborhood that will mean more children can walk to it. We know soccer is a big draw for our community. We look forward to seeing kids playing at this park,” said Gleicher.  

Healthy Dearborn, led by Beaumont Health in partnership with the City of Dearborn and the Dearborn Public Schools, applied for the grant through the national non-profit KaBOOM! and the Built to Play Initiative supported by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. The aptly titled Play Everywhere Challenge also issued funding for 23 other cities across southeast Michigan and western New York. 

Photo courtesy of Healthy Dearborn

This vacant lot on Graham Street is proposed to be transformed into a playground with soccer features, thanks to the Healthy Dearborn coalition, which applied for a grant from the non-profit KaBoom! And the Built to Play Initiative supported by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. City staff supported the application. The public will have a chance to give input before a final plan is in place.