Flint, MI— Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced plans to turn Chevy Commons, a major site of the 1936 autoworkers sit-down strike, into Genesee County’s first state park.
The $26.2 million investment by the State of Michigan is part of Whitmer’s $250 million plan to revitalize and modernize Michigan’s parks in an effort to spur tourism.
“Parks are pillars of our local communities and economies,” Whitmer said during a press conference held at Chevy Commons July 14. “This new park in Flint is a multi-generational investment in the community that will support small businesses, create jobs, and give people a space to enjoy with friends and family.”
The park, which is still pending approval by the Legislature, will begin at Chevy Commons and expand along the Flint River corridor. It would connect local neighborhoods, businesses and landmark institutions like Kettering University and The Flint Farmer’s Market.
Though plans are not yet solidified, the new park may include non-motorized trails, playscapes, open spaces, fishing platforms, and canoe and kayak launches into the Flint River.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources plans to leverage the Flint River Restoration Project, a local collaboration to rejuvenate the Flint Riverfront, and cooperate with residents to develop the park.
“Flint is proud to be the first city in Genesee County to have a State Park,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “Repurposing this land for outdoor recreational space will enhance residents’ health and quality of life while giving families in Flint an opportunity to enjoy nature.”
It is not yet known when the park will be completed, and developers are seeking additional funding. Once finished, it would become Michigan’s 104th state park.