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Want To Get In On Developing Downtown Park?

Want To Get In On Developing Downtown Park? image
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
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Does anybody have 143 railroad ties, or 75 cubic yards of wood chips that they would like to donate for a temporary public park at the northwest corner of Main and Huron? These are some of the materials being sought by the Ecology Center now that definite development plans have been made through architectural drawings and a list of needed materials made for the project, which was revealed in March for the site once occupied by the Municipal Court Building before it burned down. Donations of time, materials and/or money to purchase the needed material will be welcome, said Cecil Ursprung, business director of the Ecology Center. Checks should be made payable to the center with a note that the money should go to the park fund, he said. No attempt has been made to raise any money until now because nobody knew how much the project would cost, the director said. He estimated that $3,000 to $4,000 would be needed. Ursprung said about $1,000 worth of services have already been donated during the planning stages. In addition to the two items mentioned, plans for the site, which is 157 feet by 75 feet, call for 44 trees which would be six to eight feet high, 190 cubic yards of fill dirt and 76 cubic yards of top soil. That much is needed because a number of mounds, some as much as three feet high, will be scattered around the site, Ursprung said. A sculpture will be the focal point of the park. Other materials being sought are three cubic yards of sand, 80 dozen flower plants for four beds of various sizes, 400 square yards of sod, 28 shrubs, four trash containers, a number of stakes to hold the railroad ties and several bicycle racks. The project will be completed as fast as the donations come in, Ursprung said. It will take approximately $2,000 worth of labor, mostly unskilled so almost any citizen can help, the director noted. He cited the aid given so far by a diverse group of persons such as architects, sculptors, housewives, professional people, and high school and college students. A group of approximately 35 persons have been meeting once a week. Anyone who wishes can attend the next meeting at the Ecology Center tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., Ursprung said. The park is designed for persons who work downtown and want to spend their lunch hour there, Ursprung said. Shoppers could take their children there, he said. Or persons riding their bicycles could park there, the Ecology Center director said.