2011 Honor Award – William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor Phase 2 Lowland Park

Detroit, MI


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During phase two of the park, JJR continued to build upon the dramatic transformation they began seven years earlier along the formerly heavily used, industrial manufacturing and shipping brownfield site on the Detroit River and its shoreline. Working with the Michigan DNR to open Michigan’s first urban state park, phase two renewed an additional six acres of the site, created a wetland habitat that demonstrates stormwater management practices, and continues to provide opportunities for visitors to:

• LEARN about natural and cultural environments.

• RECREATE in downtown Detroit.

• CONNECT to regional recreation resources.

• EXPERIENCE Michigan’s state parks and downtown Detroit in a new way.

JJR led a multidisciplinary team of engineers, environmental scientists, cultural resource experts, aquatic biologists, and horticulturists in the design, engineering, and implementation of this significant urban stormwater wetland demonstration project. In addition to the wetland components, they designed interpretive structures as part of the park’s natural systems and cultural resources education elements. Opportunities for wildlife observation, walking, fishing, and biking were programming activities were programming activities were incorporated as well. In addition, JJR also researched and established a funding strategy from multiple state and federal sources and coordinated grant applications that included a complex balance of match requirements totaling close to $4.4 million. By identifying and establishing funding sources, they were able to create the vision and assist with securing the resources to bring the project to fruition.

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