Stories » Neighborhood families cut the ribbon Saturday for Ella Fitzgerald Park / The Detroit News

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Neighborhood families cut the ribbon Saturday for Ella Fitzgerald Park / The Detroit News

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Neighborhood families cut the ribbon Saturday at a new park on the city's northwest side named for "the First Lady of Song." More than 100 people gathered at Ella Fitzgerald park, located at 16625 Prairie Street in Detroit's Fitzgerald neighborhood, at what used to be a collection of abandoned houses and vacant overgrown lots. It is now a 2.5 acre community space that includes a sports field, basketball court, playground set, picnic area and murals.  "We had the idea two years ago that one day this would be the Ella Fitzgerald park and we came together and planned during countless meetings and are proud to be here today," said Darnetta Banks, president of the Prairie Block Club and resident of 53 years. "Our community is here. Let's keep it as it is now and make it even better." The park is the first completed component of the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project, a city-led plan announced in October to rehab 116 vacant homes, demolish 26 homes and reactivate 200 vacant lots. Developers began work rehabbing homes this summer and renovations will continue through 2019.

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