It's not every day that you see Governor Rick Snyder strap on a bicycle helmet, but it's not every day that Michigan's Department of Natural Resources kicks off a new project to transform an abandoned building into an outdoor recreation center, right in the City of Detroit.
But that's what happened on Saturday at Wm. G. Milliken State Park and Harbor along the Detroit Riverfront. Governor Snyder was on hand to launch the Globe Outdoor Adventure & Discovery Center project, funded by the Natural Resources Trust Fund. When complete, it will turn the Globe Trading Co. Building into a center for taking part in outdoor experiences like archery, ziplining and rock climbing. Governor Snyder offered remarks at an opening press conference.
From the Governor's remarks:
What gets me so excited about being here today, in 1982, I started my first job. My first job is in that big building down there," Snyder said, pointing down the riverfront to the Detroit River. "And when I'd go out to my office, you could look out the window, and it wasn't a very pretty sight. It was an ugly riverfront, to be blunt, if you looked down this direction. Now look at what we have today, thanks to people working together, about being positive about having a vision of the future, of believing that the best days are ahead of us, about doing things as a team -- not fighting. Look at the wonderful outcome that we've gotten this far...
I want everyone to remember what [the Globe Building] looks like today. So when we come back and see what it looks like, we can see what the power of working together can do and the opportunity to reinvent Michigan and the opportunity to reinvent Detroit.
And what goes on in the center is critically important in terms of an opportunity to talk about how you can marry urban areas with recreational opportunities in the outdoors.
Just this summer, we had a number of programs going. We were able to start the programs through the DNR in Detroit and some of our other urban areas. We had a lot of young people involved in them. And I got some feedback from some of the people running those programs. They said the programs went great, but when they were talking to the kids, it turned out that many of the kids didn't know that Milliken State Park was in the city of Detroit, that they'd never been to a state park, that they'd never done many outdoor activities, and the program this summer gave them a chance to have those opportunities. Well that's what this center is really gonna do in many respects -- take that to the whole next level. And that's really exciting.
After the announcement, Governor Snyder, DNR Director Keith Creagh (pictured above, left), and others biked to Eastern Market, where they shopped and met local vendors.
In his Special Message on Developing and Connecting Michigan's Talent, Governor Snyder explains the importance of projects like the Globe Project in Detroit. It's all about improving quality of place to make Michigan somewhere that workers, entrepreneurs and businesses want to locate, invest and expand.