Location Name: Riverside Park (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Park (City)
Year Opened: Approximately 1920
Created sometime around 1920 in an industrial section of Southwest Detroit, Riverside Park is one of the few places where the public can access the riverfront south of Downtown. The park offers impressive views of the nearby Ambassador Bridge, the J. W. Westcott II (the only floating post office in the world; it delivers mail to passing ships while underway), and other vessels as they travel through the Detroit River.
Riverside Park is characteristic of many urban parks. Despite its small size, restrictive city budgets often leave the park littered with trash. Public perception of the park's safety is often negative; mostly due to its location slightly off the main road in the area. While the park may have its fair share of problems, it is a welcome place of beauty among the decaying industrial district that surrounds it. With the recent re-opening of a large portion of the park that has been closed since 2001 in an effort to protect the nearby international crossing, the park appeared to be moving in the right direction. Everything has come into question since, due to the early 2012 finding of a petroleum-like liquid a few yards below the ground surface. The city has temporarily closed the park pending investigation of potential health dangers due to the finding. The city has applied for a federal brownfield grant to remediate the land. Hopefully over the next few years an effort will take place to make Riverside a treasure on Detroit's waterfront once again.Sources