Thursday, December 29, 2005

Detroit's Campus Martius Park Receives Recognition

Detroiters aren't the only ones raving about Campus Martius Park, the city's 13-month old outdoor public square.

Woodward Fountain

The non-profit group Projects for Public Spaces (PPS) thinks the urban park is pretty wonderful, too.

So much so, that PPS - a 30-year-old organization focused on creating and sustaining public places in communities - ranked Detroit's new gathering spot as the fourth best public square on its list of the Top 12 Public Parks in the United States and Canada. New Orleans' Jackson Square took the top spot, followed by NYC's Rockefeller Plaza and Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, respectively.

Designed to serve as a gathering spot for Detroiters and visitors, the two-acre park is situated on and around the city's Point of Origin - the spot from which all Detroit streets and addresses originate. Fitting, as there is a new love for Detroit originating there, as well.

In the spring and summer, the park's lush lawn and green spaces are dotted with dozens of little green chairs and cafe-style aluminum patio sets.

City dwellers and visitors can enjoy lunchtime and weekend concerts; watch movies on a mammoth big-screen sponsored by Comcast; or, simply kick back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Downtown Detroit.

CMP wasn't designed just for warm weather, either; the park is just as busy with activities and people during the winter months as it is in June or July, because Campus Martius Park was designed as a spot for all seasons.

During November, the finely-manicured lawn is replaced by a large ice rink, creating a delightful cold-weather atmosphere that's perfect for those looking to have some fun outdoors during the colder months of the year.

The public square, which opened to the public on November 19, 2004, is a stunning sight from the end of November on through the holiday season, when the city's 55-foot Christmas tree is placed atop the Woodward Fountain.

The Rink at Campus Martius Park is open 7 days a week. Admission is $7 for adults, and $6 for senior citizens and youth aged 12 and under. Skate rental is $3. The Rink offers free validated daytime parking for skaters.

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