|Illustration by Michael and Christa Richert|
One of the most basic solutions that was presented as part of the master plan for Rouge Park earlier this week was to introduce better signage, maps, and other ways to help people find their way through the largest park in Detroit. This is also one of the easier fixes for the Friends of Rouge Park and the City of Detroit to work on in the coming months.
For example, a lot of people who visit Rouge Park in northwest Detroit don't know where the archery range, the mountain bike trail, or the horse stables are. Since most visitors don't know about these things or where they are located, they never use those amenities. Each of those resources has their own network of hardcore users - especially the mountain bike trail - but the fact that most visitors are unfamiliar where these things are, the number of people using them is greatly diminished.
In addition, very few visitors to Rouge Park know about the tallgrass prairie or why it is that the grass is deliberately never cut in that section of the park. This leads many of them to complain at how poorly the park is maintained by Detroit's Recreation Department.
A better means of way-finding throughout Rouge Park will do a lot to remedy these problems. Plus, in comparison to some of the other challenges that need to be overcome, this is one of the simplest and easiest fixes around.