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P.O. Box 02545 Detroit, MI 48202-2545 313-757-2751

Entrusted as the Adopt-a-Park Community Partner with the City of Detroit

May 22, 2013

Dear Palmer Park Friends & Supporters,

Board of Directors Rochelle Lento President Alicia Biggers Gaddies Vice President Helen Broughton Treasurer Brooke Ellis Recording Secretary Barbara Barefield

Last June, People for Palmer Park and the City of Detroit opened Palmer Park’s historic 1800’s Log Cabin — which had been closed for some 30 years — to nearly a thousand visitors for a rare tour. At our Michigan Log Cabin Day celebration, we also treated families to free ice cream, live music, and an afternoon of entertainment and great fun. This monumental community event drew the broad attention of local media and re-connected many old-timers and kids of all ages to early Detroit memories and hopes for Detroit’s future. This year’s Michigan Log Cabin Day on June 30 promises to be an even bigger and better event, with a raffling of a Shinola bicycle and a pair of US Open presidential suite tickets, a Mad Hatter and Bonnet parade, live jazz, blues and fiddling, and more. Because your business is critical to Detroit’s vibrancy, we invite you to partner with us to celebrate Log Cabin Day at Palmer Park and support Detroit’s only surviving Log Cabin. We seek your sponsorship for this important regional event — sponsorship levels and benefits are enclosed.

Kim Fracassa Jason Fligger Clinton Griffin Rev. Gregory Guice Omega Headen Lori Heinz Sarah James Leonora King Nancy Varner

People for Palmer Park is an organization committed to the preservation, reinvention, and revitalization of Palmer Park. This urban green oasis is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, the historic Log Cabin, and some of the most valuable and diverse ecosystems in the state. Located between 6 and 7 Mile Roads and west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Palmer Park has been a treasured nature park and recreation site for more than 100 years. After years of neglect, the park is now on the brink of a major turnaround that the community vitally needs. We cannot do this work without the strong partnership of our local businesses that believe in Detroit’s present and its potential.

Dan Scarsella Keith Williams

HOUR Detroit Magazine’s April article about Palmer Park (enclosed with several other reprints) coins the park “Detroit’s ‘other’ jewel” and highlights the natural bounty and beauty of the park. We would love your help in preserving and celebrating this Detroit gem. Thank you so much for considering our request. Please contact Sarah James at 313-3786458 or, or Barbara Barefield,, 313891-2514, for more information or details on sponsorship. Together, we can do this! Warm Regards,

Rochelle Lento President of the Board

Barbara Barefield PFPP Board Member, Chair of PFPP Events Committee

Log Cabin Day Sponsorships Partner with People for Palmer Park (PFPP) to celebrate Log Cabin Day at Palmer Park, help preserve Detroit’s only surviving Log Cabin, and support PFPP’s efforts to revitalize this great urban park. Sponsorship donations to People for Palmer Park are tax-deductible.* Checks for sponsorships should be made payable to People for Palmer Park

For the history of the Palmer Park and the log cabin, visit our website Log Cabin Day Event Sponsor: $2,500 • • • • • • • • • •

Announcements from the stage acknowledging you as Major Sponsor of the event. Two People for Palmer Park T-shirts, and private tour of the Cabin and surrounding areas with one of our historians or nature experts Special basket of treats for picnic at event. Commemorative photo portraits of you with Sen. and Mrs. Palmer to take home Logo, name and hyperlink on website (priority placement) Priority acknowledgment on all media releases, social media, and emails promoting the events Prominent placement of logo and/or name on posters, flyers, street banners, and printed materials Logo and/or name on front cover of the Log Cabin Express newsletter given to guests at the event Personal table and space at event to display and distribute your organization’s information Prominent signage at event (in Log Cabin, in the tent, by stage/performance area) with your organization’s name, logo and information A representative from your organization may serve as a co-emcee or may present greetings and remarks from the stage

Cabin Sponsor: $1,000 • • • • • • • •

Announcements from the stage acknowledging you as top sponsor of the event, and sponsor of the Log Cabin A special vintage-style print of the Cabin Private tour of the Cabin with one of our PFPP Preservation committee members Logo, name and hyperlink on website Inclusion on all media releases and emails promoting the events Placement of logo and/or name on posters, flyers, street banners, and printed materials Prominent logo and/or name in the Log Cabin Express newsletter given to guests at the event Table and space in or near the cabin to display your signage and distribute your organization’s information

Palmer Park Enrichment Tent Sponsor: $750 • • • • • • •

Announcements from the stage acknowledging you as sponsor of the Palmer Park Enrichment Tent Logo, name and hyperlink on website First in line for Guersey Farm ice cream cones at the event Inclusion on all media releases and emails promoting the events Placement of logo and/or name on posters, flyers, postcards, street banners, and all printed materials Logo and/or name in the Log Cabin Express newsletter given to guests at the event Table and space in the tent to display your signage and distribute your organization’s information

Entertainment Sponsor: $500 • • • • • • •

Announcement from the stage acknowledging your sponsorship Logo or name and hyperlink on website Inclusion on media releases and emails promoting the events Placement of logo and/or name on printed materials Logo and/or name in the Log Cabin Express newsletter Shared table available to display your signage and distribute materials Meet and introduce one of the performing acts

Parade Sponsor: $250 • • • • • • •

Acknowledgment as a sponsor of Mad Hatter & Bonnet Contest Be an honorary judge of the contest Logo or name and hyperlink on website Inclusion on media releases and emails promoting the events Placement of logo and/or name on printed materials Logo and/or name in the Log Cabin Express newsletter Shared table to display your signage and distribute materials

* People for Palmer Park is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization. Sponsorship donations to People for Palmer Park are tax deductible to extent allowed by law.

Log Cabin Day Sponsorships Reply Form To be included on the postcard, reply by May 28, 2013 To be included at the June 30 event in the program, signage and electronic and media campaign, reply by June 15 Name:___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature:________________________________________________________________________________________________ Business/Organization:______________________________________________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip:_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:________________________________________________Fax________________________________________________ Email____________________________________________________________________________________________________

I would like to sponsor Log Cabin Day at the following levels:

q Log Cabin Day Event Sponsor: $2,500 q Cabin Sponsor: $1,000 q Palmer Park Enrichment Tent Sponsor: $750 q Entertainment Sponsor: $500 q Parade Sponsor: $250

Total amount enclosed: $________________ *See attached Log Cabin Day Sponsorship sheet for full details People for Palmer Park is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and official City of Detroit “Adopt-A-Park Partner”. Sponsorship gifts to PFPP are tax-deductible as allowable by law. PFPP is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Enclose this form & check payable to: People for Palmer Park 19550 Argyle • Detroit, MI 48203 Please note on your check that your donation is targeted for Log Cabin Day 2013

For more info call Barbara Barefield, PFPP Events Chair, 313-891-2514 SarahJames, PFPP Fundraising Chair, 313-378-6458 Email:

P.O. Box 02545 Detroit, MI 48202-2545 313-757-2751

Entrusted as the Adopt-a-Park Community Partner with the City of Detroit

Revitalizing Palmer Park From Family Farm to Community Park More than a century and a quarter has passed since one of Detroit's leading couples, Senator Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie, entertained at their country retreat, an authentic log cabin overlooking Lake Francis and surrounded by their 640acre farm, garden and magnificent ancient forest. Their rural haven was accessed by traveling north on Woodward Avenue about 6 miles from the riverfront. The Palmers enjoyed taking dignitaries and politicians to the farm by horse cart from downtown Detroit for picnics and displays of fireworks. All their events were open to the public. When a senator visited, he was asked to plant a tree. A typical visit included showing off Palmer’s prized horses, offering visitors freshly pressed cider from the orchards, enjoying bonfires near the lake, singing, and enjoying nature. There was often political dialogue — Palmer was an advocate for women’s suffrage; the Palmers were among the founders of the Detroit Museum of Art (now known as the Detroit Institute of Arts). In 1894, Palmer presented the City of Detroit with 120 acres of their beloved farm, which would soon grow to the current 296 acres we now know as Palmer Park. It was given with the stipulation that it be used as a pleasure park for the people of the City of Detroit, for the good of all, and that none of the virgin forest should be wantonly destroyed. Two years ago, with the threat of park closings and budget cuts by the city, the People for Palmer Park (PFPP) arose from members of the community who love Palmer Park for the gem it was, is, and can be. This new Michigan nonprofit corporation, with its 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, has partnered with the City of Detroit Recreation and General Services Department, and Mounted Police through the City’s Adopt-a-Park program for the preservation, beautification, and revitalization of Palmer Park — following Palmer's legacy and mantra, “for the good of all.” An important goal of this all-volunteer group is to make Palmer Park once again a destination site for healthy living and recreation, as well as a protected nature reserve. In the short time that PFPP has been in existence, the organization has organized and worked with community volunteers and residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. Some of the accomplishments include: cleaning out the 12 miles of park’s forest trails making them bikable and walkable; planting apple orchards in three locations; starting a Junior – Tennis Academy for children; hosting free yoga classes that typically attract between 40 and 50 participants; organizing family Story Time events; sponsoring Log Cabin Day, attracting masses to view the historic structure;

organizing an historic architectural tour of the park and area apartment buildings; holding a Winter Festival that brought horse and carriage rides back to the Park; organizing weekly bike rides, and fall hay rides through the trails, and much more. In addition to planning special events and recreational activities, PFPP committees organize regular cleanups of the park, as well as flower and tree plantings. The atmosphere in the park is clearly changing, and the community-city partnership is reflected in improved maintenance and increased usage of the park. This past summer, you would have seen: • On Monday evenings, 35 giggling five-to-ten year olds on the tennis courts as students of the Palmer Park Tennis Academy started by PFPP and sponsored by the U.S. Tennis Association; • a long line of PFPP bicyclists ringing their bike bells and riding through the trails. • On Tuesdays, hula hoopers twirling near the tennis courts. • On Saturday mornings, a large group of all ages and economic and cultural backgrounds practicing yoga near the pool area. PFPP will expand recreational opportunities and programs in 2013. In June 2012, PFPP presented our first annual Michigan Log Cabin Day Celebration and opened Palmer’s historic Log Cabin for a rare public tour, only the second since it was closed 30 years ago. After days of cleaning (ridding the cabin of animal droppings and years of spider webs and dirt), approximately 800 visitors enjoyed viewing the Cabin. Entertainment included young fiddlers, actors, square dancers, penny farthing cyclists, face painters, and volunteers in period costumes. Ice cream was donated by Guernsey Farm, a family owned-dairy with an ancestor who had helped to build the Log Cabin! Many never realized there was a Log Cabin in the Park as it was camouflaged for years by weeds and overgrowth. It is, in fact, the only historic Log Cabin in the City of Detroit, designed by the firm of George Mason and Zachariah Rice, designers of Detroit’s Masonic Temple. Sadly, it is rapidly deteriorating. The roof desperately needs to be replaced and the foundation needs extensive repair. The Log Cabin is a symbol for the transformation of the Park, as well as the potential site for community gatherings, education, history, nature, cultural enrichment and celebrations. PFPP has been taking urgent steps to save and renovate this historically and architecturally significant structure for the public to use in the future. But we need help to accomplish all that needs to be done in the park. For 2013, new activities include: bringing youth baseball leagues back to the Park; free Tai Chi classes; expanding tennis instruction to adults; and the building of a state-of-the art playscape in partnership with the City of Detroit. In 2014, we will revive the Palmer Park Art Fair. Additional goals that need funding include resurfacing the tennis courts; opening bathrooms; restoring and expanding trails and walkways; adding nature and historic markers, kiosks, signage, security and lighting through the park; and more. People for Palmer Park seeks partnerships with other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us continue to improve and beautify this urban park, and to create more opportunities for the community to benefit from this irreplaceable natural resource and important hub for healthy living. Visit the website — and the Park itself, located west of Woodward Avenue between Six and Seven Mile Roads — for more information, to sign up to receive emails about all the PFPP activities and events, and to join PFPP in helping to make this wonderful park and the City of Detroit a more wonderful place to live and raise our families … “for the good of all.” Entrusted as the Adopt-a-Park Community Partner with the City of Detroit • • • 313-757-2751

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Detroit's 'Other' Jewel While Belle Isle gets all the headlines, Palmer Park quietly stages a comeback BY SVEN GUSTAFSON

On a muggy summer morning, Michael Henderson arrived at Palmer Park to work out at a children’s playground where vandals melted a gaping hole in a plastic tube. The Highland Park resident recounted some of the park’s bygone features: concession stands, nighttime baseball games, families. “Nothing really bad,” he says, “but it’s just what’s been taken away. But as far as I can see, it’s slowly coming back.” Things are indeed turning around for Palmer Park, one of Detroit’s most storied, bucolic green spaces. An organization called People for Palmer Park (PFPP) is, with the city’s blessing, slowly reversing years of neglect. And in the historic apartment district nearby, redevelopment is transforming several architecturally significant but blighted buildings.

Approaching its second summer of park programming, the nonprofit PFPP is expanding its offerings. A park that was once better known for prostitution, gay cruising, litter, and crime is now staging children’s story hours, tennis academies, outdoor yoga, and — for the first time in years — little-league baseball games. Last year, volunteers planted a 900-tree apple orchard. A rare open house last June at the long-shuttered log cabin drew 800 people to raise funds for repairs. Despite the city’s recent announcement of deep cuts to parks maintenance, Palmer Park is one of 19 “premier” parks where the City of Detroit will focus its resources. Meanwhile, PFPP, which has a formal board of volunteers, is partnering with local businesses like bike- and watchmaker Shinola for events and is working closely with parks officials to direct investment under the sweeping Detroit Future City initiative. The group is also sharing what it’s learned with other adopt-a-park groups around the city. “The bottom line is that, from our perspective, the only way the park is going to be improved and brought back to its grandeur is by a public-private partnership,” says PFPP president Rochelle Lento.

The nearly 300-acre park needs the love. The baseball diamonds are overgrown with weeds. Scrappers have stripped the plumbing from the pool. The white marble Merrill Fountain sits in disrepair. The park’s signature log cabin — the former summer home of U.S. Sen. Thomas Witherell Palmer, who donated much of his property for a city park in 1893 on condition that the virgin forest be preserved — has been closed since 1979. The park’s decline didn’t happen overnight. In 1955, The Detroit News noted that the park “has a run-down look.” The gay scene began fleeing en masse in the ’80s amid a violent crime wave. Palmer Park had a brush with the budget ax in 2010, but remained open after a well-publicized rally. Presumably, this would disappoint Palmer, a lumber and real-estate tycoon who said at the park’s dedication ceremony, “After I am gone, I shall have my eye on you.”

This isn’t the first grass-roots effort to save the park. During the 1970s and early ’80s, the Palmer Park Citizens Action Council staged festivals, ran a CB radio patrol, and won several park-improvement grants. But rising crime, disengaged landlords, and other factors eventually won out. “For seven, eight, nine years, I think it really stabilized the neighborhood,” says Rob Musial, former editor of the Palmer Park Paper. “[In the] late ’80s, with the economy and crack, it got pretty bad.” Increasingly, municipal parks are turning to the model of New York’s Central Park, which, since 1980, has been run by a nonprofit conservancy supported largely by the park’s wealthy neighbors, says John Crompton, a parks expert at Texas A&M University. “I suspect Detroit is a different situation,” he says. “I suspect you don’t have the donor base and wealth in that city that these other cities have. And that’s the key to these nonprofits taking it over. If there isn’t an income stream that is viable, then clearly the project isn’t viable.” N

Nevertheless, enthusiasm in Detroit is not in short supply. Shelborne Development LLC, a Detroit-based affordable-housing firm, is renovating 11 buildings in the apartment district, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places, using $40 million worth of tax credits, grants, and loans. “I fell in love with this whole area,” says Shelborne principal Kathy Makino-Leipsitz. “There’s about 50 buildings in this whole historic district, and each one of them is so unique. You couldn’t afford to build any of these buildings if you had to start over.” Crime is down, although gay and transgendered prostitution remains an issue, says Sgt. Erik Eide, of the Detroit Mounted Police.

Meanwhile, the LGBT scene still gathers daily for volleyball or just to meet in the parking lot. Improved trails showcase the impressive hardwood forest, where a squalid homeless camp is long gone.

Brad Dick, director of parks maintenance for Detroit, attended last summer’s Log Cabin Day event. “I talked with one little boy — I’ll never forget it; it just really touched me — and I said, ‘Do you like all the changes to the park?’ And he said ‘Yes, all the criminals are gone.’ I thought that was kind of cool.”

1885 log cabin opens for tours in Palmer Park

By Elisha Anderson Detroit Free Press Staff Writer Filed Under Local News Wayne County June 25, 2012 |

For years, the inside of the log cabin in Detroit's Palmer Park was seen only by raccoons and other critters that invaded the home dating back more than 125 years.

Those tenants were evicted, and the doors of the cabin were opened for a rare showing Sunday, marking the first time since 2001 that the public has been allowed in, officials said. Square dancers get into the spirit of the day Sunday at Palmer Park's historic log cabin, which had not been open to visitors since 2001. A group is hoping to raise money to restore it and turn it into a community center.

"There are a lot of memories here in the cabin," said Sarah James, a board member with People for Palmer Park, an organization working to preserve and revitalize the park. "It was open when a lot of people were younger. ... We want to make it accessible again."

Organizers said their goal Sunday, which coincided with the 26th Michigan Log Cabin Day, was to raise awareness about the cabin, let people enjoy the property and raise money to restore it and turn it into a community center.

The first step is to raise $20,000 to replace the roof for the cabin located off Merrill Plaisance Street near Woodward and West McNichols. "This is the only authentic log building left in Detroit," said Virginia Handy, with the Log Cabin Society of Michigan.

More than three dozen volunteers worked in shifts during the past two weekends to get the interior and exterior of the property -- built in 1885 for Sen. Thomas Palmer and his wife Elizabeth (Lizzie) Merrill Palmer -- ready to be seen by the hundreds of people who passed through Sunday.

"This is a historical jewel in Palmer Park that deserves to be preserved and restored," said Rochelle Lento, president of People for Palmer Park. Volunteers cleaned dirt, washed the windows and took boards off of them to let in light and air, mopped floors, polished wood, got rid of animal feces and planted gardens outside the cabin.

"It's neat to be inside," Munai Newash, 42, said Sunday. "I remember coming to the park when I was little," she said. Newash, a Detroiter, said it's important to revive the park and that it leads to improved quality of life for the people in the area, including her 22-month-old son, Kekoa. "I think it gives you more incentive to stay in the neighborhood -- especially if you have kids," she said.

The cabin was a retreat for the Palmers, who were known to entertain dignitaries and others there, said architectural historian Greg Piazza. "Everybody who was anybody came here for dinner, bonfires, fireworks," he said. "One time, they hosted over 500 people for the Fourth of July."

Lisa Smith, 45, came from Redford Township with her twin 5-year-old boys to the cabin Sunday. "I'm interested in taking my kids in now, so they can take a peek," she said. P

Contact Elisha Anderson: 313-222-5144 or

People for Palmer Park Log Cabin Day Sponsorship Package  

People for Palmer Park is an organization committed to the preservation, reinvention, andrevitalization of Palmer Park. This urban green oas...

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