Written by Meghan Webber, CEO, Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS®
REALTORS® don’t just sell homes, they help build communities.
And to prove this, the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® developed an Adopt-A-Park project where each year the Association adopts a neighborhood park to create a community destination and gathering place in the community.
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to give back to communities where we all live, work and play. Strong communities will help build a better future for everyone,” said Erica McAvoy, president of the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS®.
This year, REALTORS® selected the South Side Community Coalition for a park project because of the Coalition’s involvement in the surrounding community. The Coalition is an amazing resource for the area’s youth and their family.
The Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® staff initiated the project by working with the Coalition to determine their needs and wants for the park. The selected site for the park already had a basketball hoop, balls, swing set, teeter-totters, and a pedaling merry go-round. But it needed more to enhance the space and make it more welcoming.
The Association bought and custom painted two picnic-game tables, a Little Free Library, interactive fence art, reading nook, PVC pipe xylophone, yard Yahtzee, disc golf, permanent hopscotch, Twister, soccer balls and cones, and deck boxes to store all the new equipment long term.
After several months spent planning the project and work days spent assembling the equipment, REALTORS® were finally ready to launch the Pop-Up Park to the neighborhood with a party.
Members of the Coalition and the neighborhood were invited to check out the new features and enjoy freshly popped popcorn and a meal from Picnic: A Food Truck. All expenses were paid with money raised by members of the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS®.
REALTOR® and talented artist Frank Vicente painted a mural on the back of the building. Attendees of the party enjoyed watching Vicente in action, some describing the mural as “the creation of hope.” The mural is complete with a balloon design encouraging people to take Instagram pictures.
McAvoy, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood, helped Lansing Mayor Andy Schor cut the ribbon on the project and welcome the new park into the community. In addition to Mayor Schor, Lansing Councilman Adam Hussain, who represents this ward, came out to show support and spend quality time with South Side residents.
The area is continuing to grow. A brand new Kaboom playground is also being installed this month complete with a walking trail. It is also home to the brand-new soccer field, Beacon Park.
This is the fourth project in the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® Adopt-A-Park program. Each year, the Association chooses a local park and helps activate the space. The goal of this project is to build engagement activities and encourage community gathering.
Last year the REALTORS® built a Pop-Up Park on a vacant lot in the Baker neighborhood. Previously, the Association installed a music garden at Edmore Park near Old Town and a bike fix-it station at Dunneback Park on Lansing’s West Side.
To follow the Adopt-A-Park program and see more photos, visit the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® Facebook page.