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All Invited to July 11 Ann Arbor Bicentennial Park Renaming & Special Gifts Ceremony

July 5, 2024 - ​City of Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation will host a dedication ceremony to officially rename Southeast Area Park as Bicentennial Park Thursday, July 11, at 4:30 p.m. The community is invited for a brief program, light refreshments, lawn games and informational displays about the proposed improvements. 

“As part of the Ann Arbor Bicentennial celebration this year, renaming and reinvesting in Bicentennial Park serves as a significant, lasting remembrance of the milestone," said Ann Arbor City Administrator Milton Dohoney Jr. Southeast Area Park was selected for renaming for several reasons. The park's location — along two major roadways on the southeast border of the city, its proximity to public transit, and its accessibility for traditionally underserved populations — were factors in the decision.

City leaders concluded this park could serve as a highly visible, welcoming and inclusive gateway to the city of Ann Arbor, while commemorating the historic occasion, and brought forth the recommendation for Council consideration. In 2023, Ann Arbor City Council passed Resolution 23-161 directing the city administrator to designate Southeast Area Park as Bicentennial Park. 

In addition to renaming the park, several programmatic and infrastructure amenities will be implemented on the site to further benefit the community and elevate the park to become a premier recreation destination. The improvements to Bicentennial Park will be made possible with funding support from the State of Michigan, Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, IWSH Foundation, United Association of Plumbers And Pipefitters, and other individuals, businesses and organizations.

The city will also officially recognize major gifts from the University of Michigan during the July 11 event — a donation of $300,000 to help fund a universally accessible playground at Bicentennial Park and a gift of $125,000 for new playground equipment at the city's Fuller Park, located across Fuller Road from University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. 

"We are thrilled to support these initiatives as part of the Ann Arbor Bicentennial celebration," said Chris Kolb, vice president for government relations at U-M. “By contributing to the universally accessible playground at Bicentennial Park and the new playground equipment at Fuller Park, we aim to create a sense of community, promote healthy lifestyles and celebrate the rich history and promising future of Ann Arbor."

"Investing in the future of our community and ensuring that children and families have access to recreational spaces is important to the university," said Geoff Chatas, executive vice president and chief financial officer for U-M. “This partnership underscores our commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all residents and visitors, making Ann Arbor a more vibrant and welcoming place for everyone."

“The renaming and planned improvements to Bicentennial Park further demonstrates the city parks department's commitment to serving our community with opportunities and spaces that improve quality of life," added Parks and Recreation Services Manager Josh Landefeld. "This effort provides us with a way to celebrate Ann Arbor's past while making improvements for the future." 
Bicentennial Park currently features playground areas, lighted softball and baseball fields, athletic fields, a full basketball court, a picnic shelter, a drinking fountain, restrooms, picnic tables and grills. A paved, 1/2-mile, multi-use, walking path loops around the perimeter of the park. Visit the park online for location information and additional details about this site and the renaming initiative. 

Park milla​ge rene​​​​​​​​​​wal on Nov. 5 General Ele​ction ballot​

The 2025–2044 Park Maintenance and Capital Improvements Millage renewal proposal is set to appear on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot, asking Ann Arbor voters to decide whether to continue supporting the Ann Arbor park system. If passed, the renewed millage would continue funding park system enhancements, repairs and restoration for the next 20 years. The millage renewal proposal remains for 1.10 mills and does not pose an increase; the rate would remain the same as the millage that is expiring this year. Visit Ann Arbor parks online for answers to frequently asked questions, to learn about projects and activities funded through the current and past millages and much more. Additional questions — or interest in scheduling a parks and recreation informational presentation for your neighborhood or community organization this summer or fall — can be directed to [email protected].

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Media Contact Information

Lisa Wondrash
Communications Director
[email protected]

Lauren Love
University of Michigan, Communications Director, Office of the Vice President for Government Relations
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.