Find your way to this park!
At the crossroads of industry and international commerce lies the scenic patch of Riverside Park located at 3085 W. Jefferson Avenue, directly underneath the Ambassador Bridge. This 29-acre stretch includes a skatepark, playground, dog park, basketball court, and picnic area. Visitors can reach the Detroit River’s edge parallel to the park across a barren railroad crossing, where a pavilion, fishing access, and a boat launch appear.
I met cousins (left to right) Jelly, Jahna, and Smurf, nearby residents who enjoy skateboarding. They had just learned about Riverside’s skatepark.
“There aren’t many skateparks around here. We used to go to Southfield to skate before we found out about this one,” they told me. Smurf, the oldest, has been skating for years and instructs the others on the proper technique. He says the most rewarding part of skateboarding is seeing your progress while dealing with pain, and feeling embarrassed when you make mistakes.
Sounds like a great allegory on life!
Visitors to this park can’t help but get lured in to see people hitting sick moves. The sound of the board on concrete and the anticipated reaction of the skater feed crowds of spectators with awe as they meander throughout the park. Trash is a major concern here, and multiple liquor bottles line the perimeter of the park. I saw geese grazing, dodging the rubbish on the ground while families barbecued alongside. The scene seemed natural — people living with our dependence on plastics and oils as they erode the natural ecosystem.
The Parks Report is part of a Planet Detroit series that focuses on a new Detroit park each week. Follow Zaire’s journey on Instagram @planetdetroitnews for more!