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Eastpointe transforms city park into 'Winter Wonderland'

Flash back just two years ago, and you'd be hard-pressed to find many people outside and enjoying Spindler Park in the cold weather months of winter. Since then, a flurry of local ingenuity and charity has transformed the 25-acre park situated along Stephens Road in Eastpointe into what city officials are calling a "winter wonderland."

While the park had plenty of draws in the summer, including the likes of soccer fields and horseshoe pits, Spindler Park had little to offer in the winter. Last year, the construction of a sledding hill changed all that. Estimated at 100 yards from top to bottom, the hill at Spindler Park offers sledders "pretty good speed," according to City of Eastpointe Public Information Assistant Bill Driskell. Safety hay bales and fencing were added this year, and the city hopes to install lights for nighttime sledding this February.

New walking paths, constructed this past summer, have also proven popular this winter, says Driskell.

Driskell credits DPW Supervisor Tony Pry with the sledding hill success. Pry came up with the concept, working with the excavation company ML Chartier, which had a crew working on a nearby road, to donate soil from a previous job plus equipment and labor to construct the hill -- $50,000 worth of donated product and work, says Driskell.

Even more is planned for Spindler Park. Pry and his crew are currently constructing two ice rinks in the park, one for family skaters and one for ice hockey games. Driskell also hopes that a disc golf course will be constructed in the spring.

"This is a big deal for Eastpointe," says Driskell. "We're a fully developed city with not a lot of open space left to develop. To take our parks and re-invent them at relatively low cost has been huge."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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