City of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool Corp. set to complete Union Park renovations

City of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool Corp. set to complete Union Park renovations during volunteer ‘Day of Impact’

 

The City of Benton Harbor is pleased to announce several improvements to the city’s Union Park. The enhancements were made possible by a contribution of approximately $500,000 from Whirlpool Corp., whose commitment and dedication to this project is an important part of the company’s multi-year Racial Equality Pledge to improve Black representation at all levels within the company and to drive community-building actions in areas in which it has operations. 

 

“We are pleased to work with Whirlpool to make the planned improvements on the park for this year, and look forward to the active employee volunteerism and engagement with residents for this initiative as we all come together in the spirit of community,” said Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad.

 

A “Day of Impact” Whirlpool employee volunteerism and community celebration event will take place on May 12 to complete the park’s beautification projects. The Union Park project began in support of the city’s overall Master Plan for park improvements and as part of the Whirlpool Racial Equality Pledge commitment to commemorate Juneteenth through community service. The work was initiated in the summer of 2021 with the goal of completion this year.

 

“It’s been great to see this important initiative come to life in collaboration with the City of Benton Harbor,” said Whirlpool Corp. Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer. “ Our volunteers are ready to roll up their sleeves and complete the work, especially for the youth in our community, and help deliver a lasting and positive impact in our local headquarters community.”

 

The parks initiative is part of Benton Harbor’s Master Plan for physical improvement and developments in the city, and is a comprehensive and important part of the city’s vision for the future of the community. Whirlpool Corp. provided financial support for the city’s planning process as well.

 

“The Master Plan considers not only the current needs and issues within Benton Harbor, but also presents a guide for new improvements and developments for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Benton Harbor Director of Community and Economic Development Alex Little.  “We’re excited to be collaborating with Whirlpool on aspects of the Master Plan including park improvements.”

 

New enhancements in Union Park include:

 

  • Updated and leveled baseball fields
  • New field fences
  • Refreshed and new dugouts
  • New playground equipment
  • A refreshed pavilion and press box
  • Repaved, refreshed and expanded basketball courts from two to four
  • New park lights

 

“City Parks and green spaces play a substantial role in the health, wellness and feeling of community for our city residents, and are a key component of the ongoing beautification of Benton Harbor,” said City Manager Ellis Mitchell.

 

Union Park is an historic, iconic neighborhood park in Benton Harbor with large areas for sporting events and organized get togethers. Over the years, its little league field and basketball courts have hosted thousands of residents each year, including some professional athletes who once called this park their home field or home court.

 

“This park has long stood as a place for recreation and enjoyment for our families, and these improvements are part of a greater vision we have for the entire community,” said Benton Harbor 3rd Ward Commissioner Juanita Henry, whose district includes the park. “With the help of Whirlpool and community volunteers, we will continue to seek out new projects to work on together as part of this vision.”

 

RUN OF SHOW

 

8:00-8:30 - Volunteers arrive
8:30-8:40 - Alex Mitchell introduces Mayor Pro-Tem, Duane Seats, to open in prayer. He introduces the Mayor
8:40-8:50 - Welcome, Mayor Marcus Muhammad
8:50-9:00 - Welcome to Day of Impact by Jim Peters
9:00-9:15 - Kyle V. Introduce work leads and allow people to separate
9:15-9:30 - Team leads train volunteers
9:30-Noon - Break into identified volunteer work stations and begin park improvements
Noon - 1:00 - Lunch

1:00-2:30 - Finish Park Renovations

2:30-3:30 - Ribbon Cutting and photos on fields (baseball and softball)