Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on Dec. 21 announced two financial contributions integral to the automaker's ongoing commitment to improve the quality of life for the people and neighborhoods on Detroit's east side.
FCA is contributing $400,000 to the Impact Neighborhood Fund for improvement projects in the Chandler Park, West End and Riverbend neighborhoods, while a $285,000 contribution to the Chandler Park Conservancy will enable the nonprofit organization to start construction on Detroit's first community-based environmental education plaza.
"FCA's commitment to Detroit goes beyond our facilities," said Ron Stallworth, external affairs lead for Wayne County, FCA. "Our collective futures will be defined by how we collaborate to transform our neighborhoods, and we are just getting started."
The $400,000 contribution to the Impact Neighborhood Fund represents half of the $800,000 outlined in FCA's Community Benefits Agreement with the City of Detroit. The second $400,000 will be contributed in 2021.
While Invest Detroit will serve as the fiduciary, members of the community, together with the Detroit Planning & Development Department, will determine which revitalization projects receive funding.
"We all understand that a community that doesn't invest in itself is a community in trouble," said Jay Henderson, president of the Riverbend Association and president of the Detroit Police Department's 5th Precinct Community Relations District Council, a community group comprised of neighborhood associations and block clubs in the 5th Precinct. "This kind of financial investment from FCA will help jump start needed projects. After years of economic neglect, this is the shot in the arm that we need."
The $285,000 contribution was presented to Chandler Park Conservancy at the future site of the education plaza, located adjacent to the newly constructed marshland. The plaza will offer K-12 students an area to learn about green stormwater management, wildlife habitat and environmental stewardship.
"Together, with FCA, we're helping address the inequities of park amenities between city and suburban parks," said Alex Allen III, president and CEO, Chandler Park Conservancy. "The project supports...