I discovered a new waterfront park. *

… *well, new for me – it has been in existence for 25 years!

The experience of discovering a new nearby park reminded me of my first trip to my favorite nature nook, Council Point Park. In May 2013, my radio station had been touting the week-long festivities commemorating the 250th anniversary of Chief Pontiac’s council, a big event in this neck of the woods way back on April 27, 1763. I was curious, but first, I had to Google exactly where this place was. Our City has 19 parks, some bigger than others. Imagine my surprise that it was just a mile away, with a residential district on one side, and the Ecorse Creek, with its treasure trove of waterfowl, turtles, frogs and fish on the other side. It had been in existence since 1994! I always said it was serendipity which led me to this little gem.

Now, as to my latest discovery, I’d say that I need stronger eyeglasses, but truthfully, I’ve passed by the AREA many times and just thought it was a golf course. I didn’t realize the golf course, known as Wyandotte Shores, was actually part of 85 acres of land that was donated by BASF Corporation, (a local chemical company), and this entire recreational area was built on recovered land that was once chemically toxic. Before I visited BASF Waterfront Park, I learned that in its heyday, this site was once used for shipbuilding, steelmaking and other heavy industrial uses. The process of decontaminating the highly toxic soil was coordinated by the City of Wyandotte, BASF and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This discovery of BASF Waterfront Park, was quite by accident. Last week I was Googling around to see how long the boardwalk was at Bishop Park for an upcoming post, and, while I could not find that information, there was mention made of BASF Waterfront Park. (Hmm – where was that park I wondered?)

Just a few mouse clicks later and I had my information. This park is just 0.8 of a mile away from Bishop Park where I go all the time. “No way!” was my first, rather defiant, response. “I’ve passed that way lots of times and never saw a park!” So I mapped it out, to travel by foot, finding it really was a stone’s throw away from Bishop Park.

Must. See. This. Place.

So, my Saturday morning agenda was complete and I hoped I would gain five miles toward my steps tally before returning home.

I bopped over to Council Point Park to feed the critters and walked a mile there, then down to Dingell Park to look for eagles. I was a woman on the move!

Next, I drove 2½ miles to Bishop Park. It was still chilly, but an absolutely gorgeous and sunny morning. The sun beamed down on the water making it sparkle and people were strolling on the boardwalk, drinking coffee and gazing at the boaters who were whizzing by. Seagulls, caught up in the increased human activity along the boardwalk, alternately screeched and swooped precariously close to strollers’ heads and perched on the railings, hoping to garner a bite of breakfast, as if to say “how ‘bout a hunk of donut for this hungry shore bird?” Nobody obliged them unfortunately, so the incessant screeching and swooping continued.

I took some pictures, then wended my way along the business district on Biddle Avenue.

Unbelievably, I was there in about 10 minutes

I didn’t know how to gain access to the riverfront right away, and was in no hurry anyway, so I just meandered down the first concrete pathway I saw. This pathway took me into a memorial garden. Unlike most parks where people honor their loved ones by purchasing a tree and accompanying memorial plaque, these memorials were identical black vertical poles with a small black square with the deceased’s name and birth/death dates or a heartfelt message.

Some markers were near trees which had been festooned with items such as rustic-looking metal angels, wooden hearts, recent holiday décor and some had left a rosary or memento, even their loved one’s picture.

It was a memorable walk through this little garden area.

There are sculptures in the park – this bronze artwork is one of them and is entitled “Looking Forward” by artist John Pappas and was donated as a sesquicentennial gift to the City in 2000. I decided to take a photo of just a portion of the statue in the foreground in order to highlight the golden, as-yet-unfurled leaves of the willow tree in the background.

Next, I continued walking toward the riverfront. There are walkways that run parallel to the Detroit River, but it is not a river walk per se. There is a rocky shoreline and there are multiple overlooks which jut out over the Detroit River. You can stand there and view the entire shoreline all the way to downtown Detroit – that was easy to do since it was such a clear day.

Despite the sun, some snow remained …

… but a little snow along the shoreline did not deter the fisherman out for their catch of the day.

Geese and seagulls filled the skies … along with a contrail.

I meandered a little longer and saw the golf course …

… as well as checking out the Wyandotte Boat Club, closed down for the season, but where I have since learned that the regattas for the local rowing clubs take place in late April and May.

The riverfront looked a little more exciting than the parks which are drab and not that scenic these days. With the exception of the beautiful old willows in Elizabeth Park, and here at BASF Waterfront Park, the ochre-colored grass and lack of colorful wildflowers or berries make for a blah background. I’ll return to all the large parks in another month or so when everything has awakened.

I started making my way back to the car, but the brilliant sun and blue sky just made it difficult to think of returning home. So, I figured I’d wander around downtown Wyandotte and enjoy the bustling business district a bit.

With the camera in tow, I felt a little touristy

Downtown Wyandotte has always been a hopping place. Some restaurants, clothing stores and art galleries have been mainstays for years, while many bistros, coffee shops, eateries and boutique businesses have come and gone. One of my favorite events is the annual Street Art Fair and Sidewalk Sale every July, though it has been over a decade since I’ve attended it.

There is a fun and artsy-fartsy flair to Wyandotte, like the 36-foot cedar, hand-carved totem pole donated to the City by Wyandotte Savings Bank when that bank celebrated its 100th anniversary; in the second photo you can see the original bank.

Then there’s the huge Merrill Lynch trademark logo bull. This 650-pound statue was created by artist, Keith Coleman in 2005. It sits on the corner of Biddle Avenue and Oak Streets. Its weathered rust finish has been created by salvaged water heater cores.

I took a few more street shots (all the while feeling like fellow blogger Yvette who fills her posts with street photography).

What stopped me in my tracks was looking across bustling Biddle Avenue and seeing what looked like igloos (or miniaturized Expo ‘67 spheres). I took a long-distance shot …

… then, because I was curious, (just like the proverbial cat), I crossed the street to Bobcat Bonnie’s restaurant to investigate. Well, this was my first time to see what I learned was “igloo dining” which is an experience where up to 10 guests can dine in a heated, decorated dome. There were comfy wool blankets and knitted afghans on the seats and with the sun beaming down, I am guessing the experience would be almost like a hothouse in Wintertime – how fun!

Wyandotte is kinda kitschy too.

A few shop windows along the way made me stop for some shots …

Even McDonald’s has some sculpture …

And what about this door handle, or the Flowering Kale still thriving in the planter’s box?

Just before I turned off Biddle Avenue, I passed a bar known as Whiskeys on the River – this old-time car has been parked alongside the bar for years (not sure if it’s been since 1929 though).

Many hours had passed while I was walking and enjoying four parks and the heart of Wyandotte. By the time I got home, I’d put almost six miles on my feet and collected about 300 photo images in the camera.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
This entry was posted in nature, walk, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to I discovered a new waterfront park. *

  1. Sandra J says:

    Loved this post Linda, I really enjoyed that walk into the town and the history. I love the street shots. Makes the day complete by photographing your complete journey from park to town. I have not seen or heard Totem Pole in a long time. My Grandfather used to carve those by hand, in miniature style. I don’t know about those bubble things, a quirky idea, but I know I could not sit in one. But loved the photos. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Sandra. I liked the geese whizzing by but it would have been nice if they whizzed by with a lighter background. 🙂 I almost didn’t include it but I had to have taken 20 shots of geese in the air, and this shot had a synchronized shot of them. It must be a hopping spot once the boaters are at the Boat Club and that is where the rowing club stores their boats. I have watched the rowing club down on the River on a Saturday morning and taken some pictures as they glide along. I thought the igloo dining was different … I went home and researched it as I’ve not heard of “igloo dining” – it would be claustrophobic to some people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        I love seeing geese when they are all in sync like that. Amazing really, that they follow each other this way and have been doing it from generation to generation. I have not been to a small town area like that in awhile, they are fun to walk through. I do like to go to the museum type places the most.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I took a lot of pictures and was happy to salvage those two geese in sync – I liked seeing that. I have watched big flocks heading south in the Winter and have a post which showed a flock that stretched all across the sky – it was amazing. I saw the same flock go overhead as I was leaving the house, then saw them at the Park. I enjoyed that walk as it was like I never had visited before.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Up at my other place, I have a few flocks of geese go over every morning and evening like clock work. I will have to go investigate where they are going everyday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I always look up when the geese, even just a pair of ducks, are going overhead. They are making such a raucous noise, you have to look up to see how many geese are up there – often just a few generating all that noise.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Nothing better than a little exploration of somewhere that’s been there all along, just waiting for you to focus on it. I like seeing the blue sky in your photos. I don’t think I’d enjoy eating in an igloo. While I give that restaurant props for originality, I dunno– seems a bit to Disney-esque and contrived.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You know it was fun looking at Wyandotte from a tourist’s point of view – looks totally different. That igloo dome, well I had to see what it was about as I’d never heard of igloo dining. When I Googled around that evening, there are some restaurants in other counties, offering this with a $300.00 minimum to dine there with a waiting list that is lengthy. I remarked to someone near the restaurant about how unique it was – she said they only got the domes around the holidays. They have a lot of holiday festivities in this City. You could not be claustrophobic, that’s for sure, but they are heated so you don’t freeze and each dome gets its own private server for the evening. I imagine they will lose on this investment bigtime since the State of Michigan has closed down all restaurants/bars at 3:00 p.m. today so it is take-out food only for the short term (hopefully not July/August as predicted).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. alison41 says:

    great post. You are now officially an Explorer. What a clever idea those igloo thingys are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, and to think it was there for 25 years, tucked away along the Detroit River. That is an interesting little town, and just five miles from my house to the heart of downtown. I thought they were clever and they were just put there for the holiday season, so a pretty new and novel idea at this trendy restaurant. Heated and it was a cold day and one of the igloos down the street had customers and they were not wearing coats, nor using the afghans/blankets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • alison41 says:

        Cape Town is so windy the igloos probably wouldn’t work here. Our winters are mild. Compared to your winters, they probably classify as a cool summers day in your life!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That would be nice in my opinion Alison, but I also know you have very hot Summers too. We have our heat and humidity usually in July and August – it can be humid at 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. that saps you when you step out in it. But at least you don’t worry about snow and ice … so I’ll take that instead of Winter. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Joni says:

    What a great find….and I enjoyed the town tour too. So nice to see blue sky and water. I would enjoy eating in that igloo as they have red plaid blankets! You have so many unique places to explore – I can’t even imagine 19 parks. We have 3 in the city and a few smaller waterfront ones with nothing exciting to see.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I had to go explore after I saw them – doesn’t it remind you of Expo ’67? I was never there but I saw pictures of it, even though we lived here in the States at the time. Yes, you would like the decor … cozy afghans and plaid wool blankets and a Scotch plaid tablecloth. Mostly all shades of red. We do have 19 parks, but some are strictly playscapes and swing sets for kids and maybe four of them are baseball parks where all the Little League baseball is played. We have a park that looks like a miniature Council Point Park. It is like a “half-park” but goes along the Ecorse Creek and is about a mile away from Council Point Park. It is a park dedicated to kids with disabilities and sponsored by the Lions Club. They have donations made by buying bricks and people sponsor the park benches. There is a long planters box with flowers in it and there is railing along the planters box so kids can hang onto the railing and the names of the flowers are in Braille. I have written about it before but did not take many pictures, but should go back when the flowers are in bloom and write about it again. I found a new park yesterday while on Grosse Ile. A walker I see every day lives there and told me about this place, but I couldn’t find it (I am bad at directions) by a Google map, but saw it yesterday but it was too late yesterday to stop. I will go back before they close the Free Bridge down in late April til Fall. Good thing I did my lighthouse tour last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza says:

    Sounds like you had fun… I’m so glad you got to experience a new place – somewhere else for you to walk and make friends. I’ve never seen igloo dining. It looks cool…! Next time you go I’m sure you will take less then 300 pictures… there are always new things just around the corner…

    Love, light, and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fun-filled walk! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Anne … in this heart of downtown Wyandotte is where my former neighbor Marge used to work at the psychic tea room. She worked there for years until her COPD got bad as they always had candles and potpourri there and it bothered her lungs. But she was the hostess there for about 13 years. She’d greet people and they’d order cheesecake or grilled cheese and a cup of tea, then the psychic would read their tea leaves or do their tarot cards. It was a fixture downtown and they opened another tearoom and closed this one up a couple of years ago.

      Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, and I found another woodsy park yesterday while driving around Grosse Ile … I went back to the alpaca farm and saw it while driving. A walker at my daily spot I walk, lives on the Island and told me about this park and I could not find it – it was quite by accident (I’m horrible at directions).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie says:

    You really made the rounds on Saturday, Linda! Good for you. Exploring new areas is always so much fun. I love to do it when I run. Sounds like you had a fun day wandering. I showed Bill the photos of the restaurant with the domes. Now he wants to go there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did Laurie. I kept walking and walking and enjoying myself in the sun and the hours just zoomed by. I was on Grosse Ile yesterday and found a new woodsy park which I’ll go back and explore a little before they shut down the free bridge the end of April. I have no idea where the toll bridge is and it is $5.00 each way – the people who live on the Island have to pay $10.00/day – the bridge is privately owned. I just Googled for igloo dining in Lancaster PA area and came up with this – not same area code, but this is a classy-looking place, as opposed to the Bobcat Bonnies which is more casual (more fun I would think). I assume once it gets warmer they shut them down, but maybe for people who like to dine outside in the rain in the Spring. We had many weekends where we had torrential rain throughout the Spring. Here is the link: https://www.paeats.com/news/2020/igloos-at-the-beaumont/

      Like

  8. ruthsoaper says:

    It’s always fun to find something hew and exciting right in your own community. It looks like a very nice park – looking forward to seeing more of it through the spring and summer. Wyandotte looks like a fun place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I could not believe how close it was to Bishop Park where I walk all the time – felt a little dumb Ruth. I hope to get down there when the trees come out and give it some color and the bulrushes and reeds are out as well. Something to look forward to – hopefully some things can remain the same, even if most of our other new normal is topsy-turvy for awhile. Wyandotte downtown is like a mini city in itself!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss Linda……………………………I have never heard of nor have been to BASF Waterfront Park…………………I surely will go find it…………………you say its near McDonalds……….or around there abouts?………………………………….Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, just 0.80 mile after Bishop Park. I parked in their lot right at the River and just walked past the neighborhood, then along Biddle and just past McDonalds – I had no idea. It is worth taking a little trip there and there is a sidewalk parallel to the River, so you can walk along there and then just go to each overlook or gazebo. Great to find it – it was a beautiful day that day too.

      Like

  10. How exciting!!!! Now you have another place to find some more animal friends. I can’t wait to see what you find. I really enjoyed your pictures it looks like quite the place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, and I think it will be beautiful once all the trees come out and they have a big flower garden there as well. I looked on Google at some of the photos that people had posted at all seasons and it was very scenic. I am looking forward to going back and there is plenty of parking at Bishop Park so an easy walk to get there.

      Like

  11. J P says:

    What a fun discovery! I have never heard of igloo dining. But I know a little about that 1929 Ford Model AA truck – one of the best things to ever come from the Ford Motor Company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, and how did I miss this gem tucked behind the golf course all these years? JP – you may enjoy this post I did a few years ago when I attended a car show at a nearby park celebrating the 90th anniversary of Ford’s Model A vehicles. The owners I spoke with were more than happy to share facts and figures about their “rides” … the truck was amazing in that it had its original paint job and no restoration efforts to the vehicle.
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/08/11/i-brought-my-a-game-to-todays-excursion/

      Like

      • J P says:

        I owned a 29 Model A in the early 90s. It was a 2 seat coupe with a rumble seat out back. When the kids started to come it had to go. I would absolutely love to own another.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        There is a club I mentioned in my post (Model A Restorers Club) and perhaps they have a chapter near where you live and could hook you up with another one. We have a lot of Model Ts or As around here and you see them in all the cruising events. There is a coffee shop nearby and someone takes his Model T/A (not sure) car there daily, even in Winter (which surprises me as I would think they’d want to treat it with kid gloves).

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s