For those who haven’t visited Manitoba Park, it’s one of the two “pocket parks” we have in the city. It’s a little bit off the beaten path, located inside the Canadian subdivision, near Great Lakes Crossing. There is a play structure there, a bench, a volleyball court and a paved area right in the middle. It’s quiet back there, nestled within a peaceful neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from our thriving retail district.

After visiting the park last year, I kept asking myself, what was the purpose of that paved area in the middle? I thought, perhaps it’s just a space for kids to jump rope, maybe you could throw a yoga mat down, I just wasn’t sure.

Earlier this year, I was contacted by Brose North America. They have an impressive facility in the city and a group of active employee volunteers who work there. The Brose staff was interested in picking up litter on the Clinton River Trail on Earth Day. They did a great job on the trail, but that wasn’t enough for them. They contacted me and asked if there were any other opportunities to help out. A light bulb went off and I asked them if they would like to paint surface games and a race track in Manitoba Park. A race track and robot hopscotch for children? Brose, one of the top automotive suppliers in the world, jumped at the opportunity.

We met with the volunteers from Brose and developed the plan. As usual, the team at DPW jumped into action. We obtained materials, researched paint products, cleaned up the asphalt pad, and did some preliminary work so it would be ready for the Brose Volunteers. Tim Wisser from our Facilities team did an outstanding job working with the Brose volunteers to do the final layouts and make it all happen on their service day.

A very big thank you to Brose North America for their many hours of work and their willingness to give back to Auburn Hills. This is a project that would not have happened without their time and enthusiastic support. I’m sure that many children will enjoy playing on the surface games and using their imagination, all thanks to Brian’s vision and some pretty awesome people who are out there making a difference.

Stan Torres, Manager of Municipal Properties

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