Ten years ago, the Detroit Riverfront looked much different. Undeveloped strips of land were scattered with trash, abandoned cars and piles of dirt and gravel. It was dull and grey – certainly not a nice Saturday afternoon destination for the family.
Fast-forward to 2014, and the Detroit Riverfront has transformed into vibrant and colorful community hub in southeast Michigan. The international waterfront is finally something to be proud of – something to seek out and enjoy.
Earlier this year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced a new initiative, “Live the Riverfront,” aimed to get more people active on the waterfront through free fitness programming.
Several other organizations have also partnered with the Conservancy, ensuring that there are always plenty of things to do along the River.
Over the summer, the Blue Cross Corporate Communications team took full advantage of this programming to explore our new and improved riverfront. We asked our team what they enjoyed the most. Here’s what they had to say:
“Moonlight yoga was an incredible experience because we literally lit up the riverfront,” said Adriane Davis. “The calm sounds of the river made for a peaceful evening of yoga. It was an amazing class and I hope they bring it back next year!”
Meghan O’Brien walked the BCBSM Riverfront 5K with her boyfriend, Adam, and 5-month-old, Tatum.
“Not only was it Tatum and Adam’s first 5K, but it gave me an opportunity to see an area of Detroit I have never seen before, even though I have worked downtown for years,” Meghan said.
David Murray and Mike Miller also ran their first 5K at the BCBSM Riverfront Run.
“It was beautiful day,” said David. “High fives from the team as I crossed the finish line was a personal highlight.”
Brian Bell joined them in the run, his first race since he had a stress fracture and bone marrow edema.
Graves DeArmond and his pup, Uli, take weekly walks with the Riverfront Canine Club, a group of local residents and their four-legged friends. Every Sunday morning the group meets at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Rivard Plaza for a guided walk of the Detroit Riverfront and Dequindre Cut.
Helen Battersby, Kyle Hall and Taylar Kobylas always loved participating in Walk the Riverfront Wednesdays. When weather was nice, they’d take a short walk along the riverfront during their lunch break.
“It was great to see so many people out enjoying the program,” said Taylar.
“I run the riverfront all year long — snow, sleet, wind, heat, whatever. But the summertime is definitely when it shines brightest,” said Sven Gustafson. “I go there for the cool breezes off the river, the incredible blue-green water, the wetland areas in Milliken State Park, the views of our great architecture and Windsor and for the always-fascinating people watching.”
Do you have a favorite thing to do along the riverfront? Share it below!
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan