Taylor Mayor Cameron Priebe (right) thanks Atlas Oil owner and Chief Executive Officer Sam Simon for contributing to the city to help build the park.
Children from Holland Elementary School play on the playscape at Atlas Park, a new recreational facility dedicated Monday.
TAYLOR – Hundreds of residents, schoolchildren and city officials joined the leaders and employees of Atlas Oil Co. on Monday for the debut of Atlas Park.
Located on three-quarters of an acre of land on Ecorse Road, just west of Telegraph Road, the neighborhood park was named for city-based Atlas Oil, 24501 Ecorse Road, whose owner and Chief Executive Officer Sam Simon contributed $100,000 to the city from a variety of sources, including his own company.
Simon and his team helped design the park, and Atlas was given naming rights. Atlas Park is across the street from company headquarters.
Third-graders from Holland Elementary School enjoyed the new playscape and swings in the park on Monday, and many took home pumpkins.
Simon said his company believes it is important to give back to the community.
“Taylor is a great city and is getting better every day,” he said. “We’re glad to help; we’re happy to do it. It warms my heart knowing this park is something that families will enjoy.”
Mayor Cameron Priebe praised Simon’s devotion to the city and the company’s willingness to make a difference in the community.
“Sam Simon and Atlas Oil have demonstrated tremendous leadership, vision and generosity,” Priebe said. “Their community pride and drive to do the right thing is outstanding.”
Priebe said the park was significant for several other reasons:
●Parks are important to the city’s quality of life, and Atlas Park provides needed green space and recreation opportunities.
●The new park is a “wonderful reuse” of property that only several months ago housed an abandoned building.
●The park is “an outstanding example of public-private partnership – something vastly needed in today’s economic times.”
From abandoned building to recreational facility
To improve the aesthetics of the property that once contained a vacant building, the city demolished the building, ensured that the land was environmentally clean and planted trees.
As city officials explored the possibilities, Simon presented his vision for transforming the property into a place to be enjoyed by residents and their families. Atlas agreed to the public-private partnership.
The fenced-in park includes a playscape, walking path, picnic tables, trees and flowers. Benches and other equipment will be added within the month. Bradford pear trees line Ecorse Road, and autumn blaze trees are planted inside the park.
The Atlas Cares Team of Atlas Oil employees will be responsible for planting the flowerbeds near the park signs. The city’s Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation will maintain the park.
Priebe praised the department staff and thanked the City Council and members of the Tax Increment Finance Authority, who approved the park and contributed additional finances to its creation.
The mayor sad the new park fits in well with the city’s “outstanding” parks system. He said the new park will be used by everyone from children to senior citizens and invited families to visit the park soon. In fact, the William D. Ford Senior Activity Center is just a few blocks west of the new park.