Beyond its popularity for public performances, Bronson Park has been the social and political heart of Kalamazoo for nearly two centuries. The Park is loved and well-used — a place often referred to as Kalamazoo’s ‘front porch’. We now have an opportunity to make Bronson Park a better park; to enhance and improve this important part of our collective history for everyone’s future.
The 2016 Bronson Park Master Plan will guide the park’s renovation in a way that respects its history as a cultural landscape, and more easily accommodates current and future uses. The Kalamazoo Downtown Master Plan supports
continued investment in maintaining Kalamazoo’s distinctive identity, cultural assets, character, and traditional downtown environment, and the Bronson Park Master Plan strongly supports that plan, while providing enhanced opportunities for everyone to use and enjoy the park.
A 21st Century Bronson Park will retain its significance as an important historic cultural landscape, and:
- offer new opportunities for a wider variety of programming, with enhanced seating options for performances, and flexibility for other events, people-watching, quiet reading, and lively conversations;
- re-forest the park to its pre-1980-tornado status;
- provide a shade structure which may be raised for events and lowered afterward;
- deliver enhanced sound, lighting and free public WiFi;
- restore the Fountain of the Pioneers complex, and raise the floor of the reflecting pool floor so it can be quickly drained and used for additional performance seating;
- relocate three important elements within the park: a) the bronze sculpture group When Justice and Mercy Prevail, Children May Safely Play to the south lawn, with artist Kirk Newman’s endorsement; b) Mike the Peacock to the southeast lawn; and c) the park’s many markers and monuments into two groupings at the park’s east and west ends — for more respectful visitation;
install a new holiday tree at the fountain complex’s east end;
- deliver, through electronic kiosks, information about park programming, events, public education programming, capital campaign contributors, and more;
- use the fountain’s sculpture as an opportunity to explore and learn about Kalamazoo’s Native American history and cultural experience, and the historical Euro-American and art contexts during which the Fountain of the Pioneers was designed — a learning experience that will be accessible to all; and more.
Join us in 'Cultivating the Common Ground' that is Bronson Park!
- Make a pledge of $1,000 through 2019.
- Make a gift of appreciated assets.
- Make a one-time cash gift.
5% of all gifts will be directed to the Bronson Park Endowment Fund at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation unless otherwise directed by the donor.
Our past, our park, our future - cultivating our common ground