Despite being only 2 miles from the center of downtown Lansing, this WalkingWednesday through Sycamore Park felt like a trip up north. The neighborhood is filled with old growth trees, piney woods, and open green space. It’s within easy walking and biking distance from many other beautiful parks, like Fenner Nature Center, Sycamore Golf Course, and Potter Park Zoo. Hop on the River Trail and you can quickly access Ingham County Parks, downtown, and MSU.
It’s bordered on the north and the east by water (lots of it right now as the Red Cedar River and Sycamore Creek are very high due to heavy rain).
The green space assets of the neighborhood are stunning and on this beautiful June evening, the beauty of the area was on full display. This area is known for its bird wildlife and is home to a heron rookery and a bald eagle’s nest. Learn more in this Nature Discovery article.
Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association president Paul Wozniak provided a walking map (my first neighborhood to hand out maps for #WalkingWednesday!) Find our more about the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association on Facebook.
The neighborhood has many long term residents. Our tour was a mix of newer and longer term neighbors. Top reasons I heard for choosing Sycamore Park (in no order) were:
- Proximity to downtown and MSU & convenience to everything
- Access to the River Trail without crossing any major streets
- Neighborhood friendliness
Houses are a mix of 1920s – 1940s single family homes with interesting architecture and tons of charm.
Mt. Hope 4-6 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) School sits on the neighborhood’s southern border. The school playground, basketball courts, and green space add to the recreational opportunities & beauty of the neighborhood. School leaders and the PTA partner with the neighborhood organization on many events.
Bordered by both Pennsylvania Ave and Mt. Hope, commercial corridors have an impact on the neighborhood. Neighbors are happy with the increased commercial activity at the Mt. Hope/Penn intersection with the addition of Central Pharmacy Vacancies still exist on the south side of Mt. Hope and neighbors are hoping for new tenants in those spaces.
Long time local businesses such as Smith Floral continue to provide commercial activity in the area
We waved to many neighbors enjoying the beautiful weather on their front porch and took a peek into the Little Free Library:
We headed back to the park for a summer time treat and were all really impressed with the watermelon slicer!
Thank you for your hospitality and the chance to meet many neighbors and see your beautiful homes. Enjoy the summer in your park in the city!
This #WalkingWednesday was the first attended by our AmeriCorps VISTA members in our Cities of Service Love Your Block program. Learn more about their work and see their blog post about the Sycamore Park tour at Lansing Love Your Block