This parcel of land in Macomb Township, west of Romeo Plank Road, north of 22 Mile Road, is being donated to the township. The donation agreement states that the donating family’s desire is for the township to establish a park.

This parcel of land in Macomb Township, west of Romeo Plank Road, north of 22 Mile Road, is being donated to the township. The donation agreement states that the donating family’s desire is for the township to establish a park.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Over 14 acres donated to township

Intention is to develop Pitchford ParK

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 28, 2021

Advertisement

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The generosity of a family with local ties means a new park in Macomb Township.

On April 14, the Macomb Township Board of Trustees unanimously authorized Supervisor Frank Viviano to execute a real property donation agreement for a land parcel and all closing documents between Kay Arrowhead LLC and Macomb Township.

Over 14 acres of land in Macomb Township, west of Romeo Plank Road, north of 22 Mile Road, is being donated to the township from Joyce and Bill Pitchford as a charitable gift.

Bill Pitchford died in September, and Joyce is 90.

The donation agreement states that the family’s desire is for the township to establish a park, naming it Pitchford Park.   

Joe Kowalczyk and Pam Pitchford, through Kay Arrowhead, entered into the agreement.

Pam Pitchford is the Pitchford’s daughter.

“Shortly after I took office, we were contacted by a very generous person who owned property in our township,” Viviano said. “We are very grateful for this donation. We’re looking forward to announcing plans for a park as soon as we develop them fully.”

Treasurer Leon Drolet expressed his appreciation for the donors’ generosity.

“They are going to facilitate an asset for this community for many decades to come,” he said.

Clerk Kristi Pozzi echoed the sentiment, adding that it’s an opportunity for residents going forward.

“We’re looking forward to making good use of it,” she said.

Viviano read a letter at the meeting from Pam Pitchford, which detailed part of her parents’ story.

“Joyce and Bill were born during the Great Depression,” he read. “They both valued and pursued lifelong learning and were dedicated to hard work and public service.”

In World War II, Bill served in the Army Air Corps, with the couple later meeting at what is now Eastern Michigan University.

“While raising their family, Joyce completed her bachelor’s degree in education and lovingly devoted herself to teaching elementary school in the Utica Community School District,” Viviano said.

Many of Joyce’s former students live in the area, and Pam wrote that it will bring her mother joy that they may reflect on fond memories of their time together when visiting the park.

“Joyce and Bill excelled at everything they put their mind to, especially finding the pleasure in their every day,” he read.

The Pitchford’s late son Todd, who died almost 20 years ago, will also be honored through the park.    

“Joyce, Bill and Todd played significant and meaningful roles in the lives of their friends, families and communities,” the letter states.   

Following retirement, the Pitchfords lived in Macomb Township for over 20 years.  

Internally, Viviano said the township will look at what amenities to add at the park.

“We have information from our most recent Master Plan surveys,” he said when asked if residents will have a chance to offer input for what they would like to see at the park. “We’ll certainly incorporate what residents have been asking about as we consider what will go there.”

He indicated that the township wants to be good stewards of the Pitchford’s gift and put it into the public use in the best way possible.

Based on a 2020 land appraisal, the donation is valued at $675,000.

Advertisement