Now this man deserves a “Father of the Decade” award! Dan Davis has transformed his block on Washburn in Detroit into a play area for both kids and adults. From the homemade movie screen, a bonfire pit, to the swing set and bbq grill, Davis is doing what he can to revitalize his street and give people something to do.
Oh, did I mention that there’s also a go-kart track and athletic field?
“He’s like an icon around here. What he does for the neighborhood, people look up to him for it,” said one of his friends, Michael Knight, 51.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Davis grew up in Detroit and was always doing things to keep his neighborhood clean and safe.
Nicknamed “the go-kart man,” Davis is a skilled mechanic who fixes and builds mini-bikes and go-karts. He shows the “little guys” — the boys in his neighborhood — how to fix them.
“It gives young kids something to do and teaches them values, because most of these kids have no leadership or respect,” said Demetrius Grant, 44, who lives in the neighborhood.
Davis has lived on Washburn near Wyoming and Grand River for about five years. His block includes some occupied houses, but there are several empty lots and vacant houses with crumbling facades.
“When I moved onto to this block … it took me almost three days just to pick up all the paper on the block, just walking up and down the street,” he said.
Davis has placed trash cans around to encourage people not to litter. On a recent day, the sidewalk in front of his house had pieces of colorful chalk — but not a speck of trash.
Davis works in the summer sun, cutting grass on the go-kart field and on the multiple lots on both sides of the street around his house.
“He doesn’t let anyone cut that grass. He (is) the only one that can do that,” friend Christopher Wilson, 39, said smiling.
Davis said he hopes his efforts inspire other people to take pride in their neighborhoods.