Ribbon Cutting at Yaker Park in Detroit

Holding the newly cut ribbon at Yaker Park is from left to right: State Representative Tyrone Carter; Sean de Four, President and CEO of Southwest Solutions; Joseph Yaker, son of Judith Yaker; Judith Yaker, funder and namesake of the park; Detroit City Council Member, Gabriela Santiago Romero Detroit; Diana Franco, Resident and Newberry Homeowner of Detroit; Laura LeBlanc, Executive Director or Philanthropy and Communications, Southwest Solutions. 

Yaker Park Ribbon Cutting

On Saturday June 10, 2023 the community gathered around as we celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting at Yaker Park, East Chasdey Condon's newest park. 

The Sam L. and Judith G. Yaker Park is a beautiful community space for children to play and families to gather. 

Walking paths lined with benches and picnic tables invite you to sit and share stories. The futsal court gives kids a place to join in on friendly competition and just maybe find a passion they didn’t know they had. The playscape is a space filled with childlike wonder and many memories will be made on those swings. 

This is not just a park; this is an oasis. It is not just a park; it is a legacy. 

Judy Yaker is spending her time giving back to the city that her husband helped build. Sam Yaker was an affordable housing developer, born and raised in Detroit. “He made money in Detroit, and I wanted to give money back to Detroit.” After Sam passed unexpectedly in 2016, Judy has made it her mission to make sure that our community in Southwest Detroit can thrive. “Kids need a place to play.” 

A mother of two and a grandmother of two, Judy knows how important it is for families to have access to community resources, like Yaker Park. “People need a nice place to live, and they need a safe place for their children to play and go to school.” Judy loves spending her time out in nature, a wildlife photographer, she captures the beauty that is all around us. She has traveled the world, but her heart always comes back to Detroit. 

Not only is Judy the sponsor of the beautiful new park, but she is also the very generous donor behind the Newberry Housing Project. 

She carries on the legacy that her husband left behind, making sure that everyone has the ability to become a homeowner. “It was about giving back from where Sam left off.” She hopes that this is just the beginning for Southwest Detroit. The generous heart of Judy has begun a wave of change-making that will improve the lives of Detroiters for years to come. 

To view the livestream video of the ribbon cutting ceremony, click here.

To view more photos from the event, click here.