New plans to improve Bailey Park include eliminating “dog park” atmosphere

Talks to improve one of East Lansing’s oldest outdoor spaces, Bailey Park, were advanced in the city’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Located in Bailey neighborhood north of Grand River Avenue and south of Burcham Road, Bailey Park has been used by the residents of the Bailey community and East Lansing since the 1920s for a wide array of outdoor recreational activities such as soccer, frisbee and a site for young children to play. But Wendy Longpre, Assistant Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Arts, said dog owners in the community have been frequently using the park as a space to exercise their pets, which has been detrimental to other community members wanting to have access to the park. “I think one of the big things with Bailey Park right now is because it is fenced it’s used like a dog park, which really limits other people from using it for park purposes,” Longpre said.

Lansing sexual assault centers reflect on Nassar scandal

The Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal has been directly associated with Michigan State University, but the impact of Nassar’s crimes goes further than MSU’s campus. End Violent Encounters Inc. (EVE) and the Firecracker Foundation are Lansing-based non-profit organizations that provide support services to victims of sexual assault.

“It’s mainly all about support and empowerment,” said Leah Davidson, volunteer coordinator at EVE. “We do lots of things for healing such as support groups and one-on-one counseling, just so they can heal from the trauma they experienced.”

Since it was founded in 1977, EVE’s central focus has been to aid victims of violence, but its services didn’t always extend to survivors of sexual abuse. EVE used to solely center its assistance towards victims of domestic violence, hence its former name, Council Against Domestic Assault, until sexual assault-related services were formally added to the organization in 2015. EVE utilizes a variety of methods to help survivors, including therapy, which Executive Director Erin Roberts said is contingent on the experiences of the victim.