The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Inc., is a non-profit organization that operates and maintains the Riverwalk, along with its associated green spaces, and the Dequindre Cut Greenway (collectively, the ”Riverwalk”). As the stewards of the Detroit Riverwalk, the private and public property owners on whose land makes up portions of the Detroit Riverwalk and the public patrons of the Detroit Riverwalk-
All Runs/Walks must be approved by the
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

We appreciate your interest in using the Detroit Riverwalk to host your Run/Walk.  Please read the content below to learn more about how you can apply to host a Run/Walk on the beautiful Detroit Riverwalk. Applications to host a 2023 Run/Walk event on the Detroit Riverwalk must be completed by Friday, December 16th, 2022. We look forward to reviewing your application.

Other events besides Run/Walk events are not permitted on the Detroit Riverwalk, this includes and is not limited to Weddings, non-conservancy sponsored private events, classes (fitness, tours, etc) not approved by DRFC or any gatherings over 50 people. 

How to submit a Run/Walk Application to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The approval process is in two steps:
1) Submit a Run/Walk Pre-Application Form by December 16, 2022.  This Pre-Application Form can be found at the bottom of this page and will help us determine whether your proposed Run/Walk is appropriate for the Riverwalk. In this form, you will provide a description of your proposed Run/Walk, proposed date, estimated number of attendees, and more. You will also indicate your preferred Run/Walk route (outlined below). Please provide a clear and complete description as incomplete applications could delay the review process. These approval procedures are designed to facilitate organized activities, protecting and promoting the use of the Riverwalk by the public and respecting the interests of the owners of privately owned portions of the Riverwalk.  

After Approval of your Date

2) You will receive approval of your Run/Walk date in mid-January. At that time you will receive an invoice/payment link for your security deposit. In order to hold your date, your Security Deposit must be submitted within 30 days of approval of your Run/Walk date. You will also receive a Follow Up Application Form, which will ask you to provide further details of your event including but not limited to insurance requirements, City of Detroit permits, vendor information and more. The Follow Up Application Form must be submitted 60 days prior to your event date. 

Each year, dozens of runs and walks, charitable functions and special events are hosted on the Detroit Riverwalk by organizations from throughout Metro Detroit and the State of Michigan pursuant to these procedures. The approval procedures also apply to leafleting, petitioning, solicitation and demonstrating except as provided in the Conservancy's Policy and Rules Regarding Leafleting, Petitioning, Solicitation and Demonstrating. The Conservancy does not endorse any political advocacy and reserves the right to require the disclaimer of any such endorsement by the Conservancy. 

Other things to note about holding a Run/Walk on the Detroit Riverfront: 

  • Detroit Riverfront Conservancy staff should be provided a list of outside vendors and any equipment being brought onto the property 30 days prior to your event. 
  • Tents may not be staked on Detroit Riverfront Conservancy property, all tents must be secured with the use of sandbags, or weights. Failure to do so will result in the Conservancy retaining your security deposit. 
  • Seven (7) days prior to the Run/Walk, a sequential (numbered) list of participants is requested in order for the Conservancy to provide any additional support it determines to be necessary.
  • Registration fees, insurance, additional partner approvals (state/city) and indemnity due 60 days prior to the event. Security Deposit is due 30 days after your date is confirmed. Any Additional Fees due 30 days prior to the event.  

Detroit Riverwalk Conservancy Run/Walk Routes – all 5k.

The Detroit Riverwalk and parking lot at Cullen Plaza remain open to the public during all Run/Walks, meaning that there will be other visitors using the space for walking, running, and biking during your event. For minimal traffic, it is recommended that a Run/Walk event begins between 8 AM – 9 AM and conclude by 11 AM. All Run/Walk events must choose one of the approved Run/Walk routes below. Please note, routes staged at Milliken State Park or utilize Milliken State Park require additional permission and permits from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). You will need to verify that a permit has been issued by the MDNR for your Run/Walk to the Conservancy 60 days prior to your event.

Routes are categorized in three ways:

  • Run Through Event - this is an event that uses any portion of the Detroit Riverwalk or Dequindre Cut but does not stage (Start/finish) on DRFC property. 
  •  Low-Impact Event - this is an event that stages on the Detroit Riverwalk or Dequindre Cut and has less than 300 participants.
  •  High-Impact Event - this is an event that stages on the Detroit Riverwalk or Dequindre Cut and has more than 300 participants. 

If you are attempting to plan a 10k, please email us at [email protected] prior to submitting your application with your proposed route plan. 

                                                                              5k ROUTE OPTIONS

Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut Route – Our most popular 5k route, the Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut Route requires minimal street closures. Starting and ending at Cullen Plaza, this route features the beautiful Detroit Riverwalk, Milliken State Park, and Dequindre Cut Greenway. Because this route utilizes Milliken State Park, additional permission and permitting is required from the MDNR. This route stages on Detroit Riverfront Property can be utilized for either a Low-Impact Event (less than 300 participants) or High-Impact Event (greater than 300 participants). Low-Impact events are not required to obtain street closure permits from the City of Detroit for this route. Any event over 300 people that has a street crossing will require a street closure permit from the City of Detroit. 

Riverwalk only route -The Riverwalk 5k route is a perfect route for a small to midsized 5k. This Route starts and ends at Cullen Plaza allowing race producers to use the same start and finish line. The route features an easy down and back from Cullen Plaza west to the current end of the Riverwalk, located at the former Joe Louis Arena site. This route is designed for less than 300 participants, if you have more participants than that number please note in your application you would like to use the amended Riverwalk only route that utilizes street closures.  This route stages on Detroit Riverfront Property can be utilized for either a Low-Impact Event (less than 300 participants) or High-Impact Event (greater than 300 participants). Low-Impact events are not required to obtain street closure permits from the City of Detroit for this route. Any event over 300 people that has a street crossing will require a street closure permit from the City of Detroit. 

DCFY Route – This 5k route starts and ends at the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard, a beer and wine garden constructed out of shipping containers on the Dequindre Cut. The route features a large portion of the Dequindre Cut as well as some of the Detroit Riverwalk. Minimal street closures are required for this route, and depending on the size of your run/walk these closures can be managed with volunteers. This route is best for a Friday evening, or Sunday Run/Walk so your participants can utilize free parking at Eastern Market for.  This route requires additional permission and permitting from the MDNR as the route utilizes Milliken State Park. This route stages on Detroit Riverfront Property can be utilized for either a Low-Impact Event (less than 300 participants) or High-Impact Event (greater than 300 participants). Low-Impact events are not required to obtain street closure permits from the City of Detroit for this route. Any event over 300 people that has a street crossing will require a street closure permit from the City of Detroit. 

Dequindre Cut Route– This 5k route starts and ends on the Dequindre Cut, with staging located at the southern base of the Dequindre Cut across from the Outdoor Adventure Center. This route requires two partial street closures that can be managed by volunteers depending on the size of your event. For this route you will require additional permission and permitting from the MDNR as the route utilizes Milliken State Park. This route does not stage on Detroit Riverfront Conservancy property and is considered a Run Through Event. 

Detroit Riverwalk East – This route starts and ends at the corner of Riopelle and Atwater in a large open space located in Milliken State Park. Depending on the size of your race, street closures will be required, races under 300 people can utilize the sidewalks on Atwater. The race starts in Milliken State Park heads east and features Valade Park, and the Riverwalk on the eastern portion. This route is best suited for Sunday mornings, but can accommodate Saturday mornings if race start times are at 8AM.  For this route you will require additional permission and permitting from the MDNR as the route utilizes Milliken State Park. This route does not stage on Detroit Riverfront Conservancy property and is considered a Run Through or Low Impact Run/Walk. All street closures must be approved by the City of Detroit.

Fee Structure

Total fees will only be given after a complete proposal application has been submitted and accepted. Fees will be finalized by Conservancy staff utilizing the details provided from your Run/Walk application. The following criteria will be used to establish the total fee. Registration fees, insurance, additional partner approvals (state/city), and indemnity agreement documents are due 60 days prior to event.  

 Fee structure based on Run/Walk type:

  • Run-Through Events: The use of the Riverwalk for your race route but no staging, excluding water tables on Detroit Riverfront Conservancy property.  FEE - $750, includes 1 security guard and 1 cleaning staff on DRFC spaces - (all events over 1,000 will require additional fees for security and cleaning TBD)
  • Low Impact Events: the use of a designated space on the Riverwalk for your race staging and to host a race for under 300 people. FEE - $1000, includes 1 security guard and 1 cleaning staff on DRFC Property
  • High Impact Events: The use of a designated space on the Riverwalk for your race staging (start finish) and to host a race route for over 300 people. FEE - $2000, 2 security guards and 2 cleaning staff on DRFC Property (all events over 1,000 will require additional fees for security and cleaning TBD)
  • The security deposit to hold your date will be the following: Run Through the deposit will be $375. A Low-Impact Run/Walk with under 300 particpants that stages on DRFC property, the deposit will be $500. For High Impact Run/Walks with over 300 participant that stages on DRFC Property, the deposit will be $1000. 

    You will receive your security deposit back 30 days after your successful event. 

Please Note: If event participation exceeds projected attendance, cleaning & security costs will be deducted from the security deposit. Review by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy of the participation roster/sign in sheets is required. In all cases, the sponsor and/or vendor will be responsible for all damages whether or not in excess of the security deposit. In addition, Milliken State Park and the City of Detroit may require additional fees for use of their space and street closures. Those fees will be assessed by MDNR or the City of Detroit and are not inclusive of Detroit Riverfront Conservancy fees. 

Insurance Requirements

The sponsor and all companies performing work or events at or on the Riverwalk must submit a certificate of insurance (Accord Corp. form is preferred) meeting all minimum requirements 60 days prior to the event:

  • Comprehensive General Liability, including Contractual Liability with $1,000,000 minimum limits per occurrence for bodily injury or death.
  • Automobile Liability, including all owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles per occurrence
  • with $1,000,000 Combined Single Limit Bodily Injury and Property Damage.
  • Umbrella Liability with minimum limits of $1,000,000.
  • Employers Liability with minimum limits of $500,000 per accident.
  • Workers Compensation (in kind and amount as prescribed by statute).
  • Thirty (30) days’ notice of cancellation.  

The following entities are to be named as additional insured(s). Please submit the certificate of insurance and an actual copy of the policy endorsement naming the additional insured(s). The Certificate holder will be The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy at 600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1720, Detroit, MI 48243.

1. Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

2. Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority

3. Roberts Hotels Detroit, LLC

4. Jefferson Acquisitions, LLC

5. Bloomfield Farms – Talon Centre, LLC

6. C. Penfield Stroh, Frances R. Stroh and James L. Hughes, Successor Trustees

for the Irrevocable Trust f/b/o the Stroh Family Fifth Generation u/a dated August

10, 1983; Stroh Companies, Inc., Stroh Properties, Inc., MG-LXV Associates Ltd.

Partnership

7. The Stroh Companies, Inc.

8. City of Detroit

9. UAW-GM Center for Human Resources

10. General Motors Corporation

11. CBRE

12. LMC Resources Capital Limited Partnership

13. RenCen Associates LLC

14. Riverfront Holdings, Inc.

15. Riverfront Holdings Phase II, Inc

16. Riverfront Acquisitions, LLC C/O Bedrock Management Services

                                Including sponsors on your application

It is imperative to include all Run/Walk sponsors on your application. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has the right to refuse any sponsors deemed inappropriate by the Conservancy for any reason except in connection with political advocacy events. 

Recognizing the Conservancy as a Major Sponsor

If approved, The Conservancy is to be recognized as a major event sponsor on all non-political advocacy event materials and promotions unless otherwise specified by the Conservancy.

Catering

The Conservancy has an exclusive caterer for our café at Cullen Plaza, Robert C. Valade Park, and Mt. Elliott Park. If you plan to have any food or beverage products outside of individually packaged snacks (bananas, granola bars) or bottled water at your Run/Walk, you are encouraged to use our exclusive caterer and to make your arrangements directly with our caterer. If you desire to use any other vendor/sponsor/donor to provide food or beverages outside of individually packaged snacks or bottle water, a fee of $1,000.00, payable to the Conservancy, will be required 30 days prior to the Run/Walk.

Indemnity

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and its affiliates are not responsible for any injured participant at the event any personal damage or loss in conjunction with your event. By filling out the attached agreement you hold harmless the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Inc. and each of its members, agents, servants, employees, officers and directors, subsidiaries, and affiliates (collectively "Indemnities") from and against any and all actions, claims, demands, liabilities, assertions of liability, losses, costs, damages and expenses of every kind and nature.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Guidelines

General rules

  • Hours of operation: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • After 6 p.m. all children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian 21 years of age or older.
  • Be respectful of other guests.
  • Dress should be modest and appropriate for a family environment.
  • Respect plantings and wildlife-stay on existing paths.
  • Deposit trash and recyclable bottles in appropriate receptacles.
  • Bikers and roller skaters yield right of way to pedestrians.
  • Fishing is permitted in designated areas only.
  • Performances or rallies, commercial activity and distribution of commercial or non-commercial material is prohibited without prior written permission from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy management except as provided in the Policy and Rules Regarding Leafleting, Petitioning, Solicitation and Demonstrating.
  • Dogs are welcome when on a leash and under control. Please pick up and properly dispose of pet waste.

The following are prohibited:

  •  Swimming.
  • Camping, campfires and grills.
  • Alcoholic beverages, marijuana and other illegal substances.
  • Tents.
  • Panhandling or solicitation, except as provided in the Policy and Rules Regarding Leafleting, Petitioning, Solicitation and Demonstrating.
  • Motor Vehicles.
  • Amplified Sound.
  • Animals other than dogs on a leash and under control.
  • Obscene language or gestures, fighting, yelling, throwing objects, littering, playing loud music or other disorderly conduct of any kind.

Run/Walk Application Link

Applications for 2023 Run/Walks are due by December 16th, 2022. Please click the link below and provide the appropriate and necessary information for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to thoroughly screen your event. You will receive confirmation in mid January of 2023. Run/Walks are not confirmed until you have heard from the Conservancy, paid a security deposit 30 days after receipt of the event date, after which you will be required to submit insurance, fees and provided any additional forms and or documents 60 days prior to your event.  If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected]

APPLICATION LINK