Press Release

Detroit Future City Awards Fourth Year of Grants to Help Detroiters Revitalize Vacant Land and Hosts Working with Lots Convening

March 27, 2019

DETROIT – Detroit Future City (DFC) awarded nine Detroit-based grassroots organizations with $97,000 in grants to support the implementation of lot designs from the Field Guide to Working with Lots. As a celebration and kick-off session to welcome grantees, DFC hosted a Working with Lots Convening on March 26, where this year’s cohort will get to know each other and begin planning their projects.


Now in its fourth year, this grant program continues to provide technical assistance, education and funding for Detroiters to transform their vacant land into intentional, productive and well-maintained landscapes. The 2019 grantees will receive funds provided by the Kresge Foundation for lot design implementation, maintenance and educational programming.


“In 2019, the Working with Lots Program focused on finding the ideal organizations to implement eight unique lot designs that have not yet been installed, to serve as built examples for others to learn from,” says Sarah Hayosh, DFC’s Director of Land Use and Sustainability. “We were looking for partners that are able to use this opportunity to build on work they have already been doing in their neighborhood, and for projects that connect to a larger community-led land transformation vision.”


The Field Guide Team received more applications than ever this year and the review team had a tough job selecting finalists from the competitive pool of applicants. The 2019 Working with Lots Grantees are:


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Arboretum Detroit will receive $12,000 to install the Hedge Fund Lot Design—a hands-on approach for growing, maintaining, and distributing trees—as the beginning of their formal operations in Detroit. Arboretum Detroit is an organization dedicated to building community and growing an arboretum for Detroit. This nursery will help their larger reforestation vision while engaging their neighbors in land stewardship.


The Bailey Park Project, an organization focused on community engagement and improvement in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood, will receive $7,000 to install the Mounds of Fun Lot Design. The design features three large mounds ideal for a community park or playground, and once completed will be a part of Bailey Park, a new and exciting public space in the neighborhood.


Canfield Consortium, committed to redeveloping and engaging the East Canfield community, will receive $10,000 to install the new Perennial Propagator Lot Design, to encourage residents to plant and share flowers throughout the community. Canfield Consortium will host year-round events and activities in the garden to help residents learn how to divide and spread perennials and continue beautifying the neighborhood.


Carrie Morris Arts Production (CMAP), an organization that creates performance art that is inclusive, intimate, and community-centered, will receive $7,000 to install the Mounds of Fun Lot Design. The design installation is a part of CMAP’s larger plan to create an outdoor amphitheater and a welcoming public green space in their community with a children’s playscape.


Downtown Boxing Gym, a non-profit program that empowers Detroit youth to become positive and productive members of society through education, mentoring, and athletics, will receive $17,000 to install the Organic Bowl Lot Design. This design is a GSI practice that will create a community space while managing stormwater runoff from their 27,500 square foot warehouse and is part of larger outdoor recreation and facility sustainability plans.


EcoWorks, a Detroit non-profit with a 38-year history, will receive $19,000 to install the newly added Storm Soaker Lot Design on their campus. EcoWorks provides services at the intersection of community development, sustainability, and social justice. With this project serving as a large, high-performing rain garden, they aim to qualify for DWSD credits as a result of installing this design.


Field Temple, an organization practicing Buddhist philosophy and meditation, will receive $10,000 to install the Forest Patcher Lot Design. This design curates existing resources to improve wildlife habitat and biodiversity, creating a naturalized aesthetic and community space. The project will give members of the community a space for passive enjoyment and an opportunity to connect more intimately with nature.


The Mohican Regent Residents Association (MRRA) will receive $5,000 to install the Commercial Curtain Lot Design, a landscaped barrier that creates beautification and prevents dumping, near Eight Mile and Gratiot Ave. With a goal to deter crime, reduce blight, and increase beautification, the MRRA will work closely with the adjacent businesses to foster a stronger sense of community pride and connections between neighbors and businesses.


NW Goldberg Cares (formerly ORIGINAL CREATIVITY) will receive $9,000 to install the Holland Maze Lot Design, inspired by the tulip fields of Holland, with rows of colorful perennial flowers, bulbs and a small rain garden. The non-profit organization aims to improve the lives of residents by incubating local businesses, building a strong community, and ensuring a family-friendly neighborhood. They will use this opportunity as a project to share the benefits of planting a garden with the neighborhood.


For more information about the DFC Working with Lots Grant program and this year’s grantees, visit or connect through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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