June 22, 2020
This year, Detroit Future City (DFC) will award over $50,000 in grants to eight Detroit-based organizations to support transforming vacant Detroit land into well-maintained landscapes. Since beginning its Working with Lots Program in 2016, DFC has awarded grants to 50 different organizations, including this year’s grantees.
The Working with Lots program provides technical assistance, education and funding for Detroiters to transform vacant land in their communities into intentional landscapes and productive community spaces, utilizing The Field Guide to Working with Lots. The Field Guide is an online toolkit that provides a valuable resource to guide Detroiters through the process of repurposing vacant land into beautiful neighborhood gardens and park space, even in a post-COVID-19 world.
“DFC and our Field Guide team are really proud to continue our efforts towards a sustainable, greener Detroit through our Working with Lots program,” said Pier Davis, DFC Working with Lots program manager. “The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated just how important it is for communities to have accessible outdoor green spaces, which contribute to physical and mental health and well-being. We are taking extra precautions this year to make sure all of our grantees have a safe, healthy and successful implementation season.”
A number of environmental studies prove a correlation between lower rates of anxiety, depression, and crime rates in landscaped environments. And as with most of the Working with Lots grantees, Bryden Central Block Club has already seen how creating intentional outdoor areas improves neighborhood well-being.
“Beautiful areas change how you feel, they improve your health,” Ashaki Johnson of Byrden Central Block Club says. “By adding the beauty of trees and flowers to a neighborhood, you can make changes on a psychological level, and encourage more positive social interactions between adults and children. Our grant from DFC’s Working with Lots program will help us create more calm, and change the atmosphere of our community.”
The 2020 Working with Lots Grantees are:
These last three organizations will implement the Perennial Propagator lot design, a show-stopping display that hosts dozens of perennial flowers that spread and can be divided for other projects.
The Working with Lots program is supported with funding from the Kresge Foundation and Bank of America Charitable Foundation. For more information about the DFC Working with Lots Program and this year’s grantees, visit www.detroitfuturecity.com/wwl-2020 or connect through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.