In October 2015, Detroit Future City (DFC) introduced the Field Guide to Working with Lots, a tool that offers step-by-step instructions, guidance and resources to transform vacant land into a variety of landscapes. This tool includes a workbook companion that walks users through the phases of engaging their community, assessing their lot, reviewing lot designs, and exploring various resources. One month after the Field Guide’s release, DFC initiated the Working with Lots mini-grant program, which helps accelerate the revitalization of vacant land in Detroit.
Today, DFC needs your help with maintaining the upkeep of these lots. Over the past two years, we have learned a great deal about the financial challenges community members face when maintaining their projects beyond sweat equity. To address these challenges, DFC is collaborating with crowdfunding organization, In Our Backyard (ioby), to raise resources for our “Lots to Maintain” program, which supports Detroit residents and community groups that have transformed vacant lots in their community using the Field Guide. Since the Field Guide’s release, DFC has collaborated and provided technical assistance to 29 Detroit groups, and influenced the transformation of more than 35 vacant lots.
DFC needs your help to fulfill our goal of raising $10,000 to make sure these lots remain assets to their neighborhoods, and to improve stormwater management in the City of Detroit. You can make a tax-deductible donation today of $50, $100, or any amount you choose! 100 percent of all contributions will go directly toward funding the upkeep of revitalized open space in Detroit neighborhoods. In addition, DFC will match every donation received via the “Lots to Maintain” fundraising campaign.
To donate to the “Lots to Maintain” fundraising campaign, please click here or on the image above.
The DFC Implementation Office developed the Field Guide Mini-Grant program to encourage Detroit residents, community groups and businesses to utilize the Field Guide to Working with Lots to implement land stewardship activities in Detroit’s neighborhoods.
The DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots offers easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, guidance and resources that support Detroiters in transforming vacant land into cleaner, safer and more attractive neighborhoods. The tool is available online at www.dfc-lots.com. A complimentary, printed workbook is available at the DFC Implementation Office. Both offer recommendations on how to assess your lot and choose the best landscape for your needs, wants, skill level and budget.
The Field Guide Mini-Grant program funds a diverse range of lot designs across the city, including:
GenesisHOPE Community Development Corporation, which is planning to implement the “Ring Around the Garden” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
GenesisHOPE is excited to use the mini-grant it was awarded to assist with the creation of an urban agricultural park that will include green stormwater infrastructure and shade for a parking lot that will be graded and repaved to slope toward a rain garden.
Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation, which is planning to implement the “Friendly Fence” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
The Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation will implement a lot design that will spawn a colorful rain garden while also implementing a practical stormwater solution. The lot design is part of the corporation’s plan to revitalize a 13-block stretch of Detroit’s East Side. It will sit adjacent to a 5,000-square-foot property called “The Commons” that will serve as a laundromat, a café and a gathering space for recreation activities, visual arts, storytelling and more.
Manistique Block Club 200-300 Block, which is planning to implement the “Forest Patcher” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
The Manistique Block Club 200-300 Block is planning to use their funds to implement a lot design that will allow it to beautify and improve the health of an existing woodland. The organization plans to complement its lot design with rain, herb and butterfly gardens, solar panels, a treehouse, wandering paths and wheelchair ramps.
Minock Park Block Association, which is planning to implement the “Ring Around the Garden” lot design on the West Side of Detroit:
The Minock Park Block Association is one of several community groups that is continuing efforts to ensure the greater Grandmont Rosedale area is a leader in vacant land transformation. The association will implement a lot design that is a great choice for anyone looking to increase green infrastructure in the city. Rain gardens capture, hold, and release stormwater gradually back into the soil. The garden will provide a habitat and food for a variety of birds and pollinators.
O’Hair Park Community Association, which is planning to implement the “8 Mile Rain Garden” on the West Side of Detroit:
The O’Hair Park Community Association, which includes roughly a dozen reactivated block clubs, plans to implement a lot design that is one of the best for stormwater management. This rain garden design also prevents standing water from forming. It is designed with plants commonly available at local shops and national chains, and will be complimented by a patio, benches, two raised flower beds and community compost bins. Retired City of Detroit forester, park manager and secondary science teacher Susan Stellar will help lead this design’s implementation. Stellar is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, and a founding member of Keep Growing Detroit.
Southwest Detroit Business Association, which is planning to implement the “Front Parking Partner” in southwest Detroit:
The Southwest Detroit Business Association plans to implement a parking lot design that mitigates flooding by creating paved parking that allows water to infiltrate the ground instead of running quickly off into the street and into Detroit’s sewerage system. SDBA believes this design’s implementation will help transform vacant space along commercial corridors into community assets through beautification and greening. DFC hopes SDBA’s design, which will be complimented by trees, flowers, and other greenery, will serve as a model for beautiful and beneficial parking lots citywide.
Click here to see the full list of winners.
This spring, North Rosedale Park Civic Association and Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, neighborhood block clubs on Detroit’s westside, will implement DFC’s Native Butterfly Meadow and Friendly Fence lot designs to add color and beauty to the lot while also creating a stormwater solution so that neighbors can disconnect their downspouts and re-route this water into a shared, larger rain garden.
Click here to read DFC’s Lots of Stories blog, featuring North Rosedale Park Civic Association and Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation.
This month, the Challenge Detroit fellows combined DFC’s Urban Edge and Dumping Preventer lot designs to enrich the beauty of a site on Detroit’s westside by transforming the vacant lot into an open space amenity and to reduce the risk of illegal dumping by creating a planted visual barrier between the road and the lot.
Click here to read DFC’s Lots of Stories blog, featuring Challenge Detroit Partnership.
This spring, Dorothy Baker, a resident of Detroit’s east side since 1966, will implement DFC’s Four Seasons lot design to accommodate stormwater runoff and allow water to infiltrate back into the soil in the Osborne community.
Click here to read DFC’s Lots of Stories blog, featuring Ms. Dorothy Baker.
This spring, Bounce Back Detroit, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy active lifestyles through unique and engaging activities, will combine DFC’s 8 Mile Rain Garden and the Urban Edge lot designs to help manage stormwater, and keep it from running into Detroit’s overloaded storm sewer system.
Click here to read DFC’s Lots of Stories blog, featuring Jeffrey Jones with Bounce Back Detroit.