A garden to grow into an urban-agricultural park and environmental education opportunity.













This project is part of our vision for a community space and a place for youth to learn about sustainable practices. It is the first phase of our plan to create an urban agricultural park.

Lot Type
Happy Lawn
Special Lot Condition
Project Name
GenesisHOPE Commercial Green Stormwater Management System Installation


A garden to grow into an urban-agricultural park and environmental education opportunity.



Project Timeline

January 2017 to June 2017

Project Leader(s):

Jeanine Hatcher



Who Else Was Involved:

Ken Weikal Landscape Architect and Sue's Landscaping Inc.

Lot Design:

Ring Around the Garden

Lot Type

Happy Lawn

Lot Size

Single Lot

Lot Address

7200 Mack Ave, Detroit MI 48214

Describe the overall process for transforming your lot.

GenesisHOPE, along with Charlevoix Village Association and Church of the Messiah, hosted community meetings to review the Working with Lots Field Guide. During the various sessions, residents identified several designs with the potential to transform vacant lots in Islandview. The final lot design for the three-acre vacant lot was selected by Genesis Lutheran Church, the leaseholder of the land, as part of a larger master plan to transform the land into an urban agricultural park.

Once GenesisHOPE received notice from DFC of our award, we reconvened community leaders to share the good news. We hired Ken Weikal & Associates to assist with the master plan and oversee the installation of the Ring Around the Garden Lot Design. 

Ken and his team reviewed the plan documents and solicited bids from contractors. The estimate to install the rain garden entirely by professionals was $2,000 more than the amount of the grant, so we had to refine the plan slightly.

Did you customize your lot design? If so, how?

Yes, we used professionals for 100% of the labor, which ended up making the implementation of the exact lot design cost prohibitive. We decided to use fewer plants than recommended to address this issue.

Is your current project part of a larger plan, goal, or initiative within your community?


Purpose of the Project:

Stormwater management, education, beautification

Lessons Learned
Land Acquisition

GenesisHOPE received an evergreen lease from Genesis Lutheran Church that states that as long as the land is used for the benefit of the community, we may use the land.

Skill Building

I learned about designing a space, accounting for the sun, thinking about sight lines, and using various tools for installation. I also gained knowledge on working with contractors.

Community Engagement

A community meeting was planned on the day of the final DFC convening to share the benefits of aesthetically pleasing management of stormwater. The bioswale will also become part of the FLOWW (food, land, ozone, water, and waste) curriculum to teach youth participating in our GREENCorps about water conservation, soil, and plants.


Apart from applying for and winning a DFC Working with Lots Mini-Grant, we did not raise any additional funds. If we had known the costs were going to be higher than expected due to the costs of excavation and soil removal, we would have had a few fundraisers.


What was challenging about this process, and how did you adapt?

We had to adjust the number of plants because, without the help of volunteers, the cost of installing the design entirely by professionals was greater than the amount of the grant.

What is the maintenance plan for this project after its first year?

Watering and weekly weeding by the GREENCorps. In 2018 we plan to add additional flowers.