A rain garden with a twist used to create a clean, safe, and aesthetic area for the community.
$2,500 to $5,500
GRDC installed the Friendly Fence lot design to repurpose vacant lots and to deter unsafe activity, crime, and illegal dumping. Suffering from some of the most distressed conditions in the neighborhood, Grandville Ave residents needed a space that could bring the community together that was clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing.
$2,500 to $5,500
14376 Grandville Avenue Detroit, MI 48223
Our work on Grandville Avenue started several years ago, when we began mobilizing volunteers to clean-up vacant properties. Once we started to see some demolition of vacant homes, we began planning for ways to beautify the lot and the mini grant opportunity seemed like a great fit. We love the idea of the Friendly Fence model because it includes so many roses, which is a theme in the neighborhood (putting the “rose” in “Rosedale”). The process for transforming the lot included removing overgrown vegetation, mowing, digging trenches, spreading topsoil and plant food, and planting roses and hydrangeas. We finished the look with mulch and made sure to water at least weekly.
How were community members involved in the process?
We always involve community members in our projects. Many residents from Grandmont #1 and neighbors from the block were involved in installing the project.
We adapted the lot design only slightly. Because it was so difficult to dig into the lot (we broke six shovels trying to dig), it was not realistic for us to dig three trenches for two lines of roses and one line of hydrangeas. We ended up putting all the roses together in one long line and “spot digging” holes for the hydrangeas around the lot.
Beautification, Prevent Dumping, Public Open Space
Since the grant opportunity required us to have owner permission, we were able to secure a land lease on the lot from the Detroit Land Bank Authority. This will give us site control on the lot for at least three years.
This project has given us even more experience with implementing vacant lot designs. In the future, we plan to leverage these projects to support additional vacant land reuse projects in the neighborhood.
Most of our previous lot treatments were installed in North Rosedale Park on Stahelin Avenue. This project, however, was in a different neighborhood (Grandmont #1). This enabled us to engage a different audience, and to work with residents who live near our project site.
Working with Lots mini-grant program. No additional funds have been raised for this project, however, we will use this project to leverage future installations on Grandville Avenue.
One of the most challenging aspects of this project was simply digging into the hard ground. We tried to soften the ground by running a hose with water, which helped somewhat, but only minimally. In the future, it would be ideal to have professionals complete the installations, or at least the digging.
We plan to prune the rose bushes, remove any dead plants and weed the mulch area as needed.