N. Rosedale Park Civic Association

The Native Butterfly Meadow adds beauty and reduces stormwater runoff to improve the quality of life for community residents.




Volunteer + Professional








Part Shade

The Native Butterfly Meadow was a perfect fit for the North Rosedale Park Civic Association (NRPCA) community.  Through this project, NRPCA has furthered their efforts to reducing stormwater runoff while also improving the quality of life of its residents.
Lot Type
Special Lot Condition
Project Name
Stahelin Avenue Project

N. Rosedale Park Civic Association

The Native Butterfly Meadow adds beauty and reduces stormwater runoff to improve the quality of life for community residents.



Project Timeline


Project Leader(s):

Beverly Frederick


Volunteer + Professional

Who Else Was Involved:

Becki Kenderes with Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., along with community volunteers

Lot Design:

Native Butterfly Meadow

Lot Type


Lot Size

Single Lot

Lot Address

16838 Stahelin Avenue Detroit, MI 48219

Describe the overall process for transforming your lot.

Work at 16838 Stahelin started many years ago, even before the house that once stood there became vacant. In the beginning, we engaged in community-based code enforcement on the property, however, it wasn’t until the home became vacant and was demolished that we started to see real progress. Once we had permission from the Land Bank to use the lot, it was an easy choice to pick the Butterfly Meadow Lot Design, because Stahelin Avenue is already home to many flower lots. We started the installation by tarping the lot for one month to kill off existing weeds. We then tilled and planted the flowers and seed mixture with help from volunteers.

How were community members involved in the process?

There is a long history of community members coming together to maintain vacant property on Stahelin Avenue, and this project was no exception. Community members were involved in the planning, implementation and maintenance of this project. Furthermore, when we hired a contractor to do some preliminary tilling, we hired from within the neighborhood.

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

Our lot design is pretty true to the original plan. However, we added to the design as resources became available. For instance, we received free annual flowers from Keep Detroit Beautiful and added those to the lot for a pop of color. We are also repurposing rocks found in the lot to create a walking path. Our goal is to add more placemaking elements in the future, like seating, signage and a gazebo.

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


Purpose of the Project:

Beautification, Prevent Dumping, Public Open Space Other: Green Infrastructure

Lessons Learned
Land Acquisition

We obtained a 3-year land lease on this property from the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Skill Building

We learned many tips from Detroit Future City and their partners. For example, it was great to see the lot maintenance demonstration presentation from Keep Growing Detroit. This taught us that we need to trim off dead buds and blooms on our rose bushes to maximize the growing and blooming potential of the plant. This will be particularly useful for the Friendly Fence lot design we installed last year (with a different grant).

Community Engagement

Residents from Stahelin Avenue, and even those from beyond the neighborhood, are starting to take notice of the work being done on Stahelin. We see a lot more people using the gardens and public space than we did in previous years. The lot treatments are definitely making a difference. We also engaged students from nearby Cooke Elementary School on this project, which was a first time partnership for us.


We successfully leverag grant, in the amount of $750, fromed our DFC funding to receive a second the National Environmental Education Foundation to support a related project. With this extra funding, we could purchase 50 bird and butterfly houses, as well as paint and brushes, which we gave to Cooke Elementary School students to paint and decorate. The bird and butterfly houses are now permanently installed on the lots, giving the students some sense of ownership at the gardens as well.



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

Watering the plants is an ongoing challenge. We purchased an irrigation cart and have used this on the lot, but we are still not able to adequately soak the plants, given the hot and dry season we have had this year. So far, our plants have been holding up for the most part. We have applied for a mini-grant from Michigan Community Resources to build a water catchment system in the future. Hopefully we will receive this award to make watering even easier next year.

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

We will mow over the butterfly meadow at least once per year, usually in the fall. We will continue to care for this lot for many years to come.