Perennial beds that create outdoor rooms and space for residents to have fun in the sun.


$2,500 to $5,500










Part Sun

Wanting to expand their efforts to address blight in their community, LifeBUILDERS chose to install the Party Lot design.  The installation added beauty and pride in their community while also illustrating how someone can transform vacancy, from demolitions, to lovely welcoming spaces.
Lot Type
Special Lot Condition
Project Name
LifeBUILDERS Neigborhood Garden


Perennial beds that create outdoor rooms and space for residents to have fun in the sun.




$2,500 to $5,500

Project Timeline

5/2016 - 6/2016

Project Leader(s):

Dana Demeter



Who Else Was Involved:

LifeBUILDERS staff and volunteers: Larry Johnson, Marilyn Johnson, Mike Agrusa, Kevin Marshall, and Norma Foster.

Lot Design:

Party Lot

Lot Type


Lot Size

Double Lot

Lot Address

16206 Bringard/16205 Eastburn, Detroit, MI 48205

Describe the overall process for transforming your lot.

We decided to do the Party Lot Design because we had two vacant lots, adjoined at the rear.  The lots are in a crucial location in our community, being that they are located next to the Community Center that we are developing. Wanting to expand our work to another street, the placement of these lots allowed us an opportunity to connect our work to the next block, and continue land transformation work into other parts of the community. We had a three-phase implementation plan. The first phase was gathering the materials and plants and scheduling the volunteer teams. We then had a work day in which a team of more than 20 volunteers cleared the double lot of trash and debris. The final phase was digging the holes and planting the trees, shrubs, and ground cover.

How were community members involved in the process?

We have a community liaison staff member that also serves as our block club director. They worked to engage the community and increase participation from the very start of the project. Upon completion of our project, we are anticipating the ability to engage our kids club, teen club, block clubs, and senior club in the maintenance and management of the space.

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

We followed our design closely because we thought that was the only way we could do things. We ended up having to move one of the islands because it did not line up well with the property line. If we had known there was some flexibility, we probably would have ordered different plants (less expensive trees, for example). We also ended up needing much more mulch than was advised.

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


Purpose of the Project:

Beautification, Public Open Space

Lessons Learned
Land Acquisition

The land was purchased through the Community Partner program with the Detroit Land Bank.

Skill Building

We learned a lot about the capacity of our group and how to plant and sustain a park.

Community Engagement

We recruited 50 volunteers to help us clean the lot and do the plantings within 2 days. Once the park was completed, we had members of the community approach us and ask to have parties and weddings on the property.


Working with Lots mini-grant. No additional funds were raised for this specific project.



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

We are still having a hard time keeping the park watered. We now have a watering system setup where a 55-gallon drum is placed in the back of a van and filled. It is then driven to the site and buckets are used to water the plants. It is not the most efficient, but it is what is working for us for now.

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

We have a large property across the street from the park and an urban garden that will be monitored and cared for by a small group of volunteers and staff members. Additionally, we continue our watering plans to ensure the plants receive the water they need to thrive and grow.