The Greening of Detroit

This community-involved Greening of Detroit project installed a mix of four planting strategies on ten vacant lots in the Cody Rouge neighborhood.

Photo © The Greening of Detroit

Between 2012 and 2013 the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), the Greening of Detroit, and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) partnered to transform ten vacant residential lots in the Cody Rouge neighborhood using four green infrastructure treatments. The primary goal of this initiative was to prevent storm water from entering the sewer system while creating the additional benefits of neighborhood stabilization, improved property values, better air quality and beautification.

The Greening of Detroit collaborated with Cody Rouge neighborhood residents and community groups through information sessions where the treatments were explained and also shared in a visual way. With this information, the participants then voted on which of the four low-maintenance treatments they desired for each location: a low-grow prairie grass; a perennial wildflower mix; a rye grass and wildflower mix; or a tree planting.

Greening staff, local volunteers and members of the Greening’s workforce training program implemented the treatments. The installation of each lot took approximately five days.

This program was really in the vanguard of engaging Detroit community members about transforming vacant lots through plantings with storm water benefits. Wade Rose, Greening of Detroit’s Vacant Land Manager, shared some lessons learned from the process (these have also helped inform the Field Guide to Working with Lots):

Curious to learn more? You can visit the completed lots using this map.

Related Website

Visit the Greening of Detroit website