A set of guiding principles for preparing any lot for a happy, healthy, and lower maintenance future.
The Clean + Green lot design is a set of guiding principles to prepare any lot for a happy, healthy and lower maintenance future. It provides information and support for many of the scenarios you may encounter through a cleanup process.
Or, if you are ready, the Clean + Green takes any lot, in any condition, and readies it for the installation of a Field Guide lot design.
There are many types of lots in Detroit and many new things you will discover along the way. The Clean + Green provides a range of principles and resources for how to treat the existing conditions unique to each lot.
Ideal Location: Any lot in sun or shade.
The Clean + Green is one of the Field Guide’s least expensive lot designs. The cost is based on the cost of trash removal, waste disposal, equipment rental (like a mulcher and a tiller) and one “green” flourish—a soil amendment to ensure healthy soil metabolism. It is possible to save money by renting or borrowing any necessary equipment. The cost assumes that residents or volunteers have access to basic safety gear and garden tools. Check out the resources page for ideas on where to borrow tools or work in cooperation with other organizations.
This lot design includes the application of a soil amendment: a mycorrhizal inoculant that improves the metabolism and performance of every soil. The invisible-to-the-eye helpers that are inoculated,then grow within the soil and spread water and minerals around through their tiny networks. This makes soil that is better for growing plants and better at managing stormwater, too.
The Clean + Green is a high visibility lot design, with low growing grasses that will not reach above six inches in upright height. This lot design maintains or improves existing views from the street to the alley.
This lot design is appropriate for every lot; however, your needs concerning sets of hands, playlists and refreshments will change as a result of the condition of your specific lot. Clean-ups are always more fun with more people. Depending on the state of your lot, and with the help of your friends, family or neighbors, you may be able to Clean + Green a lot in one weekend. This depends largely on the amount of debris you may need to remove as part of the “clean” process, as well as any coordination around borrowing tools. The most physically intense activities are likely to be debris removal or re-seeding your lot. If you are coordinating volunteers and borrowing tools from a Detroit-based organization, the set up and preparations for this can also be a lot of work, but more in terms of driving around and spending time than physical, sweat- producing labor.
Four hands or more! Depending on the state of your lot, and with the help of your friends, family or neighbors, you may be able to Clean + Green a lot in one weekend, one afternoon, or sometimes, for the really tough lots, multiple weekends in a row. This depends largely on the amount of debris you may need to remove as part of the “clean” process.
If you install the full Clean + Green, your lot will require minimal maintenance in the future. The recommended alternative lawn—a low maintenance Fescue grass mix— will require some maintenance once it is established. Although Fescue grasses do not grow tall, you will need to mow your lawn at least once a year in the early Fall (August or September). Unless you have a lot with a very large amount of dumping and debris to remove, it should only take one weekend to work your lot through the Clean + Green.