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Growing Greener in Detroit: The Greening’s Comprehensive Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization Presenter: Rebecca Salminen Witt President, The Greening.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing Greener in Detroit: The Greening’s Comprehensive Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization Presenter: Rebecca Salminen Witt President, The Greening."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing Greener in Detroit: The Greening’s Comprehensive Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization Presenter: Rebecca Salminen Witt President, The Greening of Detroit

2 The Detroit you’ve heard about… “One of the initial four objects of research in the Shrinking Cities project, Detroit is the epitome of a city shrunk by suburbanization. Between 1950 and 2003 it lost one million inhabitants - more than 50% of its population – whilst its suburbs saw a population rise of 170% in the same period. Suburbanization exacerbated social disparity. Amongst the inner city population of Detroit, 80% of which is African-American, unemployment stands at 13.8% and 26% live below the poverty line whilst the suburban population is primarily prosperous and white.” -Shrinking Cities Project 2007

3 Detroit Geography & Demographics  Detroit River is international border with Canada  139 Square Miles  Infrastructure for 2.2 million residents  2006 Population 800,000  Over 66,00 vacant lots

4  Major Industry: Automobile Manufacturing in decline  Double Digit Unemployment  Emerging technology and bio science industries need vastly different infrastructure  Sprawling factories are slowly being closed  More vacant land for redevelopment Detroit Industry & Economics

5  Multi-cultural with little interaction between groups  Struggling Education system  Adult illiteracy rates approaching 25%  Limited access to fresh produce  No functional mass transit system  Huge group of invested neighborhood residents Detroit Social Factors

6 The Detroit you haven’t seen yet… Abundant opportunity for innovation to take root. Emerging agricultural economy. Community based land use policy is possible. Engaged and enthusiastic residents are stepping up to generate ideas and action.

7 The Greening of Detroit’s mission is to guide and inspire the creation of a ‘greener’ Detroit through planting and educational programs, environmental advocacy, and by developing community capacity. Spring Planting 2004

8 How do we get it done in Detroit? Brewer Street Tree Planting, Fall 2004 Our Tools for Transformation: Tested programming designed to address the broad spectrum of social and environmental need in each target neighborhood. Willingness to lead collaboration. Implementation by a small professional staff directing large groups of volunteers from throughout the region and green industries apprentices from within the neighborhoods. Staff: 14 full time employees + 50 part-time temporary maintenance and planting corps. 2000-4000 Volunteers per year

9 Watering at Brewer,2005 Programming in 4 areas of focus: Planting, Education, Technical Assistance and Advocacy  Community Planning  Neighborhood Education and Technical Assistance Programs  Forest Restoration and Community Tree Planting Programs  Vacant Space Reclamation  Production Greenspace  Green Industry Workforce Development Program

10 Community Planning Input creates Buy In. Green Space and Canopy Inventory Neighborhood Green Plan

11 Neighborhood Education Programs Get Out and Green! Workshop, October 2005 If we do not teach our people that they deserve a clean, green neighborhood and show them that they have both the opportunity and the ability to make a difference, any success we see now can not last.

12 Green Heroes, after school lesson, 2004 Place-based education programs for children teach about the ecosystem using their own neighborhoods as a model. Youth Environmental Education Programs  TreeKeepers Kids  Camp Greening  Adopt-a-School Planting Program

13 Containerized Planting Demo, 2005  Get Out and Green!  Family Landscape Program  Urban Garden Education Series  Urban Roots: Community Garden Organizing Program  Lobbying for sound development policy to make greenspace a recognized priority at the municipal government level. Adult Education and Technical Assistance Adult programs are designed to provide the skills to plan, plant and maintain gardens and green space.

14 Tree Planting Program  Community Planting Program  Restoration Plantings  Parks and School Yards Ash Replacement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Detroit

15  50-100 trees per planting  Volunteer planted: 100-200 volunteers per planting  2-3 plantings per weekend  50-60 plantings per year Community Planting Program

16 Forest Restoration Program  Emerald Ash Borer Response  Major thoroughfares  200-300 trees planted at a time  City designates planting locations  Greening coordinates plantings with paid Planting Corps

17  >1 Park per Neighborhood  100% Neighborhood School Participation  10-20 trees per project  Site input from Neighborhood Green Plan, Rec Department and Detroit Public School Partners  Greening coordinates plantings with volunteers and schoolkids Parks and Schoolyards


19 Site Work: Phase I: Poor -> Average Remove all Litter and Debris Remove fence remnants Recycle tires/metal Trim Fence Line Prune trees Grind stumps Mow Remove Hazard Trees Edge Sidewalks Phase II Average -> Adequate Plan for Future Use Fencing/Bollards Clean/Mow/Edge Phase III Adequate -> Excellent Clean/Mow/Edge Signature/Production Plantings Planting, May 1, 2004

20 Vacant Lot Reclamation Dangerous: $4000 Lot Clearance required, contracted service. Poor: $2525 Tires, debris, illegal dumping, dead trees and brush, covering the lot. Average: $1450 Overgrown fencelines, poorly trimmed trees, litter, dumping. Adequate: $375 Litter pick up, fenceline work and mowing.

21 PoorAverageAcceptable Employment 10 people @$12.50/hr for 8hrs. = $1000 $1000$500$125 Tree Removal$1000$5000 Brush ClearanceCleanup Corps CleanupCleanup Corps Dumpsters @ $200 each $400 $200 Herbicide$125$50 TOTAL$2525$1450$375 Cost Estimates are based upon averages across the full inventory of vacant lots. Vacant Space Reclamation: 2007 Cost Estimates

22 Wildflowers and Window-paning: New Ideas for mitigating the maintenance burden…. Community Mowing Program Workforce Training Opportunity Production Greenspace

23 Production Projects: Neighborhood Tree Nurseries, Community Gardens and Organic Farms Mrs. Smith’s side lot garden, August 2005 Vast tracts of vacant space present opportunities to address other social needs. In this case the need for many low cost trees and the need for convenient access to healthy, affordable produce as well as the need for jobs and workforce training.

24 Production Projects: Neighborhood Nurseries Solution: How to use neighborhood brownfields productively Solution: How to obtain ample supplies of quality trees at low cost Located on Unusable vacant lots adjacent to a workforce Produce 27,600 trees for planting in the city in 5 years. Out planted in the neighborhood where the nursery was located

25 Nurseries Seedlings grown in schools, transplanted to Nurseries Neighborhood Nurseries installed on vacant lots: –Produce trees for neighborhood –Cleanup Corps Prep –Planting Corps/Volunteer Planted –Cared for by residents and Nursery Corps –3-5 year use of vacant space –Feed into the Greening Nursery Program Greening to re-open City of Detroit Nursery for production Trees from schools and Nurseries transplanted to Detroit Nursery for “finishing” Detroit Nursery Trees available for parks and streets throughout City

26 Production Projects: Community Gardens & Organic Farms Uncontaminated vacant lots are farmed to produce food for the neighborhood Nearly 400 gardens will produce more than 100 tons of food in 2007. The Greening’s Garden Resource Program Collaborative provides residents with training, supplies, equipment, plant materials and additional volunteers for maintaining the gardens to production. Neighborhood Farmers Markets provide economic incentives for growing and increased access to produce for residents Hope Takes Root Community Garden and Neighborhood Tree Nursery, Wabash and Temple, Detroit MI

27 Pocket Parks, Schoolyards, Residences, and Gardens Signature plantings are installed along vacant tracts of land encouraging future development and securing the property until development occurs. Vacant Lots are transformed into pocket parks School yards are transformed with trees and gardens Vacant lots are farmed to produce food for the neighborhood The Family Landscape and Get out and Green programs will provide residents with training and plant materials to beautify their own property and adjacent vacant spaces

28 Green Industry Workforce Development Programs Resident Adults and Youth Paid Workforce –CleanUp Corps – vacant lot clean up and mowing –Planting Corps – Restoration Plantings –Nursery Corps – Advanced training in nursery trade –Green Corps Youth Employment Program – Summer maintenance Entrepreneurial Training

29 Sustainability We are only interested in LASTING change Can be done Community Buy-In Essential:  Volunteer Kickoff  Neighborhood workforce  Community organizing prior to planting, infrastructure  Return visits: ongoing maintenance  Neighborhood ROI: Stable ecosystem, employment opportunities, pocket parks, increased food security (community gardens/farms)  Side lot acquisitions 2839 Wabash before & After, 2003-2007

30 Challenges along the Path Ahead Opening Urban Eyes: Getting residents to see vacant space as an asset. Maintaining an independent working relationship with the City of Detroit Effecting change at a policy level Sustaining Interest from Neighborhood Volunteers

31 Questions?

32 1418 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, USA 48216 Planted 55,000 trees Reclaimed over 3500 vacant lots Transformed more than 1155 city blocks Greened 56 recreation play fields Beautified 14 apartment complexes, 19 boulevards, 8 police precincts and 61 city parks Created 34 school yard habitats Established 11 seedling nurseries and 4 orchards Formed the Garden Resource Program Collaborative, servicing nearly 400 community and family vegetable gardens each year. Est. 1989…

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