The Detroit chapter of the Sierra Club has been working with residents in northwest Detroit to build and maintain rain gardens since 2012.
Photo © Detroit Chapter of the Sierra Club
Local entrepreneur creates jobs by connecting waste streams to products (#DetroitDirt) to improve soil.
Photo © Bryan Doben Studios
This neighborhood-based organization connects residents and business owners to the resources to fight blight.
Photo © Detroit Future City
The Oakland Avenue Artist Coalition is reclaiming the North End through the arts, and using open space as a creative advantage.
Photo © Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition
Fifteen blocks of the Neighbors Building Brightmoor target showcase numerous ways land that stewardship can support community—especially youth.
This Detroit-based group is using a cooperative model on vacant lots to grow grapes as part of a long-term wine making operation.
Photo © Alt Space Detroit
This Detroit-based bee collective keeps five active bee hives.
Photo CC BY-NC 2.0, University of Nottingham
With a mission to grow good food, nurture community and provide space to celebrate, this Detroit-based farm fundraised through Kickstarter.
Photo © Fisheye Farms
By working through partnerships, the Detroit Dog Park has transformed vacant land to give dogs and their owners a safe place to socialize.
Photo © Detroit Dog Park
This indoor farm in the North End utilizes Red Wiggler earthworms, matchmaking between the needs of the fish and the wants of the crops.
Photo © Central Detroit Christian
Learn about free, beginner-level landscaping classes for Detroiters interested in working with lots.
Photo © Hamilton Anderson Associates
Bikers and resident unite to clean up lots and shape riding trails, creating a unique neighborhood amenity.
PUSH Buffalo has transferred the fruits of their learnings with vacant lots into a revenue-and-benefits-generating social enterprise.
Backyard hobby to side lot industry: growing mushrooms in Michigan offers one route to local economic development.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Kathie Hodge
Local bone meal production offers a profitable way for Detroit businesses to reduce waste and support local land stewardship.
At one acre, this Oakland County lavender farm demonstrates a large-scale version of lavender planting and production in southeast Michigan.
Photo CC BY-NC 2.0, pverdonk
When buffalos wallow, they create ecological potholes, something we can learn from here in Detroit.
The Edible Hut and Memory Field in Calimera Park show how the productive reuse of underutilized park space can strengthen community.
Photo © Kate Daughdrill & Mira Burack
A Land Trust is a model for ownership that can be used to preserve vacant land as part of an Open Space Network.
The #GRP provides resources and education to facilitate relationships between growers and promote a food sovereign Detroit.
Photo © Keep Growing Detroit
The Neighborhood Exchange is an online platform to share ideas and resources for strengthening neighborhoods in Detroit.
Screenshot of neighborhood-exchange.com
This initiative by the Genesee County Land Bank to reduce open space maintenance costs has planted Dutch White Clover on 1800 lots in Flint.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Benjamin S Tone
Hantz Woodlands uses mass tree planting to improve quality of life and the economic growth of surrounding communities.
596 Acres is a New York based organization that works to increase residents’ access to land with real-time and internet-based support.
Screenshot of livinglots.com
This resident-engaged bioswale project introduced customizable neighborhood beautification options while reducing runoff on Maywood Avenue.
Photo © Tetra Tech
The Green T will transform a vacant commercial corridor in Detroit by growing, harvesting, and processing a plant—Pennycress—into biofuel.
Photo © LAND Inc, Jackie Bejma
How to make forests without planting trees—just add time.
Photo © Lambert, Rotherstien, & Associates
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
Transforms the basement area of a recently-demolished house into a series of stepped raingarden tiers.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Frank Mayfield
Volunteer + Professional
Sun, Part Shade
A set of guiding principles for preparing any lot for a happy, healthy, and lower maintenance future.
Photo CC BY-NC 2.0 Jurek D.
$50 to $1,000
Sun, Part Shade, Shade
A people-friendly green infrastructure solution that creates flexible spaces for neighborhood gatherings and manages stormwater on site.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Vmenkov
A new, neighborhood-scaled infrastructure designed to better manage snow as it accumulates.
Photo CC BY 2.0 Hormiguita Viajera mir.
A graceful double-lot solution for ongoing stormwater education and social events.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Sosanna.
This underground water storage tank is a long-term solution to save money and water, reduce risk of basement flooding, and contribute to the health of our Great Lakes waterways.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Adrian Benko
An inexpensive, hands-on method for improving the soils on your lot.
Photo CC BY-SA 3.0 Jean-Pol Grandmont
Off-street parking option for those with alley access.
$2,500 to $5,500
This off-street parking design holds two vehicles with extra room for a lawn—great for sharing with a neighbor who also needs parking.
Photo Public Domain Immanuel Giel
A colorful, full-season design creates space to accommodate social gatherings while providing privacy to neighbors.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Magnus Manske
$1,000 to $2,500
A collection of spreading groundcovers that can be planted over your entire lot, or planted and maintained as distinct paisley patches.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 TM Weddle
Three playful mounds create an area for play and informal gatherings.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Julia Manzerova
Create habitat and improve biodiversity with this set of guiding principles for managing an existing forest patch or emergent stand of trees.
Photo © Erin Kelly, Lambert, Rotherstien & Associates.
Embrace the poor quality rocky soils of commercial lots in Detroit with this mix of succulents in a range of painterly colors and textures.
Photo Public Domain, Leonard G.
Reduce drainage fees, manage dust, and enhance the identity of your commercial corridor with this colorful and fragrant edge-maker.
Photo CC BY-SA 3.0 ForestWander
The clean, hardy, and colorful living perimeter of this lot design is easy to build and works well on multiple lots.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Manuel
Make money with trees over time with this hedge-organized space for growing and selling trees within neighborhoods.
Photo © Erin Kelly, Lambert, Rotherstien & Associates
Neighborhood-friendly tapestry of small and large trees reduces mowing maintenance and creates energy savings.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Tjukka2
Part Shade, Shade
A floral landscape that stabilizes lead in the soil while registering your household caffeine levels.
Photo CC BY-NC 2.0 Blucolt
Save water and money with this sidelot greywater harvesting system.
Photo CC BY-NC 2.0 maggie_and_her_camera
Luscious rain garden for lots with crushed-in-place basements.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Dmitry Marochko
This theatre of seasonal design features four ornamental trees, each crowned by a seasonal rain garden.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Sandstein
Colorful, hardy plants form a clean and urban edge while creating a barrier to limit lot access.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Framboise
Improve soil quality on your bald lot with this suite of low cost and low maintenance groundcovers.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Philip Chapman-Bell
Temporary planting scheme improves soil health, prepares your lot for what's next.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Tom Potterfield
This maple tree mix creates beautiful shade, fall color, and offers routes to wealth creation over time.
Photo CC BY CAFNR
A low-maintenance lawn custom tailored for Detroit.
Photo © Ernst Conservation Seeds
A clean, planted edge borders this native meadow—a pollinator-friendly option for every neighborhood.
Photo CC BY 2.0 Liz West
Choose-your-color native meadow with a crisp hedged edge.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Peter Gorman
Very affordable mix of warm and cold season grasses provides habitat and nesting grounds for birds.
Rain garden and living fence provide a soft way to split a lot between neighbors while managing roof runoff.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 Raul654
Native meadow design for lots with clay soils.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Pat Dumas
Lots of Love serves neighborhoods across Detroit from a sweet (former) ice cream truck: a fully outfitted mobile tool library.
Photo © Lots of Love
Easy-to-build side lot rain garden designed with plants commonly available at local shops and national chains.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Pat Dumas
A playful adaptation of the tulip fields found in the Netherlands.
Photo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Illia Frenkel