A lot design that has inspired young people to embrace the idea of creating a resilient community and counters the narrative of blight.
$2,500 to $5,500
Bounce Back Detroit installed the 8 Mile Rain Garden, which incorporated a vibrant mix of native and non-native plants on a vacant lot that originally attracted unwanted activity. With community ties dating back nearly 50 years, Bounce Back Detroit installed a lot design that has inspired young people to embrace the idea of creating a resilient community and counters the narrative of blight.
$2,500 to $5,500
03/2016 to 06/2016
Doretha Jones and Raymond Smith
8 Mile Rain Garden
2653 Clements Detroit, MI 48238
Our choice of design was guided by our desire to prevent vehicular traffic from entering the newly vacant lot. The 8 Mile Rain Garden was ideal because it allowed us to take advantage of a nearby rooftop to capture rainwater while providing a natural palisade. We embellished the design with decorative boulders and a "peppermint creek" and re-oriented the design to encourage pedestrian access. Implementing the design began with engaging my neighbors. They were instrumental in reconnecting the downspout and volunteered regularly. After selecting appropriate plant material, I coordinated volunteer work days with material deliveries throughout the construction phase. Major work days involved excavating and creating the hill with a second major volunteer effort for the soil and plant installation. Lastly, I fashioned the artistic elements and regularly watered our Clements Street Reading & Rain Garden, so named because of the mini-library located on the lot.How were community members involved in the process? From the outset, Bounce Back Detroit engaged neighbors and community stakeholders in this project. Images from the DFC Field Guide were shared with neighbors and they offered input on the final lot design. An adjacent neighbor was contracted to repair the gutter and downspout for this project. Other neighbors were the principle volunteers on this project, donating over 200 hours of sweat equity.
Yes, due to the dimensions of our lot we re-oriented the original design 180 degrees. We also added elements to the overall lot design in the form of decorative Michigan fieldstone boulders along the rear perimeter of the lot.
Beautification, Prevent Dumping, Public Art
Bounce Back Detroit has made connections with the Detroit Land Bank Authority to facilitate the purchase of the lot through its Side Lot Program, which helps you acquire an adjacent side lot that is vacant or abandoned.
While I have experience in farming, this was the largest purchase of plant materials I've ever undertaken. I have learned much about the varieties of grasses and ground covers available in Michigan. I also feel that the volunteers gained an invaluable experience exposing them to a form of blue-green infrastructure.
Bounce Back Detroit and the neighbors on Clements are extremely proud of the Rain garden. It has brought tremendously positive attention to the block and will be a platform for continued community improvements.
Bounce Back Detroit is proud to have been selected by DFC for the Working with Lots mini-grant program. This has given our organization publicity and notoriety, which is helping us to attract new funding opportunities.
We had initial difficulties with the internal bookkeeping processes of our fiduciary. This resulted in delays for a couple of deliveries. After working out a timeline with clearer expectations, we adapted and successfully completed the project.
Bounce Back Detroit will continue to work with neighbors to regularly water and weed the Clements Street Reading and Rain Garden utilizing household spigots and rainwater collected.