Saluting the long-term residents of Seyburn, area veterans, and law enforcement/first responders
Volunteer + Professional
Jacqueline Perkins installed a lot design that is providing a fragrant, family friendly, social space for neighbors to memorialize and honor veterans and longtime community members. Jacqueline hopes to help stabilize the community by adding charm on the block.
Jacqueline Perkins, Great Communities Now!
5/2016 - 7/2016
Volunteer + Professional
Detroit Youth Connection, neighborhood members, U of M Day of Service participants, members of Great Communities Now!, Blight Boot Camp participants, Chris Brooks, Life Remodeled
3747 Seyburn Detroit. MI 48214
We did the Paisley Patch with Modifications which is an Honor and Memorial Garden saluting the long-term residents of Seyburn, area veterans, and law enforcement/first responders. We broke our project up in phases:
May-June: Site/Lot Prep which included debris removal and excavation.
June – July: Garden planting and installing the lot design which also included event planning for our celebration and programing.
July: Final additions. This included installing the honor/memorial plaque, adding our flowering pots and furniture, celebration events.
How were community members involved in the process?
Community members helped with the lot prepping and planting supports. They also helped pass out flyers to other residents, identified people who should be on the plaque, and attended the dedication. They were also very supportive of the garden and gave lots of positive feedback as the garden progressed. People from other areas also came to look at the garden.
Yes, we added trees, a garden path, an honor/memorial circle, and a wooden plaque.
Beautification, Public Open Space
Already owned the lot.
Learned lots of things about community organizations and what they provide, i.e. Detroit Farm & Garden, Keep Growing Detroit, Greening of Detroit. Learned what heavy-duty equipment is required to remove over- sized debris and learned how to prep the site for planting.
Need support way in advance and efforts should begin early. Very surprised how hard it was to get engagement from businesses and other organizations. Perhaps grantors can communicate to area businesses about the project, asking them to support the initiatives of the grantees.
We were awarded funds from the Working with Lots mini-grant. I would recommend starting your fundraising efforts far in advance and have an idea of who to target and to have fundraising goals already established.
The soil and planting process proved to be very challenging. The ground was very hard and primarily composed of clay, bricks, concrete, and other debris. We could not clear the lot with shovels and adding water to the clay to break it up only made it more difficult to work with. We ended up needing to excavate the lot 8" before any work could be done.
We rented excavation equipment without initially knowing if it would be needed. We originally planned to share equipment with another grantee, but coordinating was a bit difficult so we ended up hiring Greening of Detroit to excavate, which was another expense that wasn’t included in our budget. It costs is $300 extra dollars.
The biggest challenge we faced was being able to keep up with the budget. In our case, we were working with a fiduciary who required spending our own funds on the front end to be reimbursed. Once the project was underway, we found it very difficult to juggle interfacing with ordering/spending/fiduciary. Obtaining our reimbursement, was a huge challenge in the end. Because obtaining the reimbursement required extra forms be completed, it took us additional months to received our money back. Perhaps in the future, DFC could establish a uniform process for all fiduciaries to follow.
We will continue to add additional plants and maybe some shrubs or flowering bushes a little at a time. Also, we will add additional fencing, compost and mulch each year as well as cultivate the land to reduce weed growth. Aside from that, we will work hard at remove unwanted brush to create a cleaner and more refined garden. Finally, we are going to focus our future effort on creating a community- driven maintenance plan.