A lot design to contribute to the holistic revitalization of the 48214 community.
Volunteer + Professional
5/2017 - 9/2017
Volunteer + Professional
Contractors and community members
7906 Mack Ave, Detroit MI 48214
First, we had community planning events to identify what elements neighbors and community stakeholders wanted to see most on Mack Avenue. After the initial planning meetings, we worked with landscape architects to design a space that drew on what we heard. In Phase 1 we regraded the former parking lot and built raised garden beds. In Phase 2 we plan to build out the play area, install outdoor furniture, and build a community stage.
Yes, because of the size of the lot and its placement between two buildings on a commercial corridor, we adapted the design based on what was practical for the site and the feedback we received from community members. We originally wanted to install the Friendly Fence Lot Design, but after relocating the design from the middle of the lot to the edge of the lot and changing the recommended plantings, the design transformed into the Urban Edge Lot Design. We customized the design because we wanted to create a central space for programming and gathering in the middle of the lot.
Beautification, park activation
We didn't acquire the land, but we worked closely with the owner (Mt. Zion Community Church) of the lot to gain permission to use it.
Some of us had never gardened before, we learned a lot about the many variations of plant types, like the difference between annuals and perennials. I also learned about garden maintenance, the importance of the soil we use, and the major role mulch plays in holding moisture and heat for the plants.
We invited community members into the planning and planting process and hope to use the story of the perseverance to teach them, specifically the youth, about how to create change in our community.
Apart from being awarded the DFC Mini-Grant, we worked with Pitch for Detroit to build a performance stage.
We learned that sometimes you need an experienced contractor, who has done garden installations before, to help see a project through to the end.
Our plan for the lot was big, and initially we planned to use other grants alongside the DFC Mini-Grant to make our plans happen in one big swoop. But, once the other funding fell through we had to adapt to a phased approached. This new approach allows us to have further conversations and adapt out original plans to what the community wants, in real time; it is an ever-adapting project.
We plan to put in a water catchment system and enlist more volunteers to adopt the garden as if it were their own. MACC staff will always be involved in the lot's maintenance and plans to continue to work in partnership with D&D Storage (the adjacent building owners) to ensure the lot is well maintained.