With the chaos, fear, and division lines strong in the world, you may be wondering, where is the light? Green spaces in Detroit should provide seeds of inspiration and hope globally. Communities thrive on reinventing the old. Urban environmentalism is possible by tuning into the history of a city and listening to its growing people.
Trees are a life force that is unfortunately constantly losing out to city life and human destruction. Click HERE to learn more and donate to The Greening of Detroit, a green infrastructure program protecting urban forests!
Many projects in & around Detroit are concrete in their efforts to add more green to the city, which includes neighborhoods and suburban lands. Take a look at these 5 green spaces in Detroit to see how the city is reshaping.
ELLA FITZGERALD PARK
Ella Fitzgerald Park is a project in the Fitzgerald community, which is one of 10 key neighborhoods where the planning department has focused on housing, park, and economic development investment. With high levels of bankruptcies and foreclosures, many remaining homeowners in the neighborhood can’t sell their homes. A much-needed change was brought on by the new community park and greenway designed by landscape architecture firm Spackman, Mossop, and Michaels. Ella Fitzgerald Park is a safe place for children to play rather than gentrifying the city.
FORGOTTEN HARVEST’S NEW FACILITY
Green spaces are making changes to meet the community’s needs whether it’s for play or a necessary part of survival. Forgotten Harvest serves Southeast Michigan and is one of the nation’s premier food rescue organizations. You can expect huge changes in 2022. Through their “Solutions That Nourish Campaign,” they’re consolidating their locations and moving into one new facility, Oak Park, the epicenter of operations. 2.5 times the size of their current headquarters, the innovative food distribution, and volunteer center is reshaping its system to include a touchpoint from donation pick-up to delivery. Soon, they plan to be able to deliver a curated and equitable mix of everything they get on a daily basis to everyone.
THE JOE LOUIS GREENWAY
Green spaces in Detroit involve projects that transform a once segregated city. The Joe Louis Greenway, named after the famous athlete, spans 27.5-miles from downtown Detroit to Dearborn, once a segregated Black city. Visions are coming to life in this inclusive design that restores the green. Black History Month in Detroit continues to be a reminder of the redlining that had the most destructive impact in Detroit and surrounding communities using green amenities to undo part of the damage. This project is focused on transforming the red areas on the redlining maps into productive, innovative, and ecological areas. Planning and design efforts with SmithGroup again are rooted in community engagement and desires. Strategic green spaces are in good hands as long as they reverse the past.
The Green Garage in Detroit is a shared workspace for socially and environmentally conscious small businesses and nonprofits, as well as a demonstration center for sustainability principles in an urban setting. They’re a triple bottom line business, meaning that they make decisions based on three main considerations: environmental stewardship, community wellbeing, and economic resilience. Small businesses in Detroit receive support from a truly tight-knit group of innovative individuals. Environmental, economic, and community impact are the focal point of every decision they make. Click HERE for more info. Located at 4444 Second Ave. Detroit, MI 48201.
Green spaces in Detroit are pretty well-known because they attract so many visitors. Dequindre Cut in Detroit has been supported by the community in its 2-mile-long greenway transformation. The planning and design work by SmithGroup on the greenway corridor has led to positive economic impact, including growing nearby entrepreneurship and visitor engagement. Local graffiti artists and their work have also found a home here in the expansiveness. The good news is more canvases have been created for even more sightseeing along the way! Historic preservation meets the talents of the streets. A place once forgotten has seen the power of embracing instead of displacing green spaces in Detroit.
As always, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on all things Detroit and more.