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Recovery Park goal includes indoor urban ag, horse stables, neighborhood employment

Gary Wozniak sees himself as a food systems developer and a job creator. And no, he's not running for president but rather looking to redevelop a 3-square-mile area on Detroit's East Side into self-sustaining farms with their own production and distribution systems. Ambitious enough, we think.

An excerpt from The Hub:

Recovery Park started as leaders from SHAR (Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation) were looking to create jobs for people with barriers to employment. Looking at the talent pool and the physical resources Detroit abundantly has--land, road infrastructure, access to fresh water--the natural conclusion was urban farming and food system development.

The difference between Recovery Park and other urban farming/ urban redevelopment programs is in both size and scale. While most community farming produces few jobs that are often dependent on grant funding, Recovery Park’s model aims toward something more self-sustainable.

"We’re taking a look more at commercial indoor agriculture so that the jobs are year round," Wozniak says. "We can get three, maybe four, growing seasons working indoors."

Intriguing stuff, yes? Read more here.

MSU invests $1.5 million in Detroit farming project

It's nice to see Detroit going green. Yes, we're talking about the accelerating urban agriculture scene, but we're also cool with the increased presence by Michigan State University in the city. Sparty and Detroit are collaborating on a massive $1.5 million farming project.

An exerpt from HuffPost Detroit:

As the earth's population continues to concentrate in cities and resources become more scarce, the university believes that the world will become increasingly dependent on urban farming to meet its food needs.

"By 2050, food production will need to double -- using less water and energy than today," MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a release. "We see great opportunity to do good locally and connect globally."

More here.

NYT gets a glimpse of Midtown's Green Garage

We know that the Green Garage is a different kind of incubator, as the New York Times headline writer says. But we like this bit even more.

An excerpt:

(Tom) Brennan says he believes that traditional incubator and accelerator programs extrude entrepreneurs through a mechanized, one-size-fits-all process, sometimes spurring founders to charge ahead without first finding clarity on what they want to do, or why. Instead of focusing on acceleration, he’s working to build a start-up culture that’s a rough analogue of the slow-food movement: intimate, deliberate, unhurried. It’s an organic approach he knows won’t be for everyone.

Read on here.

Mode Shift links renderings of expanded D-Cut and Midtown Loop

Some of the best news we heard all last week was about the extention of the Dequindre Cut, from Gratiot to Mack Avenue, and the creation of the Midtown Loop, which will take the trail through the heart of Wayne State University and Brush Park. Also in the plans: a connector that will link Eastern Market with Hamtramck.

Pictures tell even a better story. Take a look at these accessed from the Mode Shift Move Together site.

Hamtown Farms to bear rare fruit trees

We've been following the progress of this Hamtramck tree planting project for the past month or so, and we're happy to see that the ground-breaking of Hamtown Farms was a success. Check out this excerpt: 

Dozens of hands dug, pulled, rolled, shoveled and tamped the rock-hard earth in the hopes of eventually harvesting a pawpaw orchard, hazelnut bushes and vegetables near the flowers and open space of Michigan’s most densely packed city.

Wow, love that description, by Detroit Free Press staff writer Megha Satyanarayana. And the picture of cool Mayor Karen Majewski, ready to dig in. Read more here.

Freep: Options for Detroit Works includes "green residential"

Yes, we know Detroit Works planning and discussion has been underwhelming at times. But we still believe the only solution to addressing a shrinking population within a 140-square mile area is smart decision-making about how to use land rapidly "going back to nature." 

First read this excerpt from a piece by the very busy John Gallagher and then get on with the rest of the story.

What the Detroit Works planners call building blocks and other planners have called neighborhood types include districts devoted mostly to retail or industry, districts with a mix of homes and urban farms, and districts devoted to a blue-green landscape used for storm-water retention or natural wetlands.

We can't hide our love for the concept of "green residential," by the way. Read about that and more here.

Detroit, bike city: HuffPost's cycling series shifts into extra gear

In case you're missing HuffPost Detroit's ongoing series on cycling culture in Detroit, no doubt because you're out riding in the city, don't give it a second thought. There is a lot to dig into and get inspired about.

Like his story about Sarah Sidelko, who founded a bicycle program called Fender Bender, for women and the LGBTQ community.

An excerpt: She's now in the first stages of creating a bicycle lending library for Detroit, fixing up donated, used bikes one at a time. She has 14 finished, with a plan to have 10 to 15 more restored by June for a first, trial fleet.
 
Check out all of the stories here.

Scripps Park expanding sensory garden experience

We have always been fond of this park, at the triangular corner of Trumbull, Grand River and Martin L. King Blvd, the gateway to Woodbridge.

This piece in HuffPost Detroit comes just in time for the planting season. An excerpt:

Last summer, a number of community groups working with the adjacent Detroit Public Library Douglass Branch planted a "sensory garden" in a small gravel bed they constructed at the park -- a project they plan to expand this spring.

When the additions are completed, the garden will feature a variety of sense-evocative plants, including black-eyed Susans for color, lavender for its smell, whirling butterflies for their movement, lamb's ears for their soft texture and nasturtiums for their taste.

Read on here.

Plant your vote for Hamtown Farms in Communities Take Root project

We chanced upon this little gem when cruising the interwebs the other night. It's all about green space, public space and density--all near and dear to our hearts.

Best of all it's about a project called Hamtown Farms, which is competing with other worthy projects as part of the nonprofit Communities Take Root program, which aims to plant fruit-bearing trees in parks and low-income neighborhoods.

If you like what looks like a cool reuse of long vacant land on the south end of Hamtramck, vote for Hamtown Farms here.

MSU proposing massive urban agriculture research project

This project fills the brim with possibilities. The opportunity for Detroit to become the "capital of the experimental" has long been in the forefront of our vision statement. We would heartily welcome Michigan State University, in this case, to put its resources into 100 acres of Detroit land for urban ag research that could match any on a global scale. And of course, we insist it be done inclusively with participation of local groups already working on the fertile ground.

A few tantalizing highlights in this excerpt from the Detroit Free Press: 

• Research efforts would include "vertical agriculture," in which food is grown inside multi-story buildings, and innovative ways to produce energy and conserve water in food production.

• If implemented, Detroit would become the key research city in a network that includes Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and others. 

• Detroit "could be the research and innovation engine" for urban agriculture around the world. The other cities "look at Detroit as the place where many of the answers will come from."

Read more in the Freep here. With additional "big-ass farm" perspective from Curbed Detroit.

Midtown garage opens its fabulous house of green

For all of you who have marveled at the transformation of a historic Midtown automotive facility to a cutting edge model for sustainability and all things green, here's your chance to see up close and personal.

The Green Garage has an open house this Thursday, March 29, 3-8 p.m. And you're invited! Go here for details.

OCD hackerspace gets some love from Detroit Yes!, Metro Times

We've been fans of OmniCorpDetroit before the Eastern Market hackerspace even had a name or a permanent space. We've seen some of the crazy-good work produced there for the annual Maker Faire. And have even been impressed with stuff that never made it out the door. That's how good these creative people are.

Check out this nice spread in Detroit Yes! here. And in the Metro Times here.

Corktown innovators get 'buzzed' on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe'

The top of our Monday morning is given a rousing head start whenever Detroit doers get their due in the national media. This time during a caffeinated discussion on how innovation is changing the social landscape and putting juice into the economy in Michigan and Ohio. With a special focus on what's happening in Corktown, around the intersection of Michigan and 14th St. and beyond.

We've got video. Watch it here.

Eastern Market reinventing itself with more than food

The Detroit News reports: "A $3.9 million upgrade has begun of Eastern Market's Shed 5, which is the heart of the market's plant and flower business. The upgrades will include a commercial-grade kitchen aimed at upstart local food producers.

"Among the entrants in the farmer's market area are a self-described hacker space, a letterpress storefront and an art gallery. Plans are under way to build a community kitchen aimed at small-scale food entrepreneurs, and construction of a 40,000-square-foot fish farm inside a former city sewage facility may begin soon."

More, we say, more, more, more. Read the rest of the article here.

'9 Businesses' highlights indie Detroit entrepreneurship

Screened last week at Eastern Market's Signal Return, the short film 9 Businesses aims to give a taste of how small business energy can help catalyze, revitalize and inspire neighborhood life.

Need some inspiration? Watch this.
105 Green Articles | Page: | Show All
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