Detroit is positioning itself as a worldwide center for urban innovation as thousands of lots and vacant spaces in the city are being repurposed — some as parks and recreational spaces, others for agricultural production — and some are even being reforested with healthy trees. Community and urban gardens continue to sprout in schoolyards, parks and on city corners and private lots, providing a unique inner-city network for farm-to-table healthy foods. Working together, all of these managed green spaces are improving the community’s social, economic and environmental health.
- The city of Detroit is teamed up with the nonprofit Greening of Detroit to plant tens of thousands of trees and clean up target districts in Detroit. Each year, Greening Detroit recruits up to 5,000 volunteers to help plant, clean and work farm and gardens.
- D-Town Farm covers seven acres in the city of Detroit’s Rouge Park. More than 30 different crops are grown on the farm, with produce sold to local restaurants and residents June through October.
- Green Garage is an incubator and business hub encouraging and supporting startups that are environmentally friendly and socially conscious. nearly 50 businesses are housed in Green Garage’s renovated warehouse that uses almost zero energy.
- FoodLab is a diverse group of locally owned food businesses — caterers, bakers, picklers, distributors, corner stores, cafes — that are taking active steps together toward a more green food economy in Detroit.
- Eastern Market completed a $8.5 million renovation of its Shed 5 in 2015, which includes a new food incubator and rentable test kitchen so wanna-be chefs and restauranteurs can transform the market’s local produce into culinary creations on-site. Eastern Market is also home to the 2.5-acre Detroit Market garden, which supports farm apprentice programs, and provides produce to local restaurants and food banks.
- Lafayette Greens is a raised-bed organic garden located in the heart of downtown Detroit that has an heirloom apple orchard, flowers and a variety of produce.