Skip to content

Green Task Force Minutes For October 15th, 2015

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Michigan State University Detroit Center

3408 Woodward Ave.

Detroit MI 48201

3:30 – Welcome

Vacant Lot Repurposing – Dara O’Byrne -Deputy Director, Land Use and Policy, Detroit Future City

Field Guide to Working With Lots – Contributions from Over 50 businesses and organizations

Tool to work with identifying the lot and partners to create and design your space

and helps to determine what resources are available to you.

Mission: To create diverse landscapes within the community.

23.4 miles of vacant land in Detroit – lots of opportunities – ‘What can we do with this space?’

More and more conditions with newly created space as well.

(Shows slides)

Online and printed material creates the field guide

Field Days and bootcamps held to help to shape the information:  Taught how to do assessments and measuring; what does Green Infrastructure mean?

One sheet was created, 34 individual detailed site design recommendations are available in printed format

Online information on the includes national information as well.

Q. What size are estimated costs on the site area for?

A. Each project not estimated to more than 3 lots.

This is where people are living or getting land bank property next door.

Assumption is that you own and care for the property being designed.

Particular information is available as .pdfs on the site as well

Details include:

  • Processes –
  • What are your resources – time, maintenance, other impacts of the site
  • Beginner or Expert landscaping
  • Estimated cost
  • What you may need to create your ideal site
  • Step by step how on how to implement each piece of the design.
  • (Most are not food based)
  • Available as ‘do it yourself’ or as ‘contractor’ versions
  • How to garner support
  • Inventory your lot
  • How to measure
  • Identifying your soil
  • How to water
  • Planting options and soil aids like worms
  • Indications of existing conditions; example – was there a basement there before?

The details were worked out with contractors and landscapers to determine what the needs, (like soil), would be and where to get the resources needed.

‘Great Planting Day’ was created in Osborn

The goals for the Field Guide –

  • Strengthen awareness and understanding of the tool itself
  • Equip partners with the tools they need
  • Develop partnerships and acquire further resources
  • Document and communicate implementations
  • Achieve diversity of landscape
  • Develop effective method for feedback – website and storytelling, phone number and web contact

Q.Is this mostly beautification?

A. Also includes habitat, social additions, storm water resourcing and areas for gathering, but not necessarily playground or specific to how the gathering is done

Search implementation on site allows you to look through and find the designs that have what specifics you are looking for.

Q. Any consideration for capacity building to work up to this?

  1. Talking about that for the mini grant process – is this for individuals or coalitions that help someone do it. Book will help identify where the partners will be found. It is focused on process.

We realize this is ongoing work; we are interested in learning from the feedback and experiences.

Q. Can funding be for privately owned projects?

  1. Funding mechanism is unknown right now – uncertain if we can grant to an individual – Fiduciary may be needed for this.
  2. Even though volunteers and community organizations may help, the lot can be owned and maintained by an individual.

Precedent came for a number of cities such as Cleveland and Baltimore

Food Waste Composting Systems – Renee Wallace – Food Plus Detroit

Opportunities working toward reducing food waste and loss

  1. Introduce project initiative
  2. How it can be linked to a state initiative

Coalition to focus on food systems projects – actionable activity using collaboration that can bring diverse people together to use the energy to learn while we do the implementing. Helps increase the connectiveness.

Brought together people to talk about food safety, the impacts and connections as well as the systems.

Composting – create small community based compost groups to enhance food production and soil quality. Some operations are now there for community gardens, but often compost is brought in.

Compost Operators are involved as well as educators, scientists, sustainable management experts, also McDonalds whose Executive Director for sustainability is a native Detroiter. Piloted coffee grounds re-use system in other states and developing one here.

Forgotten Harvest has developed a program for compostable food.

Looking for companies to sort waste, haul it, compostable packaging

Q. What would the system of the composting look like from a personal perspective?

  1. Biggest input will come from larger facilities, but there should be a way to create a system for residential waste as well. The majority of the people involved would like a community based system.

Q. Is the mission for city-wide systems?

  1. Yes, we are looking for ways to create

Q. Does the city have ordinances and rules in place?

  1. No. We are in the process of doing site visits to allow us to continue
  2. Michigan organics council involved; newly created task force was formed  to determine best measures.

Federal Gov. EPA Food Recovery Challenge – Reduce food wast by 50% by 2030

Tools have been created to determine best measures, strategy and goals.

Be an enforcer and promoter to let people know about it, or be a participant to help implement

Recycle by Design Team Challenge – created by state to make their goal – Increase residential recycling to increase from 15% to 30%

Team gets 20,000 in the first round to research and strengthen concept, next round gets 3,000 to create next steps for implementation.

Great opportunity to leverage the resources out there to move forward in the efforts of the initiatives.

Invites everyone to consider ideas on how to move forward in these

Q. Is Detroit Dirt Involved

  1. On a state level, but I haven’t seen her personally at the table of these meetings.

Her operation is already registered with the state on manure and other areas. This may be a different scale, but is unsure of what is happening for her company right now.

Discussion of Transportation challenges as well as the blend, ease of encouragement and how other cities have done this with the population like Seattle and Toronto. Looking at Seattle, Berkley, locally.

Chicago has workshops

Two levels of operations – training for households and community gardens

Training for larger scale will be our training.

Q. What can you tell us about conversations with Food Labs and Eastern Market?

A. Talking to FL, looking at engagement and variety and what we can handle, operational determinations

Q. Is there anyone in the city that works with farmers to feed the animals with edible garbage?

  1. It would be smaller here due to the presence of  livestock being small within the area.

Subcommittee updates:

World Heritage Site:


An additional contact who has given standing invitation to Houston their site visit for newest world heritage site of Diablo. e

Fundraising event opportunity – Riverfront conservancy meeting for Walking Tour and Storytelling for the River and Bike Route

Belle Isle conservancy celebration during the summer

Good of the Order

October 20 Community Recycling Workshop at Don Bosco Hall, 19321

Blue Green Infrastructure Meeting next Tuesday at Nature Conservancy

Shiver on the River  November 6th coming to Belle Isle Casino; Organizations invited to exhibit.

All buildings will be open that day that not normally opened to the public.

Detroit Future City Event At DIA October 29

Detroit Food Policy Council Public Invitation next Wednesday at Eastern Market

Jeffrey Nolish suggested that with the Woodward Avenue Action Association’s recent passage of their complete streets plan, it might be worthwhile to invite them to speak about it’s Detroit portion.

November 19th next meeting

Close at 4:56

Proudly Powered By:
World Web Wizards