Detroit Evening Report: April 7, 2022: Scattering community gardens on Detroit’s lower eastside could help community, report says

Students assess an urban agricultural site on Detroit's lower eastside. Photo credit: Dave Brenner/University of Michigan, from Newell et al. in the journal Cities, 2022.


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Community and private gardens account for less than 1 percent of the vacant land on Detroit’s lower eastside. That’s according to a new analysis by the University of Michigan. Despite the amount of vacant land and the city’s image as a hub of urban agriculture, the relatively low level of private and community gardens on the lower east side is surprising, according to the study’s lead author Joshua Newell (new-wool). Detroit’s lower eastside has one of the city’s highest vacancy levels. To maximize benefits such as better access to fresh food and reduced stormwater runoff, the study recommends scattering future gardens instead of clustering them in a few places. The study says that would counter gentrification effects when green space is expanded. The city’s lower eastside borders the Detroit River and includes the Indian Village, Jefferson Chalmers and East Village neighborhoods. Some Lower Eastside residents say they plant gardens primarily for social benefits such as building community and reducing blight, rather than for food production.

Other headlines for April 7, 2022:

  • Some Detroiters who were initially hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine received first dose  by end of 2021
  • Detroit City Council OKs recreational marijuana license ordinance
  • Detroit parents encouraged to file taxes to claim Child Tax Credit
  • Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes the first Black female justice to be confirmed for the Supreme Court

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  • Dorothy Hernandez
    Dorothy Hernandez is Digital Editor for 101.9 WDET, creating digital editorial content. Her love of radio began when she had a radio show in college when she and her roommate played '80s music in the middle of the night.