Stumped Over How to Create a Community Gathering Space? [VIDEO, MAP]

On the city’s east side, near the intersection of I-94 and Cadieux Road, the Yorkshire Woods Community Organization led the transformation of some vacant lots in the neighborhood.

Watch the video below to see what the Yorkshire Woods group — along with some other local organizations — did to create a peaceful, colorful, useful place from what was an overgrown, vacant lot.

VIDEO:  Growing Community by Clearing Trees


WDET’s Laura Herberg interviewed Yorkshire Woods Community Organization President Mose Primus about the Four Angels Community Garden. Here’s the transcript of that conversation:

LH:  What’s the story behind this space?

MP:  We, the organization, purchased six lots through the Detroit Land Bank Authority. And now we have a garden with 10 beds, three raised beds, and we built a stage this year and we put up a fence.  We are all just concerned neighbors that want to see a positive change. We all stick together and we make it happen.

LH:  Tell me what it used to look like here?

MP:  A jungle. We was able to cut down some trees so, with my intelligent thinking I said, “Well, I can make these stumps and benches.” As you can see we painted them. The kids did the majority of the work, even though we did have adults with us. And now it’s art. It’s art in the neighborhood. Something different. People come by, they stop and they slow down and they look.

LH: What motivated you to do this project?

MP: Long story short, I told my mother I was going to do a fish pond and a waterfall in my yard. And she said, “No, you need the garden so you can feed yourself.”

I had the opportunity to do this. It’s a memorial to my mother because every time I come over here, that’s who I think about. I can look to the heavens and say, “Mom, we got the garden.” That’s why it’s flourishing so. I feel it’s a blessing to all of us that put our hands in the dirt.

LH: What’s the story behind the name “Four Angels Community Garden”?

MP: When we first started cleaning up these lots we found four angel figurines in the vacant lot. One was a little female angle, one was a little baby angel, one had wings and one was walking with a little lamb. And I just thought they were so remarkable. There was a reason that we found them. So that’s when we adopted the name “Four Angels Community Garden.”


Yorkshire Woods neighborhood

LH: Where exactly is the garden and your neighborhood located?

MP: The garden is at 9745 Kensington Ave., Detroit. The Yorkshire Woods neighborhood is bordered by Kelly Road to I-94 freeway and Whitter to Morang roads.

LH: Any upcoming events scheduled here?

MP: We have our third annual Harvest Fest coming up on at 1pm on Saturday, October 1, 2017 here at 9745 Kensington Ave., Detroit. It will feature a hip-hop concert along with pumpkins from a local farm for the kids. 


Editor’s Note: In the video posted on this page, we unfortunately misspelled Damon Damphie’s name in the captions.

Image credit: WDET/Laura Herberg

Aired on: CultureShift

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



This post is a part of How's Detroit Doing?.

With voices, data, news, and experiences, WDET is answering the question "How's Detroit Doing?" Find a collection of responses at If you have a question about how Detroit's doing, ask it here.

Support for WDET's work with The Detroit Journalism Cooperative comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

Follow @HerbergRadio

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