Especially in a city with the challenges of Detroit, every kid deserves a great place to play and access to fresh food. Here’s a chance to help a Detroit neighborhood at the corner of Seven Mile and Evergreen get a community garden and much more.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and GrowTown, Inc. today kicked off a crowdfunding campaign for It Takes A Village Garden through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

The project will include gardening areas for people to grow organic vegetables, as well as provide the community easier access to fresh produce. The garden will include 30 raised beds for low-income individuals, families and community groups to grow organic vegetables to improve their health, diet and access to fresh food as well as improve household economics through plans for future “market days” that will give the broader local community easier access to fresh organic produce. Excess produce will be contributed to local food pantries or composted, making it a zero waste operation.

The playground improvements will also include several beautification, restoration, educational and recreational features designed by a professional landscape architecture firm. These features include: 

  • A bioswale and rain garden 
  • Butterfly garden
  • Gourd trellis 
  • Meadow maze
  • Island hopping playground
  • Sunflower living room
  • Edible wall
  • Boulder council ring
  • Bean teepee
  • Dwarf orchard
  • Gazebo
  • herb garden, berry patches, flower gardens 
  • A “poetry pergola” 

The poetry pergola is designed for use as a performance space, and will be used by the community and a literary arts organization as part of their writers in residence program serving students in nearby schools.

The garden and other playground improvements are the last phase of a comprehensive neighborhood rehabilitation project near Seven Mile and Evergreen. The project will transform a once blighted apartment complex and underfunded municipal park into a place for the community to gather, be proud, and move forward.

It also will support families and seniors in their move towards improved health and economic independence by creating a unique urban environment where social interaction, food production, natural play, physical activity educational experiences and artistic expression all have a place to flourish.

A little background on how this is coming about. Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. If you’d like a chance to do a campaign like this for your organization, you can apply at

The work of many groups has made this possible, and it’s great to see collaboration in the city. It Takes A Village Garden is a partnership of Renaissance Village Apartments, GrowTown, Inc., area non-profits, City of Detroit Recreation Department, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and resident volunteers and gardeners.

“This is a transformative community development project in Detroit with the potential to attract additional investment and revitalization efforts to the area,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. We are pleased to partner in this campaign and help bring the project’s final phase to fruition.”

If It Takes A Village Garden attains its crowdfunding goal of $27,500 by July 16, MEDC will provide a $27,500 matching grant. If you’d like to pitch in, please visit:

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