The SHAR Foundation‘s job-creating urban farming project planned for Detroit has received a $1 million grant from the Fred A. & Barbara Erb Family Foundation.
The multimillion-dollar project, dubbed RecoveryPark, also includes aquaculture systems planned to help redevelop the community.
Those, along with aspects of urban farming, attracted the Erb foundation grant, made to help leverage other gifts and grants for the $200 million project, the foundation said in a release.
The foundation views the grant “as seed capital to accelerate a viable land use strategy to improve water quality while meeting social needs and producing economic benefit,” President John Erb said in a release.
“Detroit needs bold efforts that are sensitive to this triple bottom line, and we believe this project is a great demonstration.”
As planned, RecoveryPark is a 10-year community redevelopment project targeted for the east side of Detroit. It will include educational programs, food systems, aquaculture and commercial and housing development. The goal is to create jobs for the area’s residents and clients of SHAR’s Detroit-based affiliate, Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation Inc.
The Erb grant follows two others totaling $125,000 from the foundation for planning and development of the 2,000-acre project.
RecoveryPark is currently negotiating with the city of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools officials to secure property for an initial, 22-acre farming site as part of a year-round growing system.
The year-round farm and launch of the region’s first large-scale indoor fish farm in Eastern Market mark the initial phase of the larger RecoveryPark project, said SHAR Foundation’s chief development officer, Gary Wozniak.
Wozniak is leading efforts to raise $15 million to support the launch and operation of the year-round farm and fish farm for the first four years.
Sherri Welch, Crain’s Detroit