New community garden, farmers market planned for Detroit's east side

Posted on July 27, 2016

A new community garden and farmers market could be coming to Detroit’s east side through a new crowdfunding campaign launched Monday by Wolverine Human Services.

Through the crowdfunding platform Patronicity, a $50,000 campaign has been created to raise money through Sept. 22 to build East Side Community Garden and Farmers Market, a mixed-used site including a marketplace and learning spaces to promote healthy eating and lifestyles. Additionally, if the $50,000 goal is met, a matching grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan State Housing Development Authority will be awarded to the group, bringing the total funding to $100,000.

According to the project fundraising page, the site will cultivated by residents surrounding the John S. Vitale Community Center, which has also been an institution in the Jefferson-Mack neighborhood for almost 30 years. The plan is to reverse deterioration of the neighborhood as residents have left the area and businesses have closed.

East Side Community Garden and Farmers Market will offer a community garden with raised beds and paved pathways in a garden of herbs and vegetables, a mixed-use structure for a market retail space, a classroom to train people in gardening and a well-lit site so members can work and feel safe in the area.

“We are pleased to partner with a long-standing neighborhood organization in this effort to revitalize a cohesive community in Detroit’s east side,” MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki said in a news release. “The Public Spaces, Community Places program allows for the transformation of vacant spaces into productive multi-use shared facilities that promote economic and social growth.”

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The crowdfunding project aims to raise $50,000 to build a community garden and training site that will be cultivated by the residents of the streets surrounding the Wolverine Center and the John S Vitale Community Center on Detroit’s east side.