BENEFITING: THE GREENING OF DETROIT
ORGANIZER: THE GREENING OF DETROIT
EVENT DATE: May 18, 2016
GREENING OF DETROIT wrote -
Funding from the Art Van Charity Challenge will renew and improve the The Greening of Detroit's Children’s Garden at Lafayette Greens, installing themed garden beds that will engage children of all ages in an educational, experiential, sensory and complex exploration of nature. The goal of the Children’s Garden is to offer an outdoor learning environment where children can see, hear, smell, touch and taste their surroundings, while also providing opportunities to promote healthy eating.
Lafayette Greens, a .75-acre site located in the heart of downtown Detroit. Lafayette Greens features 35 raised beds, fruit trees, a demonstration garden, park benches and art space.
The Children’s Garden at Lafayette Greens will feature whimsical beds that include:
- The Color Wheel and Grasslands beds, to provide visual appeal with flowers and grasses that range in hue from red, blue, gold, pink and more.
- Sunflowers varieties spanning from the dwarf Big Smile to the giant Sunzilla will offer varying heights, forms and bloom times.
- The Nectar Café to attract birds, butterflies and buzzing bees that stimulate the sense of hearing.
- The (Plant) Petting Zoo, which will be filled with touchable plants with kid-friendly names like the Elephant Ear, Woolly Thyme, Bunny Tails and Panda Toes.
- The Good Scents Herb garden, where children can come in contact with aromatic plants such as spearmint, lemon verbena, curry, rosemary, garlic chives, and even catnip.
- In the Salad Bar bed, children will be encouraged to eat right from the garden, tasting lettuces, cucumber, dinosaur kale, cherry tomatoes, radishes, sugar snap peas. Strawberries and blackberries throughout the garden will sweeten the experience.
The renewed Children’s Garden will be open to the public, and will also be available as a destination for school field trips and educational exploration. Classrooms will have the opportunity to help with the planting and maintenance of the site.
A variety of activities will also take place throughout the season to attract schools, children and families to this site like a Fun Food Station that makes healthy food dishes in the shapes of popular and creative characters (butterflies, cookie monster, etc..) and a children’s art show, play and family puppetry.
In addition to the Children’s Garden, Lafayette Greens also offers ongoing programming to engage the community to actively use the space, including a weekly farmers market, yoga, tai chi, cooking demonstrations, and social events.
THE GREENING OF DETROIT MISSION: TO INSPIRE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH OF A HEALTHY URBAN COMMUNITY...
through trees, green spaces, food, education, training and job opportunities.
For 27 years, The Greening has shown how the environment can play a crucial role in the city’s revitalization, from economic development to job creation, and from feeding the hungry to creating sustainable neighborhoods.
We engage residents, volunteers and community partners in the collaborative effort to reforest city neighborhoods and grow a healthy tree canopy. Last year alone, 4,883 trees were planted with the help of 6,064 individuals who shoveled 24,256 hours of sweat equity into Detroit. As we work to restore the urban forest, we are also creating green spaces in blighted areas that become meaningful community resources. Our successful workforce development program gives Detroiters another opportunity to participate in the city’s revitalization. We’ve provided valuable training for hundreds of unemployed residents who have built core skills that allow them to access to green sector jobs, and a new program expansion will result in 2,500 Detroiters trained over the next five years.
We’ve helped to foster Detroit’s next generation of environmental stewards for two decades, including pre-school children who attend Camp Greening summer programs; elementary school students who learn about scientific investigation at Rouge Park; and teens who work in the Green Corps employment program.
And, The Greening is working to engage Detroit residents in the local food movement through programs that are expanding opportunities for the city’s gardeners, creating pathways that increase residents’ access to fresh produce, and promoting better nutrition for Detroiters of all ages.
The Greening also manages three farms in the city that produce food while offering exceptional opportunities to model good growing practices, engage volunteers, and gain support for urban farming.