The Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) is one of 18 recipients of the first Kresge Innovative Projects. The grants will allow the nonprofit groups to begin work on or plan projects that range from the creation of a new prototype greenhouse in of an abandoned home, to the improvement of parks, to the development of greenways. “With this program, we set out to quickly light up the map of Detroit with the reality of positive change,” says Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. “Nonprofits throughout the city are actively working for its transformation, and we’re proud to be able to stand with them to amplify their energy and understanding of what needs to be done.”
More than 100 proposals were received after the initiative was launched this past October. A total of 11 implementation grants of $100,000 to $150,000 and seven planning grants of $20,000 to $25,000 were announced during a press conference and celebration at Marygrove College in Detroit held Wednesday, April 1st. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, members of the City Council and other city and community leaders attended.
DECC’s project: Beaufait Belt Line Greenway is a 1.5-mile walk- and bike-friendly path that will connect Gleaners Community Food Bank to the Riverwalk at Mt. Elliott Park on the east side of Detroit. The project seeks to transform an overgrown, abandoned rail line and will also serve as a raised-garden “foodway,” connecting Gleaners and Earthworks Farm, two important local sources of healthy food. A planning process will engage residents, businesses and other stakeholders through a series of meetings and outreach activities. Out of those meetings, DECG will complete a conceptual design, operations models, budgets and a fundraising plan. The project is part of a broader greenway vision for the east side of Detroit.