Urban Orchard in East Detroit Trying to Be a Good Neighbor

When Wolverine Human Services bought 11 acres of East Detroit planning to remove abandoned houses for a U-Pick Orchard, neighbors protested. Now they've pivoted and aim to provide a resource to the community rather than run an agro-business.
May 17, 2017, 2pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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East Detroit has lost many people. About a third of the homes, many of which were built in the 1960s, are empty. So resident, Glen Jones, had long hoped that someone would build a house or a business in the vacant lots near his home. "When he and other residents saw renderings of an 11-acre redevelopment project that would instead convert the vacant land into one of the city’s first large-scale U-pick orchards featuring the Michigan apple, they balked," Serena Maria Daniels writes in Next City.

Wolverine Human Services, who had bought the land, looked to make something more consistent with their neighbors’ wishes; including shrinking the orchard down to a half acre, and providing employment opportunities for people in the neighborhood. "Planting is pending approval from the city to rezone the area for farm use, which Wolverine expects later this month," Daniels reports.

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Published on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 in Next City
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