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Vacant Lots Get New Life with Detroit Future City Mini-Grants

If you've wondered what an empty lot in your neighborhood could be used for, there could be a group of like-minded citizens planning a youth program or a gathering space on that very spot.

Fifteen grassroots organizations from around Detroit received a share of $65,000 in mini-grants from Detroit Future City (DFC) to transform vacant lots. This is part of DFC's Field Guide to Working with Lots, designed to provide actionable guidance for reinvigorating empty lots in neighborhoods.

"We believe the mini grant program is a powerful next step in activating the DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots," said Anika Goss-Foster, DFC Implementation Office Executive Director. "In October of last year, we developed this tool for Detroiters, empowering them with instructions and resources to transform land in their neighborhood, and now we are making resources available to catalyze the process. We look forward to working alongside these grantees to help the lot designs become new landscapes in their neighborhoods."

DFC received 31 applicants from around the city. Fifteen recipients will receive an initial $3,500 to start their program, with additional funds available later.

Recipients include:

Detroit Film Fatales plans to create organic seating places for attendees to sit comfortably during their monthly movie screenings. They hope to implement a lot design that will mimic amphitheater seating and to inspire Detroiters to consider improving vacant lots in their community in a similar fashion.

360 Detroit plans to implement a lot design that would provide off street parking, with paved parking pad that allows water to infiltrate the ground, instead of running quickly off into the street and into Detroit's sewerage system

North Rosedale Civic Association (NRCA) is planning to use their funds to implement a design that would enable them to install a Native Butterfly Meadow that will soak up rainwater runoff and improve the quality of life for North Rosedale residents.

A list of all recipients can be found at Detroit Future City.