Cadillac Urban Gardens opens with 250 raised beds.
They planted paradise in a parking lot. Thanks to the efforts of many organizations and businesses like Detroit Dirt, General Motors and Ideal Group, an abandoned parking lot in Southwest Detroit is now a raised bed community garden, providing free fresh produce to the neighborhood.
“Our mission is to create a space that promotes the health and security of our community,” stated Frank Venegas, Ideal Group chairman. “Cadillac Urban Gardens is producing vegetables, community health and growth. This vision came true with fast action on the part of our collaborative partners. In four short months, we are well on our way to linking sustainability with producing community growth.”
Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt in Southwest Detroit started when GM donated 250 old metal shipping crates and Ideal Group offered up the abandoned lot. Volunteers have been working since April to repurpose the crates and create a community garden. There are now more than 1,400 plants for Southwest Detroit residents to cultivate, and eventually put on the dinner table.
“Instead of recycling this material, we found a direct reuse, which saves energy and resources,” said John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste reduction efforts. “We seek opportunities for projects in our backyard that reduce environmental impact and strengthen communities.”