project leader
Nicola B
504 Marlborough
(Jefferson - Chalmers)
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the project

Help us repair the roof for our upcoming community center and educational kitchen! This is the next phase in an ongoing commuinity project in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit.  So far we have successfully completed:

Phase One of the Marlborough Essex Culinary Corner and Community Commons was to build a community garden. The community garden has been up and running for two years; complete with about 30 varieties of fresh vegetables and herbs, plus a strawberry patch, raspberry bushes, apple, pear and plum trees. Cisterns collect water off of the roof of the brick garage that we are raising funds to transform into a community center, in order to water the crops.

Last year we gave away 200 pounds of organic fresh fruits, veggies and herbs!

Phase Two was to install a children's bird, butterfly, and bee garden (funded by Impact Detroit with Detroit Future City, Hope Starts Here and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation) filled with native plants to attract pollinators to the space, and teach children to identify species and about their role in the environment.

Phase Three involved the construction of a rain garden, to take water off of the roof and keep it out of the sewer. We're excited to demonstrate "green infrastructure" practices to help keep water out of the combined sewer to help our flooding issues as well as lessen water pollution from overflow into the river. This was part of a Master Rain Gardener class and minigrant (given by Eastside Community Network funded with the Institute for Sustainable Communities).

Now that the community garden is established and producing fresh food yearly, and the children's and rain gardens have been successfully completed, we need to repair the garage space that will serve as the community meeting space, classroom and kitchen. The roof needs structural strengthening repair in order to get up and running. We will install glass block windows and colored glass garage doors for visibility and security.

We will offer preservation & preparation classes - teaching canning, freezing and drying & using what you grow, when to pick, healthy recipes, and preparation methods for preserving nutrients. Teaching food-as-medicine classes specific for particular medical conditions. Recycling food and water management to eliminate waste. We hope to encourage people to start their own gardens and use the Culinary Corner as a resource center to acquire the skills.

the steps

First, we will get detailed written estimates for the necessary repairs on the community center (rough estimates have been around $10,000+). Once the funding comes in we will contract local professionals for the repairs and add the kitchen items. Finally, we'll have a grand opening party! Ongoing, we will host frequent community events and classes.



why we're doing it

The Jefferson - Chalmers neighborhood where the Marlborough Essex Culinary Corner and Community Commons is located does not have a grocery store but it does have 260 senior apartments within the perimeter. Most seniors don’t drive so they have limited access to fresh food or socializing; having to walk to the main street to catch the bus to the nearest grocery store.  

We hope to get the seniors to come out to the garden and meeting space to socialize and learn about healthy food; while also engaging the youth in the neighborhood teaching them to make healthy versions of their favorite snacks and junk food. We are strongly committed to promoting healthy lifestyles, being good stewards to the environment, and creating places for neighbors to gather as a community.

It is a space for ideas and collaboration for community projects to further beautify the neighborhood based on everyone’s vision for the neighborhood instead of developers changing it without our input. This unique area has developed a growing urban agriculture community, following a huge population loss that left over half of the lots vacant, and is brimming with opportunity for resident-led food security, placemaking, and environmental projects.


Disbursed goal (4.11.18):

RAISED = $285.00
less ioby Platform Fee  waived
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $8.30

Updated goal (9.20.17):

Funds will go towards the garage repairs in order to help create our community commons meeting space.

SUBTOTAL = 2,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $60


Original goal:

$2k - restructuring the roof by a professional

$8k - re-roofing by a professional

Project Subtotal =  $10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
Total to Raise on ioby = $10,335



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