$30K grant gives 8 Detroit neighborhoods makeovers

October 5, 2018


Neighbors in eight areas about to see a makeover thanks to a $30,000 grant.

GM and the Detroit Regional Chamber awarded the Neighbor-Hub grant to help fix up Eden Gardens Block Club on Glenfield Street on Detroit’s east side. “I screamed and I said thank you! I said thank you so much thank you so much because we had no idea we were going to get it,” said Karen Knox with Eden Gardens Block Club.

It’s a grant that will create a safe space for kids and elders — a pocket park that merges young and old in one neighborhood.

“Elders have something to offer. They have the wisdom of life that they can give to children and the children have the wisdom of today’s world and technology and this is an exchange that we are bringing here to our community to make a more positive impact on the children and all the adults,” Knox said.

Dennis Markray is a volunteer.

“My father lives in the neighborhood and he rides his bike so he can come over to the park and be able to enjoy it,” he said.

He’s been helping change this patch of land across from abandoned houses into a safe spot for all generations.

“Detroit is a whole lot more than what people think. And when people come together they can make some really powerful things happen,” he said.

Officials say more than 100 people applied for the grant. Now Eden Gardens Block Club is working to make it into a unique spot blending old and new, including chess tables and outdoor cardio walkers alongside playscapes.

The blueprint was put together by Karen Knox and Polly Jones.

“All that’s happening downtown is great,” Knox said. “But we are still here in the community among the blight, among the burnt out houses. So it is us that has to work hard to rebuild this neighborhood to make it a place where we are welcoming other people to come in and rebuild. Downtown is great to come out here.”

Volunteers from Hastings drove down to help make this happen.

“The need here it’s just incredible. Just seeing that there’s so much need and it just motivated us to want to come down and help,” said Jenny Stoetzel.

Other recipients include Motown Museum, Detroit Phoenix Center, and the Detroit Theater Organ Society and five others.

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