Friday, December 14, 2007

Flint Farmers

One of the many good things the Genesse County Land Bank does is help Flint residents improve vacant lots and and take part in the urban farming movement, which is just a fancy way of describing people in cities who have gardens.

"The Land Bank's Clean and Green Program started as a pilot project during the summer of 2003 in which two community groups partnered in the maintenance of 45 Land Bank owned properties on Flint’s east side. Of these 45 properties, 10 were improved with decorative split rail fencing and raised garden beds. During the summer of 2006 twelve community groups participated in the program. These groups maintained over 600 Land Bank properties and developed 12 greening projects. In conjunction with Keep Genesse County Beautiful’s Beautification awards ceremony, the Land Bank recognized participating groups and awards were presented to the groups with the most outstanding greening projects."
One impressive example is the demonstration garden at 310 W. Home Avenue, pictured above. It was
designed by master gardener Phil Downs and nurtured by a band of residents and volunteers. As Flint Expatriates has already mentioned, these efforts are catching the attention of the national media.

For more information on local gardening in Flint, check out the MCC Gardening Association, the Flint Urban Gardening and Land Use Committee, and the Backyard Herbalist.

1 comment:

  1. Great story Gordon! Love to see the positive things being done. Listening to NPR the this morning dropping kids at school I heard a story out of San Francisco about "green collar" training and it's effect on areas hard hit by failing industry. Then reading this I kind of thought, wouldn't it be cool if Flint became a mecca for green technology/industry?

    I had to chuckle at the tag "backyard herbalist." In Genessee County, this could mean something else!


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at