Crowdfunding campaign launched to create community garden at Votrobeck Playground in Detroit

Nate Pilon

Thursday, June 4, 2015

$27,500 goal to secure matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and GrowTown, Inc. today announced a new crowdfunding campaign for It Takes A Village Garden through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the transformation of Votrobeck Playground on Vassar Ave. at Seven Mile and Evergreen into a dynamic community garden.

It Takes A Village Garden is a partnership of Renaissance Village Apartments, GrowTown, Inc., area non-profits, City of Detroit Recreation Department, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and resident volunteers and gardeners.

If It Takes A Village Garden attains its crowdfunding goal of $27,500 by July 16, MEDC will provide a $27,500 matching grant. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This is a transformative community development project in Detroit with the potential to attract additional investment and revitalization efforts to the area,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. We are pleased to partner in this campaign and help bring the project’s final phase to fruition.”

The garden and other playground improvements are the last phase of a comprehensive neighborhood rehabilitation project near Seven Mile and Evergreen. The project will transform a once blighted apartment complex and underfunded municipal park into a clean, safe and nurturing community.

The project supports families and seniors in their move towards improved health and economic independence by creating a unique urban environment where social interaction, food production, natural play, physical activity educational experiences and artistic expression all have a place to flourish.

“We’re thrilled to have the MEDC’s support to help us complete all the beautiful features of this garden project,” said Mary Tischler, a garden volunteer and organizer. “From the Poetry Garden and Gourd Trellis, to the Sunflower Living Room, Meadow Maze and so many other features - it really does take a village to do something this amazing.”

The project will include gardening areas for people to grow organic vegetables, as well as provide the community easier access to fresh produce. There will also be several improvements made to the playground for recreation and educational purposes.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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