Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘East Side Community Garden and Farmers’ Market’

Monday, July 25, 2016

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – Detroit’s East Side will soon be home to a new community garden and farmer’s market with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Wolverine Human Services announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. 

“We are pleased to partner with a long standing neighborhood organization in this effort to revitalize a cohesive community in Detroit’s East Side,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “The Public Spaces, Community Places program allows for the transformation of vacant spaces into productive multi-use shared facilities that promote economic and social growth.” 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by September 22, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

"This initiative goes beyond increasing the availability of locally-sourced fresh food options by providing residents with educational and vocational opportunities to learn more about urban agriculture," MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. "I am pleased to see Detroit's East Side opening new possibilities in its neighborhoods." 

This crowdfunding campaign will build a mixed-use structure that will be utilized as a marketplace, as well as an adult learning space to promote healthy nutrition and lifestyles.  Additionally, this space will feature specially designed ADA accessible raised garden beds that will be maintained by the members of the Jefferson-Mack neighborhood that surrounds the John S Vitale Community Center. 

“The Public Spaces, Community Places program is working with Wolverine Human Services to provide Detroit’s East Side a new bedrock for neighborhood development, growth, and support,” said Matthew Wollack, Director of Development and Marketing at Wolverine Human Services. “The East Side Community Garden and Farmers' Market will be the backbone for future green projects that will surround the site, eventually creating an urban farming campus spreading over 11 acres.”  

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, 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

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.