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Since purchasing our new office last September, we have been eagerly anticipating the moment when we would be able to transform this space to better serve our neighbors and tangibly model the mission and core values of EcoWorks. After nearly four decades of fostering sustainable and equitable community development in dozens of neighborhoods, schools, and municipalities, we now have a unique opportunity to showcase sustainable features ourselves. We asked ourselves:

 

How can we make environmental sustainability tangible, attractive, and inclusive for people of all ages, abilities, and interests?

 

How can this space both honor and contribute something new to the history and culture of the neighborhood?

The Yamasaki-designed building is a 60-year old gem, ready to be opened to community use while preserving its historic character.
Community members (left) and middle school students (right) participate in design workshops facilitated by the team at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC).

Over the last three months, we have been building relationships with our new neighbors in Northwest Detroit from the Berg-Lahser and Evergreen-Lahser 7-8 Mile Block Clubs and inviting them to participate in the Celebrating Community design. We’ve hosted a Motor City Makeover event, organized barbeques, and, with our partners at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), facilitated multiple listening and design sessions for neighbors and held a special design session just for youth. We envision EcoWorks as a place that brings sustainability to life; that showcases ecological harmony and resilience, and that welcomes diverse, inclusive, intergenerational community.

 

Planned improvements:

 

  • Native plantings

  • Playscapes for children

  • An attractive, artistic stormwater management system

  • Flexible community gathering spaces that can be used as an outdoor classroom or a venue for social gatherings and film screenings

  • ADA building and restroom access

  • Community kitchen

  • Energy and water efficiency demonstrations

  • A vibrant community room for workshops and community meetings  

 
Neighborhood kids help to map drainage patterns in the EcoWorks parking lot using chalk paint and tennis balls.
Dan Pitera (left) of the DCDC discusses preliminary site plans (right) with EcoWorks staff and neighbors.
The campaign site sees its first of many community cookouts on June 7, 2018.
 

Check back soon for new community events!

 
Special thanks to:
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Detroit Collaborative Design Center
University of Detroit Mercy, School of Architecture
We want to thank the DCDC for their partnership and guidance in the planning and facilitation of the community design process. The community design workshops were fundamental in listening to our neighbors wants and needs and bringing those ideas to life in the resulting designs. These spaces are sure to be inclusive, engaging, and educational for all. Thank you! 
EcoWorks staff tear down the "Private Property" sign as a symbol of openness. 
 
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© 2019 EcoWorks

CONTACT US

22400 W. Seven Mile Rd.
Detroit, Michigan 48219

info@ecoworksdetroit.org

Tel: 313.894.1030