Two SEAS projects awarded Engage Detroit Workshops grants
The U-M School for Environment and Sustainability's (SEAS) commitment to finding new and innovative ways to make an impact in Detroit will be furthered thanks to two projects that have been awarded Engage Detroit Workshops Grants. Lisa DuRussel, SEAS assistant professor of practice of landscape architecture, and SEAS graduate student Nana Temple will lead a project called "Greenprint Detroit: Advancing Ecological Literacy through the Lens of Legacy Soils." Bill Currie, SEAS professor and associate dean for Research and Engagement, Virginia Wilkinson, SEAS Detroit Sustainability Clinic Deputy Director and Program Manager, and Barbara Israel, U-M School of Public Health professor and director of the Detroit Urban Research Center, will lead a project called "Building a Sustainable Water Future for Detroit: Infrastructure, Climate, Resilience, Restoration, and Social Equity."
"Greenprint Detroit: Advancing Ecological Literacy through the Lens of Legacy Soils" aims to advance ecological literacy of the community members of the McDougall-Hunt Neighborhood (bounded by Gratiot, Vernor, and Mt. Elliot) on Detroit’s east side. Alongside community partners at the Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation, DuRussel and Temple will lead two workshops in Summer 2022, focused on the history and existing condition of neighborhood soils as a theme for education, exploration, and action. The major outcome of this work will be a change in attitudes towards science/research/ecology through participation in citizen science. The intention is that the materials used and created for this effort will generate transferable knowledge to other Detroit communities.
"Building a Sustainable Water Future for Detroit: Infrastructure, Climate, Resilience, Restoration, and Social Equity" will be a one-day workshop in Detroit focused on water infrastructure, climate change-induced flooding and climate resilience, river restoration, and access to healthy water, with a strong theme of water equity and environmental justice. Working alongside community partners Jefferson East, Inc. and Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Currie, Wilkinson, and Israel, will work with workshop participants to develop a consensus statement of water infrastructure, restoration, and equity issues together with a list of action strategies that U-M faculty and community organizations can consider pursuing together.
The Engage Detroit Workshops grant program supports small teams of U-M faculty, staff, students, and community partners in organizing workshops that will strengthen partnerships between the University of Michigan and Detroit. A celebration was held on June 2 at the U-M Detroit Center to honor the 2022 grant recipients. Each recipient team gave a brief presentation about the vision and plan for their projects, followed by Q&A.