(ALL RIGHTS GRANTED TNC, CREDIT MANDATORY) Detroit, Michigan © Michael David-Lorne Jordan/David-Lorne Photographic
MIFO160823_D063.tif (ALL RIGHTS GRANTED TNC, CREDIT MANDATORY) Detroit, Michigan © Michael David-Lorne Jordan/David-Lorne Photographic © © Michael D-L Jordan/dlp

Stories in Michigan

Local Partnerships in Detroit

Community-based partners are key to making Detroit green.

It might be a cliché to say that many hands make light work, but in Detroit that is one of our core guiding principles. The Nature Conservancy is committed to cultivating reciprocal and supportive relationships with community-based organizations throughout the city. 

With the generous support of the Pisces Foundation, TNC has supported the work of the following local community groups through a series of grants-out. 

  • The Eastside Community Network is devoted to sustainable community development on Detroit’s eastside. The organization has developed educational and outreach materials to share with local schools, colleges and other community organizations to help improve resident and community understanding of stormwater management and the importance of green stormwater infrastructure. They work to promote conservation practices and enlist eastside residents to become clean water and green advocates for the city of Detroit. TNC is proud to support the development of their video, "Don't Touch My Water," a short documentary showcasing the water issues affecting Detroit.
  • Detroit Future City, a nonprofit, independent think-tank for innovation in the city of Detroit, has developed education materials aimed at alleviating some of the unique challenges faced by small business owners, faith-based institutions and non-profits in the development and installation of green stormwater infrastructure. With TNC's support, Detroit Future City has developed resources and educational materials to enhance consumer fluency in the development and installation of green stormwater infrastructure, including:
    • A video that will tell the implementation stories of grantees’ experiences in planning and installing GSI projects through Detroit Future City's "Working With Lots" program.  
    • A bioretention-focused Field Guide Lot Design Manual for the "Storm Soaker,"  a high performing, large rain garden that manages stormwater runoff from commercial and other nonresidential properties.
  • The Greening of Detroit is focused on planting trees in the Detroit area, as well as urban forestry education and job training. Since 2009, The Greening of Detroit has led an adult workforce program focused on training low-income Detroiters for employment in green industries, focusing on landscape installation and maintenance. Support from TNC has enabled The Greening of Detroit to expand its existing training curriculum to include a modual focusing on native plant installation and maintenance. As Detroit institutionalizes green stormwater infrastructure as part of its standard stormwater practices, this skill set will be in greater demand in the city. By expanding the adult workforce curriculum to include advanced training for green stormwater infrastructure practices, the organization strengthens its overall training program and provides additional marketable skills for graduates, while ensuring there is an adequate supply of trained Detroiters ready to implement these projects.
  • Sierra Club is a national nonprofit organization with local programing in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Focused on clean air and water in Detroit, Sierra Club is engaging residents around water security, protection and conservation in the city through educational opportunities related to green stormwater infrastructure. With support from TNC, Sierra Club and partner group Friends of the Rouge are providing a social media platform to Detroit residents who participate in their "Rain Gardens to the Rescue" project for showcasing their personal connection with the rain gardens they have planted and how they have changed their communities.

These community partners, among others, are on the ground every day helping us to ensure that Detroit becomes one of the greenest cities in America.

Don't Touch My Water In this short documentary created by partner organization Eastside Community Network, Detroit activists share their perspectives on the complexities of water-related issues in the city of Detroit, touching on problems with access, billing and flooding damage.