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Greening Of Detroit

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification

Mission: The greening of detroit's mission is the sustainable growth of a healthy urban community through trees, green spaces, food, education, training and job opportunities.

Programs: Green infrastructure - in 2016, the greening, in collaboration with 32 community partners, hosted 21 tree planting events throughout detroit and hamtramck, resulting in the installation of 3083 trees with the assistance of 1222 volunteers. In 2016, the greening transformed 33 vacant lots on the lower eastside of detroit. We installed 5 different green infrastructure treatments throughout the vacant lots. We hope to beautify the neighborhood, create safer and cleaner feeling spaces, detour illegal dumping, and help raise property values. In addition, the installations will help with storm water runoff. Through the citizen forester program, 65 new citizen foresters were trained in 2016. These volunteers worked very hard at running planting in the spring and fall. They also assisted with neighborhood clean-ups and several other events. In 2016 a total of 1667 hours in 78 community events were donated by the nearly 400 citizen foresters that are active. The greening's our land (learn, admire, nurture, dream) program gives elementary and middle school youth a chance to experience environmental science both inside and outside of the classroom. Urban youth are far less likely than their peers living outside of the city to regularly experience the wonders of nature. In 2016 our land program provided 215 students from ten detroit schools a chance to learn about nature through classroom lessons. More importantly, they followed up with outdoor hands-on field trips geared at exploring and creating a deeper connection to the natural world. In addition, the organization hosted its camp greening program where 1409 youth learned how to explore the environment in a fun and safe setting, with all the excitement of a traditional summer camp. Through these programs we are cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards.

workforce development - created in 2009, through pathways out of poverty grant from the federal government, the greening's workforce development program is designed to provide unemployed detroiters with valuable job training and certification in the green industry. Participants in the greening's adult workforce program are trained for jobs in landscaping, forestry, and agriculture. The focus areas within the greening's program include: first aid and safety, landscape plan reading and estimating, turf installation and maintenance, plants and plantings, tree/shrub maintenance, irrigation systems, landscape equipment and safety (taught by osha-certified instructors) and chauffeur's license training. In 2014 the program added a new certification in the field of tree artesian. This certification focuses on urban forestry, tree removal, and stump grinding. This program is also certified as a federal apprenticeship program from the u. S. Department of labor. In 2016, the greening of detroit partnered with neighborhood services organization, focus: hope, and mcgregor fund to expand the adult workforce training program. The detroit conservation corps (dcc) was formed as six-year collaboration with a goal to train at least 2,500 unemployed detroiters through the greening of detroit's entry level landscape industry program; and provide employment within a local conservation corps. The corps operates as a social enterprise, available to implement public and private landscape renovation projects. Dcc is a federally accredited apprenticeship program: graduates receive multiple certifications in first aid, cpr, miosha, customer service, financial literacy, and landscape installation. Dcc is a collaborative service program that provides wrap-around services, including social service assistance, resume writing, and job interview skills through its partner organizations, focus: hope and neighborhood services organization. Over 400 adult trainees have graduated from the greening's cohort sessions with certificates. Ninety percent of the trainees have been placed into jobs that pay on an average $12. 30 an hour. The greening of detroit has planted more than 85,000 trees throughout the city since 1989. As our scope of work grew, the organization created a summer youth workforce program to assist in the watering and maintenance of the trees. The green corps program has collectively employed more than 1600 detroit youth since its inception in 1998. By maintaining thousands of trees in 120 planting sites across the city, corps members are investing their energy and time in their communities. These youth also beautify parks, neighborhoods, and participate in conservation projects that have meaningful and beneficial impacts for detroit residents. The ultimate goal of the youth employment program is to provide young people with opportunities for work, and to nurture a sense of environmental stewardship. In 2016, 150 green corps youth were employed by the greening of detroit. Two conservation projects were completed this summer (more than 50 conservation projects completed since 1988). Green corps employees watered and weeded more than 11,300 trees throughout the summer. In 2015, green corps students earned and hourly wage of $8. 50 an hour. These students are exposed to opportunities in green collar jobs, college readiness, work readiness, participating in college tours, leadership building, conflict resolution, and team building.

urban agriculture - in 2016, the urban agriculture department maintained 2 farm projects in the city on 3. 5 acres of city land producing over 2 tons of food. Over half of the produce grown was donated to local emergency shelters, food banks and families through greening's food justice produce give-aways. Greening farms also served as training grounds for our 6 month adult urban farmer apprenticeship program in which 5 community residents worked alongside our farmers for 30+ hours a week. The farms also conducted over 65 community classes, worked with 945 volunteers, conducted school field trips, and tours for both national and international guests. Out in the community we made over 1000 impressions on youth and adults in schools and community centers through our nutrition education programming which teaching healthy eating habits. Over the last 10 years, greening has supported over 1400 gardens in the city with basic resources. In 2016 alone, our build-a-garden program staff worked alongside community to build 100 gardens throughout detroit, increasing food access to some of our most food insecure residents. In addition, our agriculture department engaged 715 residents in our land forum events who wanted to learn more about how to purchase vacant land in the city for gardening and other community driven vacant land reuse ideas.

green infrastructure - community education - the program directly relates to other departments.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I really like seeing the turn around with the organization. They are not trying to be everything to everyone and they partner with other community organizations, businesses, DPS, and the city to continue planting trees, building up Detroit youth, and training adults in green jobs. They get the job done!

Review from Guidestar


Board Member

Rating: 1

Please do not waste your time or donations on this corrupt non profit organization.

They recently fired over 50% of their full time staff- but conveniently kept on all of their director level corrupt and inept staff. They don't pay their vendors and even skip out paying the few employees they still have for work that has already been done. They are clearly misappropriating donated funds and grants and when it comes time to pay staff or vendors they conveniently send out emails with language like "sorry we can't run payroll this week" because of their greed.

They also have a director on their staff who has had numerous HR complaints against him and is a known misogynist. Needless to say no punishment was ever instilled upon this behavior. He is safe while good hard working employees were let go.

Hopefully karma will kick in and this organization will implode. Shame on you for ruining an organization that was started to give rebirth to the once grand city of Detroit. You deserve to fail for all of your "shadiness" and mistreatment of your employees. You'll hopefully be shut down soon enough and the end to your scams will come to fruition.

Review from Guidestar

1 Betsy17


Rating: 5

The Greening of Detroit is one of the city's jewels from a non-profit standpoint. I am proud to be a volunteer at The Greening, which is helping to grow and improve Detroit from multiple standpoints: Tree-plantings, urban agriculture, workforce development, education -- the list goes on and on. Personally, my heart sings when I think about the neighborhoods that have gained so much benefit from The Greening's work. When you hear a story about the difference made in a neighborhood, it's so very powerful. Five-plus stars.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Greening of Detroit has been planting green spaces in Detroit for over 20 years. The Greening is a big part of the solution to some of the vacant land issues facing Detroit. New growth forests, parks, green infrastructure and urban gardens are just some of the projects that this organization is tackling. Bravo!