In June, VEJ completed a native plant garden in partnership with D-Town Farm. The farm is run by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and the garden was planted primarily to support their honey beehives. A Fresh Water Future grant funded the project. Completed by Naim and VEJ's summer intern, Theresa. The garden is designed in the image of DBCFSN's emblem.
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, co-directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University (fore.yale.edu) visited Hope House in June as their first stop on an environmental tour of Detroit. They were in Detroit to lead a two day workshop at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, and show their film "Journey of the Universe" at Mercy Center in Farmington.
It's been a busy spring so far at Voices for Earth Justice. In addition to getting several varieties of vegetables in the ground (see photos here), we hosted our first student field trip group, co-sponsored the annual BioBlitz, and installed electricity and lights in our Agroecology Center (see photos below for more). Subscribe to our newsletter for these stories and more, and to keep up on our progress throughout the summer!
Hope House hosted our first student field trip group. Twenty-eight students and parents from Palmer Park Preparatory Academy visited Hope House and learned about nature and vegetable production. They were supported by Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit and the USDA CHIRP program. Three middle school students also prepared short presentations before hand to teach to the elementary students about kale, garlic, and onions. After a tour of the property and presentations, the group enjoyed lunch and played in the backyard after.
Over 60 people converged at D-Town Farm on May 14th for the annual BioBlitz. The event brings together youth from Detroit, mostly in the Food Warriors program of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. We partner with organism specialists and ecologists to sample the farm for all of the creatures that live there. Voices has been a primary planner of the event the last two years, and this year also featured delicious vegan food catered by our garden manager, Bianca!
Gillis brothers, Dan and Jim, literally bring light to the site of our Agroecology Center. The space now has multiple CFL and LED lights, outlets, and an energy efficient fan. Now we're one step closer to offering evening and year-round engagement!
Join Voices for Earth Justice and the DBCFSN Food Warriors youth program for a kid-friendly day of caring for creation featuring:
• Water & human rights reflection
• Appreciating Earth & garden planning lesson
• Raised bed prep and planting
• Sweet pea and sunflower sprouts tasting
• Food Warriors Anthem
When: Tuesday, April 19, 4-6 pm
Where: Timbuktu Academy, 10800 E Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48214
For more information, call (313) 246-0309
Sr. Pat Benson, former VEJ board member and part-time educator, is part of the "Building Green Bridges Workshop" coming up this Saturday, April 2nd from 9am to 2pm at Birmingham Unitarian Church, 38651 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, 48304. See flyer below for complete details.
One week before Easter, VEJ Development Director Sr. Janet Stankowski, OP, and IT & Administrative Support Professional Rich Samartino visited Hope House neighbors Detroit Hope Community of Christ Church. Sr. Janet (pictured left with Pastor Julie Bock) gave an eco-centered homily focusing on the need to care for our 'common home' and lifting up Detroit as 'holy ground'. Rich gave a short talk about some of our sustainable practices at Hope House and what he enjoys most about living at Greydale & Puritan - engaging our neighbors and community.
Happy Easter, and enjoy a few more pictures from the day below.
Click here to view the campaign and make a contribution: https://www.gofundme.com/HopeHouse2
VEJ Garden Manager Bianca Danzy wants to take down a burned down home to build up a hoop house and flower garden across the street from Hope House! We are partnering with her to help raise the funds for this project.
Bianca has been awarded a grant for $2000 to purchase a property to establish a hoop house and garden site. We would like your support in purchasing this property and safely deconstructing the burned home across the street from us. The estimated cost of buying the home, paying the back taxes on it, and deconstructing it is approximately $10,000.
Once the house is removed, we will convert the lot into a hoop house and plant a garden around it. The hoop house will serve to grow native plants and vegetables, which we will share with neighbors and visitors. It will also extend our gardening season and allow us to cultivate transplants that will help us further promote gardening and sustainable agriculture in Detroit.
Funding beyond our goal will be invested in seeds and materials for maintaining the hoop house.
To read more and make a contribution, visit https://www.gofundme.com/HopeHouse2
Thank you for your support!
Tomorrow, millions of people around the world will be turning off their lights and thinking about environmental issues from 8:30 - 9:30pm, local time. To learn how to join the movement, visit https://www.earthhour.org/ and check out the short video below.
Students from John Hopkins University and Harvest Mission Community Church Ann Arbor & Austin, TX joined us on March 14th for a day of service during their alternative spring breaks. The 24 volunteers helped kick start Hope House's gardening and outdoor season, contributing their energy to cleaning the street, turning the compost, tilling soil for new plant beds, and cleaning up the outdoor space. The day started with a tour of the property, explanation of VEJ, and a warm-up to get to know one another and loosen up our bodies. We look forward to hosting volunteers throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall!
Click here to view photos!