Michigan's Urban Neighborhoods Will Be Growing Green This Spring
Urban Gardening Program encourages revitalization, expands access to fresh foods
Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280Agency:
Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
October 22, 2008
- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the new "Garden for Growth" program will enable Michigan residents to use tax-reverted property to create urban gardens. This program not only will encourage urban revitalization but also support the Governor's urban food initiative by making fresh and healthy foods available to city-dwellers.
"This program will enable neighbors to come together to transform vacant tax-reverted and often overgrown properties into gardens that will beautify and strengthen local neighborhoods," Granholm said. "These urban gardens will not only strengthen our communities, but also provide a new and needed supply of fresh foods to their residents."
The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority (MLBFTA), an agency in the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG), is encouraging interested individuals or non-profit organizations to lease vacant parcels of land for only $50 per year to create an agricultural space in their community. Interested gardeners should contact MLBFTA at 517-636-5149 to begin choosing a parcel so they can plan for and prepare their garden for fall bulbs and early spring planting.
"The possibilities are limitless for our urban neighborhoods, whether it's for vegetable, flower, native plant or educational gardens. We welcome gardeners of all ages and skill levels," DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley said. "Our hope is that the urban gardens will serve a variety of purposes such as creating a place for community members to meet, for children to learn the wonders of planting seeds, or to create sources of healthy food."
The opportunity to lease a vacant lot will allow gardeners to clear, use and maintain vacant lots in their neighborhood without the tax or other financial burdens associated with ownership. Successful gardeners may be able to purchase their parcel, if they later decide that they want a permanent garden at that location. Any types of gardening or agricultural activities qualify as long as they are not illegal and do not violate local zoning codes.
For more details on this Program and other MLBFTA programs please visit our website at www.michigan.gov/landbank. Applications are also available for those who are interested in purchasing or otherwise acquiring properties owned by the MLBFTA. For more information please call the MLBFTA at 517-636-5149.
Read more Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth press releases.