MCR helps community groups turn vacant lots into revenue-generating assets

Michigan Community Resources (MCR) is pleased to announce the release of its newest publication-Greenfill Development: A Guide to Repurposing Vacant Lots for Flower Farming Enterprises. The Greenfill Development Guide helps identify how community groups can grow crops on vacant land and generate enough money to not only pay for the taxes, insurance, and long-term maintenance of the lots, but also supplement other community programs.

The publication is the result of MCR's work as a 2015 Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit planning grantee. The Guide contains two neighborhood-scale business plans for community groups seeking to develop coherent, long-term strategies for repurposing land in environmentally and financially sustainable ways. Both plans include detailed budgets, revenue projections, and operational requirements for flower farming enterprises that can be used by other groups citywide. The plans are designed to be scaled up or down for implementation on single or multiple lots.

The Greenfill Development Guide is unique from existing vacant lot publications. "This innovative guide to help community groups turn vacant lots into revenue-generating assets," said Jill Ferrari, chief executive officer of Michigan Community Resources. "This is critical, as we are seeing more and more groups taking on vacant parcels throughout the city. The guide will increase the capacity of groups interested in revitalizing their neighborhoods, while easing the financial burden these groups often face when maintaining vacant lots."

"This promises to be an important new tool for community groups in confronting vacant land across the city. That's a key reason why we supported this effort," said Bryan Hogle, a Kresge Detroit Program officer who is deeply involved in the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit initiative. "MCR, furthermore, has a deep understanding of community engagement, participatory planning and Detroit's lower eastside. That gives us confidence the guide will be in tune with community needs and desires."

"Community groups across the city are looking creatively at how to make transformative changes often turning what seem like liabilities into assets," added Hogle. "We're excited by the opportunity to support them through initiatives like Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit."

To view and download the Greenfill Development Guide, visit

Published: Mon, Jan 25, 2016