Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt, a Southwest Detroit community vegetable garden partnered with our lead non-profit organization Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision.
What once began as an empty parking lot filled with scrap metal, growing weeds, and empty vibes has now become a community urban garden in the rich and vibrant Southwest Detroit. This lot that is now teeming with life used to be a GM executive parking lot for the old Cadillac Plant on Clark Street.
The story began with GM shipping carts that came from Korea. A GM Environmental Engineer and his team looked at these shipping containers, made of plastic and metal, and asked “what else can we do with these?” Their first idea was to make carts, and they invited Ideal to take a look.
We saw an opportunity to instead repurpose them into raised vegetable beds and the empty lot on McKinstry and Merritt into an urban garden. Rush Trucking aided in the effort and delivered 250 of these shipping containers to the Clark Street Headquarters to be painted. Ideal Contracting, Ideal Shield and Ideal Setech secured planting supplies, gardening tools, gloves, water supplies, etc. The Scarcyny Park community initiative cleared the rubbish and litter from adjacent streets.
Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt was launched on May 19, 2012 and has since collected up to 1500 hours of youth service (and counting)! Our partners include Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, Congress of Communities, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, LA SED, Latino Family Services, GM, Rush Trucking, Detroit Dirt, Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Gonzalez, Ideal employees, and Southwest Detroit neighborhood residents.
If you would like to become more involved in this collaborative project, please contact us by sending a message or writing on our wall. We are always looking to engage more partners and invite others to share in the wealth of the Garden.