$15M RecoveryPark project will bring urban agriculture to Detroit

DETROIT — The City of Detroit has reached an agreement with RecoveryPark to transform a blighted 22-block area into a center of urban agriculture. Its 60-acre footprint will include more than 35 acres of city land. The $15 million project is expected to employ 128 within three years, 60 percent of whom will be Detroit residents.

Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilwoman Mary Sheffield joined with RecoveryPark CEO Gary Wozniak in announcing the agreement. RecoveryPark is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to put ex-offenders, recovering addicts and others with significant barriers to employment to work while revitalizing one of Detroit’s blighted neighborhoods by repurposing vacant land.

“RecoveryPark isn’t just about transforming this land.  It’s about transforming lives,” Mayor Duggan said.  “The city of Detroit is proud to support the work Gary Wozniak and his team are doing to put this vacant land back to productive use and to help ex-offenders and others with barriers to employment rebuild their lives.”

“Commercial agriculture in Detroit is an important addition to Detroit’s expanding business portfolio,” Wozniak said. “Mayor Duggan’s economic development team has move boldly and swiftly to align city resources with our company’s expansion needs.”

Veterans, returning citizens, challenged workers, those in recovery and other marginalized citizens struggle daily for the ability to care for themselves and their families. RecoveryPark will provide them the opportunity for a meaningful job, to earn a decent wage, own their own business and restore personal dignity, Wozniak said.

Under the $15 million project, which is expected to take five years to bring to fruition, RecoveryPark will replace blighted, vacant lots with dozens of massive greenhouses and hoop houses to grow produce. The fruits and vegetables grown in these facilities will be sold to local restaurants, retailers and wholesalers.

Source: Detroit Mayor’s press release

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Delores Jackson

Delores Jackson was Director of Corporate Learning for Oklahoma City Community College for eight years, consulting with business leaders to determine the training and develop needs of their employees, designing the programs, and managing a staff of professional trainers. ...