"there's always something positive happening in Detroit"

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    blogged @ re:focus Michigan.

    I'm going to blog some of the images you guys have been adding soon. I really appreciate the tremendous response i've received to so far!


    This is the greenhouse at the Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit. As I walked up to the farm I was greeted by one of the volunteers there, named Howard. I explained to Howard that I was doing a project on change and positive things in Michigan and asked if I could take a few pictures. He responded with “there’s always something positive happening in Detroit!” His enthusiasm for the project was inspiring and I enjoyed listening to what he had to say. He declined to have his picture taken, but I think his words are just as powerful.

    Howard explained to me that he has lived in this neighborhood for 60 years and still loves it here despite all its problems. He talked about living through the riots and how much has changed since he’s been in Detroit. He is currently unemployed and spends his time volunteering at the farm and at his church. He said volunteering helps him stay positive, and it makes him feel good to be helping the community.

    Earthworks is located in a neighborhood full of familiar sites in Detroit: abandoned industrial facilities, abandoned homes, and vacant plots of land. However, Earthworks in not only making use of available land in Detroit. They are providing healthy food to those in need at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen next door. There are no major supermarkets in the city of Detroit; so many residents get their food from small corner stores, gas stations, or fast food restaurants. Expansion of urban farming will not only make use of vacant land in the city; it is going to make Detroit a healthier, greener and even safer place to live. Howard noted that the neighborhood has seen less crime since the Earthworks Urban Farm was started.

    It was truly inspiring to talk to someone doing such a positive thing in a city that’s so often associated with negativity. Many people come to Detroit specifically to see the ruins and decay. Obviously, there is plenty of that here and, yes; I do spend a lot of time documenting it myself. However, the Earthworks Urban Farm and Howard’s story is just one of many examples that there is far more to Detroit than what you see at the surface. I think the national media has exhausted the “decline of Detroit” story. These are the stories that the rest of the country needs to hear. Yes, there are positive and exciting things happening in Detroit. Just ask Howard, he’ll be more than willing to tell you.

    hardyc, Dave DiCello, Steven Sites, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Patrick Long (*****www.flickr.com/plexposures****) [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      Awesome words, for a very powerful project.

      Very well done my friend.

      Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

    2. hardyc 59 months ago | reply

      Flat out AWESOME.
      GREAT JOB!
      The whole idea /website/ vibe is freakin great

    3. Dave DiCello 59 months ago | reply

      Love the symmetry here man, excellent colors too, great info

    4. Andrea Costa Creative 59 months ago | reply

      hi, my friend

    5. Andrea Costa Creative 59 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called ARE YOU READY? for the new adventure (Please Post1 awd3), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      We will very appreciate a your story of reportage or a history tied to the place with series of pictures and text this is the tread:
      You are welcome

    6. Kim.Kozlowski 59 months ago | reply

      great shot, wonderful project you've got going, looking forward to more

    7. CodeMonkeyWithACanon [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      fantastic image
      maybe you ought to change your project to
      'There's always something positive happening in Detroit'

    8. *HSF* [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      very cool Jon, from the look of this id never even think of Detroit! very awesome. and soo dam positive! love the shot!

    9. _MrQ*s_ (Marcus) 59 months ago | reply

      nice shot ! interesting story !

    10. Ken Cadel 59 months ago | reply

      Nice work Jon. I enjoyed reading the story as well.

    11. Steven Sites 59 months ago | reply

      ahhh the colors are fantastic, and i love the use of line.

    12. Cherie S. 59 months ago | reply

      I'm in love with this project, Jon. And now you've got me thinking about finding more positive things about the city. Awesome!

    13. Mike Lanzetta 59 months ago | reply

      Well done, nice idea.

    14. IreJustin 59 months ago | reply

      Great stuff, Jon!

    15. afsee 48 months ago | reply

      i love everything about this. thank you.

    16. farlane 45 months ago | reply

      Hey there - featuring this on Summer Reading: Longform Detroit on Absolute Michigan.

      Has a cool article about the Earth Work Farm.

      Thanks for adding to the Absolute Michigan pool!

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