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Urban Reinvention

Life In The Park

When I was asked to do a cartoon about Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan and what a great place it is to live, I wondered how does this relate to being green and cause minded? Come to find out I didn’t have to look too hard.

Amongst the safe, clean tree lined streets you’ll find charming homes and many mom and pop stores. The Park (as it’s lovingly called) also recently built their very own movie theatre and a fitness center.

But wait, there’s more!

The Park also has a “Tree City USA” designation. In order to be considered for this title, one of the criteria is that the city has it’s very own designated full time forester on staff. The Park covers just over one square mile and every one of the 8,000 city owned trees are tended to by forester Brian Colter.

One of the many interesting things I found out is that when residents rake the fall leaves to the curb for city pickup, they are taken for compost and then re-used for landscaping. “Black gold” Brian calls it. He also mentioned that when trees die the wood isn’t wasted. Even the mighty ash borer can’t take the tree down so to speak. The Park’s ice rink’s warming hut floor is made from those once infested ash trees which now help keep skaters warm and toasty.

Grosse Pointe Park. What a perfect community blend of ambiance and sustainability. Who knew that in the heart of Metro Detroit the small town is alive and well.

Up From The Ashes

They say that when a forest burns down, it comes back up even stronger. That’s what I see happening in my own backyard. In Detroit, that is. Sure the “Big Three” have had their hardships, but when it comes down to it, it’s the people that feel it most. Even though not having worked directly for the auto companies, the trickle down effect has changed the livelihood of many Detroiters. Many of my friends, myself included, have felt the impact. But you know what? People believe in the city and are staying. They are reinventing themselves and making things happen.

The Spirit of Detroit. Coming back strong.

Businesses are also looking in new directions and new industries are sprouting up, too. With that entrepreneurial drive, it’s the people that are going to turn this town around. That’s the Spirit of Detroit. Coming back strong.