Harvesting Water for Urban Gardens in Detroit
Sierra Club Great Lakes organizer Melissa Damaschke and Detroit Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships coordinator Rhonda Anderson, below, recently teamed up to put on a rain barrel workshop in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit for the Club's Great Lakes Program.
In recent years, Brightmoor residents have been planting crops in newly vacant lots in their neighborhood. Now they'll help supply their water needs by collecting rain water in barrels, preventing that water from running off into city sewers. And they'll save money in the process by using the collected water instead of water from the tap. That's Sierra Club organizer Michelle Martinez, below.
"We're helping to prevent water from going down drains, which prevents sewage overflows," Damaschke, below, told The Michigan Citizen. "An inch of rainfall a day is way too much for our local wastewater plant."
Monique Adams and her son Brandon, below, were two of the Brightmoor residents attending the rain barrel workshop. "We'll use the collected water for our newly planted vegetable garden, watering the flowers, and washing the car," Monique said. "These barrels will help with anything we need water for."
All community residents who attended the workshop left with a 55-gallon terra cotta container, purchased by the Sierra Club from Detroit’s Maxi Container, Inc., a family-owned local business for over 100 years.