Homegrown: Tools of Transformation

| Monday, May 19 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. | Room: Brule A | Session Tracks: U, EI

Learn how two Detroit communities are using the power of urban gardens, green space, and farmers' markets to revitalize neighborhoods and commercial districts, rebuild relationships, and attract economic opportunities. Residents from Neighbors Building Brightmoor have created more than 20 parks and gardens in 14 blocks. The Oakland Avenue Farmers' Market and market garden have brought stability and vitality to a historic economic corridor by employing residents of all ages and creating avenues for accessing fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to these two outstanding case studies, learn how Keep Growing Detroit, an urban agriculture focused organization, is supporting the growth and connectivity of these efforts and many more.


Ashley Atkinson, Keep Growing Detroit
Ashley Atkinson is a co-director with Keep Growing Detroit, an urban agriculture-focused organization that provides resources and support for more than 1,400 gardens and farms in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. She also serves as the sustainable agriculture representative for the Detroit Food Policy Council and as an Advisor to the Restaurant Opportunity Center-Michigan and Grow Dat youth farm in New Orleans. Ashley is a graduate of both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan where she studied International Development, Community Organization, and Environmental/Land Use Planning. In 2012 she was one of ten young people selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to receive their Young Leaders in Health award in celebration of the foundation's 40th anniversary.

Jerry Ann Hebron, Northend Christian CDC
Jerry Ann Hebron, is a former real estate broker and retired circuit court manager for thirty years. Since 2008 she's been working as the Executive Director of the Northend Christian CDC, the non-profit that oversees the work of the Oakland Avenue community garden, green house market garden, and farmers’ market. The organization is currently renovating a house that will be used to prep food from the garden as well as host cooking demos community meetings. Jerry Ann is also a member of the Detroit Food Policy Council.

Riet Schumack, Neighbors Building Brightmoor
Riet Schumack is a resident of Brightmoor since 2006. She is co-founder of Brightmoor Youth Garden, a profit sharing market garden for youth ages 11-18. In 2009 with 5 other families, her and her husband started Neighbors Building Brightmoor, a resident driven community organisation, which has started 25 plus gardens in their 21-block target area.  She is currently part-time interim director of the Brightmoor Alliance in charge of community engagement, environmental issues and art.