The Land Bank chose 1519 E. Michigan Avenue as the site for the Garden Resource Shed for several reasons. The 1500 block of East Michigan has sat blighted for many years. The Land Bank, through tax and mortgage foreclosure, has acquired 5 of the 7 properties on the block. In the last 2 years, 3 condemned houses were demolished due to severe blight on this block and at this point, creating a completely vacant block. This past spring, residents Dale Abbott and Tomme Maile, who organize through Trybal Revival, and live on the 1400 block of East Michigan Avenue, adopted 3 of the vacant lots to implement a permaculture garden. They intend to create a grand greenspace to enhance the neighborhood and create a space for neighbors to enjoy and learn from.
This fall, the Land Bank, with the help of more than 50 volunteers, built a “Community Garden Resource Shed” at 1519 E. Michigan Avenue. The Resource Shed will house garden tools and resources to lease out to community members working on garden and beautification projects in Kalamazoo. This spring the shed will be completed with a coat of stain and landscaping, and then opened for folks to check out garden tools, equipping those without the necessary financial means to garden and enhance their own blocks.