During the fall of 2011, the Land Bank, with the help of more than 50 volunteers, built the Community Garden Resource Shed at 1519 E. Michigan Avenue in Kalamazoo. The Land Bank chose this 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 6 of the 7 properties on the block. Since 2010, 3 condemned houses were demolished due to severe blight on this block and at this point, creating a completely vacant block. Eastside residents Dale Abbott and Tomme Maile, who organize the Trybal Revival Community Garden 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 green space to enhance the neighborhood and create a space for neighbors to enjoy and learn from.
The shed houses garden tools and resources, which have been available to community members for loan since April 2012. These tools are available free of charge, but participants are required to contribute five hours of volunteer time at a community garden or a Land Bank property. For more information about the shed and available tools, check out the Common Ground website: http://commongroundkalamazoo.com/Resources/ResourceShed.php