NEIGHBORS: Community Blooms with New Life

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Mose Primus (left) and Parnell Willis at the Yorkshire Community Gar- dens. They received special recognition for their community service from former President Barack Obama. PHOTO: Kory Woods

A section of the city’s east side blooms with pride, parks and potential thanks to the dedication of the Yorkshire Woods Community Organization.  The organization is made of residents and businesses in an  area bounded by Whittier, Kelly, Morang and the I- 94 Freeway

“As the city rebuilds, so are we,” said Mose Primus, Jr., 67, who has chaired the organization since 2014, four years after moving to the community.

“Yorkshire Woods is a friendly community looking to make our neighborhood safe and clean,’’ he said.  “And we are making that happen. It’s not the hood; it’s a neighborhood.”

“It takes hard work and dedication to make things happen.”

Much of the organization’s hard work has been focused on the revitalization of six empty lots located in the 9700 block of Kensington between King Richard and McKinney streets.

The ongoing work that started in 2015 has resulted in parks, a flower garden and community festivals.

Yorkshire Woods Community Organization partners with the Evangelical Church of America to make community improvements. Support has also from Home Depot, Keep Growing Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Keep Detroit Beautiful and more than 100 volunteers.

“We planted a community garden, purchased six lots of land from the Land Bank Authority, cut down trees and in 2016 sponsored a paint party. With support from local artists and residents we painted tree stumps,” Primus said.

“We now have a community space where we sponsored a harvest fest, a community clean-up with the department of corrections, a community block party with a stage and mural, and our first hip hop block party.”

This year, the group plans to add an apiary to house bees and a butterfly and hummingbird habitat along with fruit trees, he said.

The Detroit Future City’s Working with Lots Grant Program helped fund the flower garden. That program encourages community groups, faith-based institutions, non-profits, and businesses to install designs to address storm water concerns, activate community spaces and create more attractive neighborhoods.

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