EAST SIDE: GRATIOT-EIGHT MILE
Detroit’s Mohican Regent Residents Association has big plans for the upcoming Neighborhoods Day, including cleaning vacant lots, beautifying a local park and working with children to continue growth of a community garden.
The organization’s efforts are being led by George Preston, president of the association that covers a section of the east side known as Mohican Regent. Bounded by Gratiot and Schoenherr to the east and Eight Mile Road to the North and State Fair to the south, residents are active and have lots of pride in their community.
He’s looking forward to continuing the association’s five-year-old tradition of working together on Neighborhoods Day.
In past years, the group has cleaned up vacant lots and adopted a neighborhood Park, the Edmore-Marbud Park, located on Edmore near Gratiot.
This Neighborhoods Day, it’s planning to improve other lots.
“One of the sites will be the lot on Eastburn that we just purchased from the Detroit Land Bank,” Preston said.
“We expect to have about 30 people in our group,” he said. “We’ll send other people to clean up vacant lots and blighted homes that we will identify. We’re also looking forward to getting kids involved to work in the garden. Boards will be put up for the Girl Scouts to come, be creative and decorate the boards. The whole point of our working at the lot on Eastburn is to show the community what can be done if we work together.”
He said the garden on the lot will get special attention. “We will need people to put in various planter boxes, cut the grass and whatever needs to be done. Wendy Edwards is our beautification coordinator. She will assign our volunteers,” Preston said.
Edwards is excited about the garden. “We are in partnership with Wayne State University’s horticultural group,” she said. “We’re working with students at Wayne State. They have a greenhouse on campus. On Neighborhoods Day we’ll have a children’s garden. The children will be making birdhouses and planting perennials.”
Preston and his wife raised their family in the Mohican Regent area and have lived in the area for 30 years
“There are 60 blocks and 1200 homes in this neighborhood, and we try to keep everyone involved to keep the neighborhood safe and clean,” Preston said. “I don’t plan on moving, so if I’m going to be here, I want to improve the neighborhood. One person can make a difference.”
The Mohican Regent Residents Association meets every third Thursday, and features a guest speaker.
“We put out a flyer so that everyone is aware of the meetings. Many of the city officials attend the monthly meeting; City Councilman Scott Benson, the district manager representing the Mayor’s office, the state representative and local police officers regularly attend the meeting ” Preston said.
The group’s work has resulted in fewer abandoned cars and less debris making the area cleaner and safer, Preston said, adding, “We want to create an environment where people can live and play.” he said.
The Mohican Regent Residents Association meeting is held on the third Thursday of each month at Ford Resource Center, 15491 Madeline,. 6 pm – 7:30 pm. For more information, call (313) 715-6206.