What Detroiters are Doing with Discarded Tires

ONE 2014 MORNING on Detroit’s northeast side, residents along Mapleridge were horrified to find that 10,000 tires had been stuffed into a row of abandoned houses on their street. The tires were stacked from floor to ceiling, piled in alleyways and jammed into garages. The fire hazard was high, and the disregard for neighborhood safety was disturbing.…

Mowtown to Growtown

FOUR YEARS AGO, Detroit businessman John Hantz received national attention when he announced his plans to create the world’s largest urban farm in Detroit. His plan to buy vacant city land and convert it to orchards and tree farms was hailed as visionary by some and nefarious by others. After 4 years of negotiating wit…

Eating Local at the Ballpark

AS A FAITHFUL Detroit Tigers fan, I have been known to purchase my share of ballpark food. It’s one of the only places I’ll let my kids eat cotton candy and one of the few places you’ll see me munching on a hot dog on a white bun. But as the editor of a local…

Bumper Crop: A Detroit Garden

WHAT DO YOU GET when you combine zoo animal manure, coffee grounds and shipping crates? The answer is an environmentally friendly start to Detroit’s newest urban garden. Located on Merritt in southwest Detroit, the Cadillac Urban Garden marked its first year with a bumper crop and steadfast community support in spite of the drought and the…

Purses from Plastic

THE UBIQUITOUS PLASTIC grocery bag—used for lunches, garbage cans, and groceries—is one of the most prolific sources of pollution in modern-day society. Scientists estimate that worldwide people use 500 trillion plastic bags each year. In the Americas alone, the United States reports using 380 billion plastic bags a year. Cheap to buy and easy to store,…

Bolivian Voices

ON A SATURDAY morning in El Alto, Bolivia, a group of men and women at the Internet café Scorpio are intently studying the computer screens in front of them. Some of these people have never had Internet access before, but now they are learning about blogging, digital photography and video techniques—all the tools they need…

Native Lands for Wolf and Man

AS THE SPIRIT of the wolf returns to Idaho’s national forest, so does the spirit of the Native American tribe in charge of reintroducing them. For the first time, the U.S. government has contracted an Indian nation—the Nez Percé tribe of Northern Idaho—to manage the recovery of an endangered species—the gray wolf.  The success of…