Community Art Garden, Hazel Park
About the Project
Currently, there are 91 vacant lots owned by the City of Hazel Park. The majority of these lots were acquired via Oakland County tax foreclosures. This lot is located on one of the main thoroughfares in Hazel Park next to the Dairy Park, which is a favorite place for locals to get ice cream and quick snacks. The neighborhood itself is littered with vacant homes and blight is a major problem. The commercial district is also experiencing a high number of vacancies, as well.
This lot already has some limited landscaping, with two crudely designed beds of Black-eyed Susans situated along the sidewalk in the front of the lot, and perennial grasses planted around the perimeter of the lot.
The goal of the community art garden project is to improve neighborhood stabilization by transforming a vacant city-owned lot into an urban oasis of sculpture and attractive landscaping.
The impact of this project is expected to be felt in several ways. First of all, it will improve the look of that area by transforming a neighborhood eyesore into a beautiful art garden. It will also provide a gathering place for family and friends, as they meet to share an ice cream cone, or play a friendly game of chess.
We are also hopeful that if residents see this development as a harbinger of better things to come, they may begin to take more care with their own properties, and the overall look of the neighborhood will improve. If that happens, it is also likely that purchases by homeowners (as opposed to landlords) will increase, and that the potential long-term stability of the neighborhood could be enhanced.
Ultimately, the impact most hoped for is that it will raise the bar in terms of cultural expectations within the City of Hazel Park, which has historically been known as a blue-collar, inner-ring suburb, with an obvious lack of cultural ambience.
If this project is successful, the Arts Council has agreed to help the City of Hazel Park create more of these art gardens in their vacant lots, which would allow the City to leverage what is now only a drain on the their meager resources into a means to attract new residents and stabilize its precarious housing market.Community Art Garden, Hazel Park
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