Go Comedy! is proud to bring their improvised rock opera, Rock-O-Matic to this summers Rhythm & Stage Series in downtown Detroit!

Rock-o-matic merges the intensity of a musical and the spontaneity of improv to form a live rock opera the likes of which have never been seen and will never be seen again. Join our cast and the Rock-o-matic Band as they create musical magic before your very eyes.

This show is FREE so just stroll on over after the Tigers Game!

Grand Circus Park
Thursday August 8, 2015

Carré Callaway and Wes Borland in front of their Boston Edison home in Detroit. (used with permission / credit: haydencscott)
Carré Callaway and Wes Borland in front of their Boston Edison home in Detroit. (credit: @haydencscott)

New York, Minneapolis, Denver and Oregon were runners up on the short list of places for Carré Callaway and Wes Borland to start the next phase of their lives.
They were sold on Detroit after spending one day here.

Temporarily crashing in Troy, the two were preparing for the big move on Thursday to an ornate three story home in Detroit’s Arden Park-East Boston neighborhood.

Tough Sell
The couple argue about how the plan came to fruition, but here’s the gist. She pitched the idea. At first Borland wasn’t receptive, but eventually he came around. “If you love me — you’ll follow me to Detroit,” he said, jokingly describing an ultimatum he perceived from Callaway.

Click HERE For The Full Article!

photo 3

On Friday, July 31, 2015, from 10am – 2pm, over 40 representatives from Paul Mitchell The School (PMTS), Loving the Least (LTL) and generous volunteers will join Cass Community Social Services (Cass) for the inaugural PMTS4Change event in Detroit.

PMTS4Change invites Detroit’s homeless citizens to Cass’ Activity Center (3745 Cass Ave., Detroit) for a FREE HAIRCUT. Attendees will be given “Street Survival Kits” with toiletries, sunscreen, socks, essential personal items and LTL founder Dustin Berlin’s personal favorite – a pack of mints.

Keeping the atmosphere festive - Detroit born, singer/songwriter Sean Z will perform some of his favorite songs for attendees and volunteers to enjoy.

“I believe everyone deserves to be loved and cared for. I’ve cut hair for people that can’t afford it everywhere I’ve traveled. Each time the act of loving others has created an amazing experience for the both of us” says Berlin. “The survival kits are funded out of my own pocket and from other hairstylists and generous donors who believe in the cause.”

PMTS4Change is asking community members interested in supporting the event to donate fundamental personal items for the survival kits (toiletries, first aid items, lip balm/Vaseline, etc.), refreshments (for lunch), or to simply volunteer to help at the event.

Loving the Least is an organization founded in southern California by social activist and hairstylist Dustin Berlin. Formerly homeless, Dustin established LTL as an outreach program to provide free haircuts to homeless people, assist with fundamental needs and increase awareness about the personal struggles of homelessness within the general public.

Every Saturday, on the same street corner, the nonprofit group Elevate Detroit hosts a CommuniD BBQ for the homeless. For eight years, the BBQ has run entirely on pure generosity. It feeds almost 200 homeless people every week in downtown Detroit. This gathering has become a staple in the neighborhood and an incredible testament to Detroit pride.

Now, due to new property restructuring, the BBQ is losing its location. The local community has come to rely on this gathering as a not only a source of food but a place of support and positive encouragement. Let’s give the BBQ a permanent home!

Here's how you can help...
I need to raise $10,000 in 24 hours to help save the BBQ! We’ll find a new location, clean up the property, and outfit the BBQ with everything it needs to continue feeding the homeless.

Be a donor and we'll show you the immediate impact...
As soon as the funds are raised, we’ll get to work and shoot a video to show how your donation directly helped the BBQ. Here’s how your donation will help:

Click HERE To Donate!!!!

The Belle Isle Conservancy, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is proudly welcoming the community to Belle Isle Park during Belle Isle Summer Saturdays (BLISS) for the third consecutive year. Featuring new signature events, visitors can enjoy a host of outdoor activities, games, sports, art, culture, food and more all around the island on July 25, August 29 and September 26.

 From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday, BLISS will offer family-friendly fun. Some activities will be offered each day of BLISS, and some special activities will be available on particular dates. Each day of BLISS, visitors can learn the fundamentals of kayaking and enjoy water exploration, rent bicycles, participate in outdoor games, brave the giant slide and explore Belle Isle with self-paced island tours. The Detroit City Chess Club will also be at Dossin Great Lakes Museum on the island, giving visitors a chance to watch tournament play as well as offering chess instruction. The Belle Isle Aquarium and Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory will be open and, as always, admission will be free to visitors of all ages.

 New this year, the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre will host an outdoor movie night following day-time BLISS activities on August 29. Beginning at dusk on the grounds near the Belle Isle lighthouse, movie lovers can take in the story of the 1974 Zaire 74 music festival in the critically-acclaimed film Soul Power, projected on a larger-than-life screen. The movie features performances by music legends like James Brown, B.B. King and Bill Withers, free of charge.

 Yoga in the Conservatory Garden with Yoga Shelter Midtown Detroit
@ Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory Gardens / 10:30am - 11:30am

Golf Sessions for Children + Adults
@ Belle Isle Golf Center / 10:30am - 12:30pm

MIX 92.3 + FM 98 WJLB Appearance with concert ticket giveaways!
@ Belle Isle Aquarium / Noon - 1pm

Basketball KNOCKOUT
@ Basketball Courts / Noon - 1pm

Kickball Pick-Up Game
@ Baseball Field / 1:10pm sharp

Aquarium, Conservatory + Olmsted History Stops

 Conservatory History
@ Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory / 10:30am - 12:30pm

Aquarium History
@ Belle Isle Aquarium / 11am - 1pm

A Look at Frederick Law Olmsted
@ Belle Isle Aquarium / 10:30am - 1pm

Guided Island Bicycle Tours with Riverside Kayak
@ Flynn Pavilion / 11am - 1pm
• 2-hour guided tour $20 / $40 with a bike from Riverside Kayak
•1-hour bicycle rental available all day (without a tour)
$7 adult / $5 child / $10 tandem

Chess Instruction + Competition with the Detroit City Chess Club
@ Dossin Great Lakes Museum / 10am - 3pm

Outdoor Games
@ White House Lawn / 10am - 3pm

Kayak Instruction + Water Exploration with Riverside Kayak
@ Beach / 10am - 3pm

Also throughout the day:
• Self-Paced Belle Isle Tours – free maps at BLISS both by the Belle Isle Aquarium
• Food Concessions
• Giant Slide (opens noon)
Photo: Sister Pie

Hitsville, The Motor City, Motown, America's Automotive Capital, The 313, Rock City: These classic names have long been used to describe Detroit. But, it’s the newer names that stand out for me: Comeback City, City of Reinvention, Renaissance City.

I’m not from Detroit, but thanks to a recent experience with Breakout, a company on a mission to “bring inspirational people to inspirational cities,” I was able to learn from locals about the showcasing tools that can be applied directly to our entrepreneurial journeys.

As Graham Cohen, co-founder of Breakout, explained to me, “One relationship at a time. Mentor to mentee. Friend to friend. Community to community. Breakout brings together leaders to take on challenges and opportunities, changing our communities for the better.”

But, why Detroit? Co-founder Michael Farber told me “We chose Detroit because we were inspired by the hope and energy displayed by the local leaders moving the city forward. We thought we could play our (small) part by having the Breakout community experience what was really happening, engage and advise local small business owners and nonprofits and serve as beacons upon returning to their local communities to tell others what is really happening.”

And what is really happening can be translated into these straightforward lessons that the people of Detroit, by example, are teaching us -- lessons we can apply to our entrepreneurial paths:

1. Be bold.
Boldness is evident among Detroiters. It’s exemplified in their choices to move back into a devastated city, start businesses, buy property and express their creative visions through art and commerce. Similarly, we entrepreneurs, regardless of our locale, must be bold in our decision-making. Many stages of the journey require this. Should we continue to bootstrap? Do we bring on an investor? Do we need a partner? Are we selling to the right audience? Should we make that first hire? Do we do a re-brand or a pivot? Each of these decisions, and many others, require boldness in leadership and decision-making.

2. Have pride.
If Detroit is replete with anything, it’s pride. Who doesn’t want to be a part of a proud community or organization? So, bring pride to your company every day. Your customers, investors and employees will all feel it, and ideally, it will rub off on them, too.

Related: 21 Success Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

3. Leverage your assets.
Detroit certainly has some qualities that are not marketing-worthy. But, it also has a significant amount of noteworthy talking points, such as a low cost of living, a vibrant music scene plus art, ample space and the opportunity to impact change as an individual. This city is doing a great job of modeling how to accentuate the positives. So, do the same in your business. This doesn’t mean lying about your weaknesses, just leading with your best foot forward, to find where you shine and to leverage those assets.

4. Be strategic.
Growth rarely happens without strategic planning and vision. Government, public and private investors, nonprofits, start-ups and artists are all teaming up in Detroit to create a shared vision of their brighter future. And while certainly not all communities are on the same page about the way to get there, without a road map, it’s tough to know which way to drive. In business, it’s no different. So, be intentional about taking time away from the daily grind to "goal-plan" and strategize, setting both short-and long-term plans for the company.

5. Raise expectations.
It would be a lot easier to encourage Detroiters to move out and let the city disintegrate than it is to raise their expectations and work daily on solutions to improve their current reality. In business, there are periods of downturn, and in some cases, almost fatal collapse. By raising your expectations for what is possible, you can then begin to see what’s on the other side of the horizon. Optimism breeds optimism. Pessimism breeds pessimism. You get to choose.

Click HERE For The Full Article!

Gold Cash Gold today announced that their new happy hour will be known as “Oysters for Equality”. Beginning July 24th (this Friday!) Gold Cash Gold will host the “Oysters for Equality” on every Friday. From 4 pm- 6 pm, drinks will cost 77% of their full price for women, mirroring the pay gap the currently exists between women and men in the U.S.

“We don’t get why the pay gap exists, it seems disrespectful and stupid” said Toby Barlow, one of the partners in the restaurant, “We’re happy to join the greater effort to highlight the problem.”

Building on events that have been held at various institutions around country, including a discount at M’lady Records & the one-time event at The Way Station Bar in New York, Gold Cash Gold says it plans to keep hosting “Oysters for Equality” for the foreseeable future.

“Who knows how long the pay gap will take to fix.” said April Boyle, another partner in the restaurant, “So we’ll do this for awhile and see if we can bring some attention to the inequity issue. And maybe have some fun too.”

Corktown’s Gold Cash Gold opened in November with chef Josh Stockton serving farmstead cuisine that includes pickle brine fried chicken, flat iron steak, papardelle pasta, and a low country cioppino.

Their celebrated cocktail list includes the Pinky Ring (scotch, mescal, honey) the Mink Stole (Our/Detroit vodka, grapefruit bitters) and the Lawn Flamingo (house-made sangria.)

There will be an expanded bar menu for the Happy Hour, including fresh oysters.

James Scott Memorial Fountain: Belle Isle 

You know about the cars—and that Eminem grew up on Eight Mile. But there’s plenty more to learn about Michigan’s most populous city.

1. It’s dubbed the Motor City for a reason. Detroit was home to the first mile of concrete highway, the first four-way three-color traffic light, and the world’s first urban freeway.

2. It’s also the site of the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the first traffic tunnel between two nations. Hi, Canada!

3. To get to the D, some Canadians drive north. It’s the only major city in America north of Canada. Crazy, eh?

4. They can also use the Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor and Detroit. It’s the busiest single border crossing in North America.

5. Detroiters like their spirits. During Prohibition it’s estimated some 75 percent of illegal liquor supplied to the U.S. was smuggled through the city’s waterways.

6. Detroit, a.k.a. the Paris of the Midwest, also boasts the nation’s oldest soda: Vernor’s ginger ale.

7. Legend has it that the refreshment was created by accident. Detroit pharmacist James Vernor crafted a new drink, and then was called to serve in the Civil War in 1862. He stored the beverage in an oak cask—when he came back he learned the keg had transformed it.

8. Mixing the popular sip with vanilla ice cream makes a Boston Cooler—a drink named for a Boulevard in Detroit, not the Massachusetts city.

9. Detroit’s 987-acre Belle Isle Park—which has a golf course, museum, basketball courts, and baseball fields—is the largest island park in the United States.

Click HERE To Read The Full Article! 

Revitalising Detroit, A Dish At A Time

Antietam (exterior). Pete-Deevakul
Two vacant Art Deco buildings in Eastern Market have been restored and transformed into restaurant Antietam. Photography: Pete Deevakul 

The city’s restaurateurs put flesh on the bones of its abandoned buildings.

Think of Detroit and the first words that usually come to mind are ‘cars,’ ‘Motown,’ or more recently, ‘broke.’ But with the bankruptcy behind the city (it emerged from Chapter 9 last November), the latest buzz on the street is not about ‘restructuring,’ but rather, ‘revitalising.’
One of the most visible signs of the city’s comeback is the number of new restaurants popping up in old buildings: nurturing Detroiters with both farm-to-table food and the refurbishment of beloved, previously vacant, spaces.

It took brothers, David and Tom Carleton, and their business partner, Sean Emory, nearly four years to obtain the historic, triangular-shaped Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) building in downtown Detroit. The 1897 five-story structure, which resembles a castle with its 11th and 12th century European revivalist features – arches, towers, columns and recessed entrances – was originally used as a meeting place for veterans of the Civil War Union Army.

Later, in the 1930s it became a city government building, housing the Parks and Recreation department, complete with shuffleboard courts. But from 1986 until 2011, when the partners purchased it for $220,000, the building remained vacant, filled with pigeons.
‘When we first walked in you could feel the history of the place,’ recalls David Carleton of the 22,000 sq ft space, which now boasts two restaurants (the five-month old, Republic Tavern, and the soon-to-be opened Parks & Rec), a wedding venue, and offices upstairs for their media company, Mindfield. Carleton believes they have spent close to $4 million on the build-out.

Thanks to Los Angeles-based set designer, Peter Gurski (a former Detroiter), both restaurants reflect the building’s heritage, from the blue colour of the décor in Republic Tavern (the same hue as Union soldiers’ uniforms) to the checkerboard-topped tables in Parks & Rec (Gurski also found an old park bench for extra seating).

‘I really wanted to tell a design story about the building,’ says Gurski, who polished old joists from the building and made them into table tops at Republic and decorated the walls of Park & Rec with the painted shuffle board wood. ‘I realised the best way to showcase the architecture and history was by adding modern touches to old elements.’

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

So, when I told people I was taking a road trip to Detroit to eat, most of them looked at me like I had three heads.


Yes, Detroit has suffered in recent years and it's downtown population has shrunk from 2.5 million to about 700,000. It's more famous for it's hauntingly beautiful, derelict buildings than it's former, GM fueled, glory but walking around downtown, you can imagine what this place was like in it's hey day. Detroit was the ultimate showpiece of the American Dream and it's downfall was dramatic and swift, weighed down with corruption and a huge economic and social disparity.

All of that may be true but the Detroit of today is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and it's an exciting place to be right now. Young chefs, entrepreneurs , artists and movers and shakers are working their asses off to breath life back into their city so instead of deserting Detroit, they are staying put. After years of an intense pop up restaurant scene, amazing brick and mortar establishments are popping up all over the city and I don't think we visited one place that has been open for longer than a year and a half.

Sure, there are still challenges for the visitor who is used to big city conveniences. Hailing a taxi is little more than a pipe dream but thanks to Uber, which is thriving here, you can still get around. Hotels are well maintained and comfortable and staff is lovely but the customer service you might have come to expect from high end hotels is kind of hit and miss. You need to relax, be patient, plan ahead a bit and go with the flow and I promise you, you will leave with a full belly and a smile on your face, planning your next visit.

I will write about some of the people I met who are working to build this city back up and some of the things that you must experience when you are there, but, for now, here are the restaurants that we checked out in our whirlwind day and a half trip. Take note that I usually just don't talk about the places I don't like but in this case, I did not leave one place off the list because every place we ate in was wonderful.

It's an easy 4-5 hour drive from Toronto (a little closer than Montreal and we think nothing of driving to Montreal for the weekend, right?) and Virgin US now flies in and out. Trust me, if you want to experience a city that is exploding with amazing talent and energy, get off your ass and get to Detroit.

Click HERE For The Full Article!
The children’s zip line at Balduck Park is one of several improvements that have turned Balduck into one of the jewels of Detroit’s park system. (Bridge photo by Bill McGraw)

No matter how well-preserved certain neighborhoods remained through the decades of Detroit’s decline, residents could always gauge the city’s overall troubles by the condition of their local park.
Balduck Park, for example, was such a year-round hive of activity on the comfortable far east side that it popped up in “Pagan Babies,” the 2000 novel by Elmore Leonard. “You remember Balduck Park and the hill?” one character asks another. “Used to be full of sleds and toboggans in the winter? You and I were in a fight there one time.”

Like many Detroit parks, Balduck began a slow downward spiral in the 1970s, when the city, cash-starved even then, started cutting back on mowing, and the grass grew so long it could stop hard-hit softballs.

The backstops gradually rusted and the benches fell apart; workers boarded up the recreation building and dismantled the rotting toboggan slides. The archery range, tennis courts and sprawling ice rink ‒ a low-lying portion of the park that was simply flooded by a fire hydrant ‒ disappeared. City workers departed. The body of a prostitute, stabbed multiple times by a member of a skinhead gang, was discovered in the park in 1988.

Aspects of Balduck’s unhappy decline were repeated across the city’s more than 300 parks and playfields, the most notable being Belle Isle, which faded in full view of the region, the state and even the world.

Today, though, Balduck is unrecognizable, in a good way. It has emerged as one of the stars of Detroit’s park system, receiving $2.7 million in upgrades from city and private sources in the past year.

Even more promising are signs of a renaissance across many of the city’s 307 parks, the result of millions of dollars in bankruptcy money flowing into the park system, which has, among other things, allowed the administration of Mayor Mike Duggan to more than triple the number of workers tending parks. Other factors are also at work, from growing corporate support to a collection of volunteer park lovers adopting green space in Detroit neighborhoods and caring for parks that the city still is not able to reach.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 
Mike Kline—Getty Images/Flickr RF

Detroit was built on the backs of Henry Ford and his automotive brethren. But this time, when Detroit rises, it may well be built by young women.

Detroit may struggle to attract supermarkets and national retailers, but it is enticing one unlikely group in scores. The Motor City is the new, surprising face of female entrepreneurship—and women in their 20s and 30s are leading the city’s revival through new ventures.

Within the past five years, Detroit has become known both as the Wild West and the land of opportunity for business founders, a significant proportion of them female. Lax regulation, low barriers to entry and a surging demand for products and services make the city, which is emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, the ideal place to start a business. Add to the mix the legions of incubators, accelerators and resources available to all entrepreneurs sprouting up Downtown and in Midtown, and it’s clear why women are choosing en masse to locate their startups in Detroit.

“Detroit is in a period of reinvention and growth,” said Rachel Schostak, the 27-year-old founder of Styleshack, an e-commerce platform aggregating independent boutiques and designers. “While there are some challenges in a smaller market, the Detroit business community and leaders are looking for fresh minds and talent, and I’ve used that to my advantage.”

Schostak, who grew up in suburban Detroit but worked in fashion in New York and Chicago, chose to build Styleshack in the Motor City to capitalize on the city’s burgeoning “buy local” movement. Styleshack helps hundreds of brick and mortar stores struggling to stay competitive with online retailers by putting their products online and driving traffic to their stores. She also received support from Bizdom, a startup accelerator that’s part of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert’s efforts to revitalize the city. Bizdom, which also operates in Cleveland, provides early-stage entrepreneurs with mentorship, an investor network, a downtown workspace and $25,000 in seed funding, as well as an opportunity for additional investment.

It’s easier for entrepreneurs to have an impact in Detroit than in larger cities, said Ross Sanders, Bizdom’s executive director. “Detroit is a perfect example of what can be done by entrepreneurs who think big and are game changers. Unlike other cities, entrepreneurs can see how their work is playing an active role in the revitalization of a great American city.”

Click HERE For The Full Article! 
Tunde Wey gets ready to serve plantains and Jollof rice at his pop-up Nigerian dinner in the kitchen of Toki Underground, a ramen restaurant in Washington, D.C., in December 2014.
Photo: Eliza Barclay/NPR

Most aspiring chefs long for the white hat, the gleaming kitchen, the fancy menu.

But Nigeria-born Tunde Wey stumbled into a different version of the (American) chef's dream. He wanted to see the country and share the food of his West African childhood with friends and strangers along the way.

So a few months ago, he packed up his knives and his spices at his home in Detroit and started crisscrossing the U.S. by Greyhound bus.

He wowed diners in New Orleans, Chicago and Buffalo with his one-man pop-up dinner events, Lagos, named after his hometown in Nigeria. He cooked his way up and down the East Coast.

Word got around. His one-night cooking gigs began selling out.

But then, like many immigrants to the U.S., Tunde Wey discovered how quickly success can come tumbling down.

I caught up with him the day he was preparing dinner in Washington, D.C., and getting rhapsodic about his ingredients.

"Palm oil is like the sexier, more full-bodied oil to, like, regular cooking oil," he tells me. "It just has soul, you know."

Wey is kind of like a traveling showman. For every dinner party he throws in a new city, he has to scramble to find, and then borrow, a space. Sometimes it's a restaurant, sometimes it's a communal kitchen where food entrepreneurs smoke and bake and boil their wares.

On the day we meet up, he has taken over a restaurant called Toki Underground. Its stove usually has broth and ramen noodles simmering on it, but Wey has replaced them with a huge vat of goat head stew.

Word got around. His one-night cooking gigs began selling out.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

17 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Michigan

Of the fifty states in the US, there’s one in particular that stands out like a sore thumb. Not for its beauty, mind you, but for other reasons. None of them positive.

1. Consider this a PSA to everyone thinking about visiting Michigan: just don’t.

Flickr: Richard Thompson

Grand Portal Point, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Lake Superior

2. Going there could not be a more colossally dumb idea.


Forest road

3. It’s not the type of place you’d want to go to unwind.

Flickr: Leon Reed

Needle Rock, Mackinac Island

4. Nothing ever happens there, apparently.

Flickr: Wes Iversen

“Balloon Glow”, Frankenmuth

5. Do the locals just take up knitting to entertain themselves? I wonder.


Diving in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Lake Huron

6. They have just given up on trying to make the place attractive to visitors.


Mackinac Island
Click HERE For The Full Article!!!!
Photo: Wikipedia 

The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (Ford House) has taken the first steps towards a comprehensive plan to restore, reconstruct, and rehabilitate the estate to when it was occupied by Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their family. Major electrical upgrades and a newly designed storm-water management system are among the first projects completed. A new bridge was also built to connect Bird Island to the mainland after opening a channel between Lake St. Clair and Ford Cove.

To celebrate the progress, the estate is hosting a free evening on the grounds for the public on Wednesday, July 8 from 5 – 8 p.m.

“The landscape of this magnificent estate has matured at the same time that the infrastructure has aged. As we plan for the future, we are taking this opportunity to replace aging systems with state-of-the-art, more efficient, systems, and to restore the landscape to the period when Eleanor and Edsel called the estate home.” said Kathleen Mullins, president and CEO of the Ford House. “There is a legacy of being environmentally concerned in the Ford family, starting with Clara and Henry and continuing with today’s family members. With the work we are undertaking at Ford House, we are continuing their legacy, while at the same time, setting an example for solid, sustainable management of historic estates.”

In support of the Ford family’s vision, Ford House developed a long-term plan to enrich operational and visitor experiences by honoring, and building on, the environmental visions of landscape architect Jens Jensen and the architectural designs of Albert Kahn.

“To improve the ecological health of Ford Cove, we implemented a “green” approach to storm-water management by upgrading the drainage system to direct property runoff into a newly constructed bio-swale, that filters the water naturally before entering Lake St. Clair,” said Dave Miller, project manager for Ford House.

Among the most visible upgrades is to the land known as Bird Island, a peninsula created by the Fords and Jensen to attract migratory birds. A small portion of the neck of the peninsula was removed to allow water to circulate between the cove and the lake. This simple initiative will reduce the risks that develop with stagnant water, including algae blooms. Closed since the winter, Bird Island reopens on July 8 when visitors will have their first opportunity to walk across the newly installed foot bridge and enter the seclusion of the Island. Visitors will also be able to view the bio-swale and learn more about how this extraordinary feature functions.

Many of the initial projects involve replacement and upgrading of the aging infrastructure to serve as a foundation for future estate upgrades. The replacements and upgrades are a strong step in making the estate more environmentally responsible.

“The electrical, sewer and irrigation systems were approaching 90 years old, much older than their intended life expectancy,” said Miller. “We have replaced more than 16,000 feet of underground electrical cabling, and we are adding more than 50,000 feet of underground piping, and 1,000 sprinkler heads for the upgraded irrigation system that will also now be a sensor-based system in order to maximize water efficiency. The system will deliver only the amount of water needed to maintain the landscape. Also, to be as environmentally conscious as possible, all underground work was carefully orchestrated by computer controlled boring machines to prevent unnecessary disruption to the property.”

In addition, more than 5,000 cubic yards of dirt from construction projects around the property is being repurposed to expand the berm system around the property perimeter. This continues the project begun by the Ford Family in the 1970s to protect the estate from floodwaters.

“We invite people to enjoy the estate just as the Fords did,” said Mullins. “For our visitors, and for the future of the estate, we are enriching their opportunity to be part of the natural environment when they visit. And, we want to use the work we are doing as a means for understanding and learning about good stewardship. As they see the flow of water that is being naturally cleaned before entering the Cove they will understand how initiatives like this contribute to the health of our waterways. We invite our visitors to explore and discover this extraordinary estate, to spend time, to ask questions, and to take away ideas for how they might become involved with environmental initiatives in Southeast Michigan.”

Ford House plans future announcements on projects that will continue to introduce environmentally conscious initiatives. Future projects under consideration include construction of a new administration building that will allow for operational functions to be relocated from the main house and enable the staff wing of the main house to be restored and incorporated into the tour and educational program. On the historic landscape, a long-term restoration, replacement, and rehabilitation program is being drafted to ensure that the vision of the Fords, Jensen and Kahn continues to be seen for generations to come.

For more information, visit www.FordHouse.org or call (313) 884-4222.