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In case you missed it…
A day without diesel pollution on W. Vernor – 2018 Open Streets SW Detroit
Open Streets Southwest Detroit was held on October 7, 2018 offering 3.5 miles of non-motorized getting around and getting info. Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision was there getting the word out to Open Streets attendees on what’s happening here at home to cut pollution in air, water, land, and our bodies.
Open Streets allows for safe use of the roadway by walkers, bikers, and other motorless modes of transportation. Folks enjoyed the exercise, lack of engine noise, and clearer air from an afternoon without motor vehicles on this stretch of W. Vernor (the event also extended along Michigan Avenue from Roosevelt Park to 3rd Street).
SDEV Healthy Air Program Manager, Maggie Striz Calnin and Special Projects Program Manager, Alondra Alvizo staffed the SDEV table at the corner of W. Vernor and Clark Ave. This corner is also the site of a 2017 collaborative project that installed a mural, decorative planters, a demonstration rain garden, and tables and benches for community members to enjoy.
Learn more about Open Streets Southwest Detroit at” openstreetsdet.org/
Junction at Federal Murals
In September, during GM Cares Week, SDEV engaged local artist Demacio Soto to create a mural on the west side of Junction Street between Merritt and Federal Streets (@Demaciiio on Instagram). Soto’s design was created to reflect the pride and resilience of Southwest Detroit. This work got the attention of the City of Detroit’s City Walls Program and triggered planning for a new mural across the street on the east side of Junction at Federal St. This viaduct now has murals on both sides with the addition of a City of Detroit City Walls mural.
City Walls engaged artist Jesse Kassel to create the mural on the east side of the viaduct on Junction at Federal St. Residents had been invited to a visioning session to view Kassel’s designs. This meeting was held on October 10, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at PizzaPlex (4458 W Vernor Highway, Detroit, MI 48209). Learn more about City Walls at: www.detroitmi.gov/GeneralServices/CityWalls
Kassel presented his ideas for the mural which included a four wheeler and representation of migration through birds to highlight the Southwest Detroit community. There was extensive feedback shared at this meeting regarding representation of history, the churches on Junction, the park and overall the people of the community.
SDEV has continued to engage local artists in mural work bordering the surface lot at the former Kidz Playland site on Federal at Junction. Visit this area now to see new work, including commentaries on environmental and public health issues.
SDEV welcomes Lupe Estrada to our team! Cristo Rey Student Employee
SDEV is pleased to welcome a new team member from the Cristo Rey High School student employment program. We invite the community to learn more about Lupe in her own words…
“My name is Guadalupe Estrada, I am one of the middle kids in the family. I have 2 older brothers name German and Brian and one younger sister name Andrea. I grew up in Southwest my whole life. I’m a junior at Detroit Cristo Rey High School. Cristo Rey has a work study program that allows us students to go out to a job once a week, they provide transportation and lunch for us. For the past 2 months I’ve been working at Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision. I’ve gotten the chance to learn many new things not only of the job but also about myself. Here, I learned how to send a check, how to use Microsoft Excel, how to take business calls and more. At SDEV i’ve participated in a fun event called GM Cares week, where other volunteers and I got together and helped out in the community, for example we painted and helped out in the gardens. I hope to help the community more and learn more about myself here at SDEV.”
The whole SDEV team is excited to continue to work with Lupe this year as she grows in this role. We welcome her friendly demeanor, strong work ethic, willingness to learn, and the skills she brings to our organization!