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Group of volunteers filling wheel barrows with soil

Urban Stewardship: Liberating Vacant Land in Southwest Detroit

(11am CT, 10am MT, 9am PT)

With a waning tax base and declining population, the City of Detroit has been struggling to oversee vacant lots, pursue absentee landowners, or investigate illegal dumping. In response, the Springwells neighborhood created a program to address dangerous land vacancy and create long term solutions that heal their land and create vital green spaces.  

Join our guests from The Land Stewardship Initiative of Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI) to learn how they address local issues alongside residents and local youth, transforming vacant spaces into vital spaces that strengthen habitats, mitigate stormwater, and promote community bonding.


Lisa Maria Rodriguez

Lisa Maria Rodriguez

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

Curator of Parks and Green Spaces

A first-generation high school and college graduate, Lisa Rodriguez graduated from Wayne State University with honors and holds three degrees in Fine Arts. She started at UNI as a volunteer and went on to expand the organization’s blight elimination efforts by creating their Land Stewardship Initiative, identifying and stewarding vacant lots, green spaces, and parks while collaborating with residents and volunteers. Lisa enjoys long walks in the forest and the shoreline with her beautiful German Shepherd, Koolie.