Program Sponsors:
The student voice of Detroit's High Schools.

Working toward a greener Detroit

<p>A small container garden in the home of Shishu Miah, a Detroit resident.</p>

A small container garden in the home of Shishu Miah, a Detroit resident.

Detroit is an industrial city, and it has been for a long time. As a result, too much of its environment, especially the waterways, is polluted with dangerous chemicals. The manufacturing world produces tons of waste, tarnishing its once-flourishing environment. But is it too late to restore it back to its original state? Many Detroiters believe that it’s never too late for a change and are willing to take action.

“Looking from a different perspective, I would like to see us looking at our rivers and looking at what it takes to remediate them,” says Douglas McBride, the microbiology teacher and advisor of Benjamin Carson High School’s Garden Club. Detroit waterways have been polluted and are still being polluted by the industries that, while the backbone of Detroit’s economy, house themselves in the city.

“I think we need to start looking at how we can restore Detroit to the pre-Columbian biome,” said McBride. Looking back, large urban waterways have been cleaned up through collective efforts: for New York Harbor, the city had to excavate the dirt and incinerate it to take the harmful chemicals out. McBride proposes that the same could be done here, but other solutions exist as well.

“To boost the process of restoring Detroit back to its natural state, we need to start planting,” says BCHS sophomore Meer Alrafee. Whether this be a backyard full of vegetables and fruit trees or a small container garden in an apartment, purifying Detroit can start with plants, which gave rise to the BCHS Garden Club.

“I like the idea of teaching people how to plant, the benefits of plants, the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, and ultimately coming to a way that we can start changing our eating habits,” says McBride.

To “green” Detroit means to take advantage of excess land and work toward a beautiful future, but it takes humans’ willingness and effort to promote and spread the idea. People are more willing to do something when they know the benefit that it produces.

Detroit is still on a major waterway, and it is still a hub for the U.S., so it is not too late. The city can be returned to its original state with the help of its very own people.


Comments powered by Disqus

Please note: All comments are eligible for publication in Detroit Dialogue.

Recent Editions