Planting the seeds of change…
ProSeeds is a consulting firm that supports community and economic development by providing grant writing, project management, and technical assistance to nonprofits located in Detroit.
Libby Levy, Principal of ProSeeds, works independently as a business consultant. However, she partners with a wide variety of companies and civic organizations to achieve her community development goals. She also teaches urban planning graduate students at the University of Michigan. A number of Libby’s partners are actually other Green Garage businesses, including Goaltrac, New Solutions Group, livingLAB, Center for Community Progress, Patronicity, and more recently, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.
When and How?
In the early 2000s, Libby, recipient of a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, worked as the Fund Development Director and Program Director for the Jefferson East Business Association, helping to strengthen and attract businesses. Libby subsequently began providing independent grant writing and fundraising aid to nonprofits. After deciding to work more in depth with a diverse clientele, she went out on her own and officially started ProSeeds in 2006.
ProSeeds aims to support neighborhood stabilization and revitalization through economic and community development. In order to do this, they believe all Detroit neighborhoods must be included, not just the areas of prominent growth. ProSeeds tackles this goal by providing consulting services to organizations such as the Belle Isle Conservancy, North Corktown Neighborhood Association, Write A House and Southwest Detroit Business Association. Much of her work involves open space and greenways including work with the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative and the Detroit Greenways Coalition, with whom she’s worked to establish pedestrian and bike infrastructure. A current project is the Beaufait Belt Line Greenway, where old railroad tracks leading from Belle Isle to Gleaners Community Food Bank are being replaced by a pedestrian-friendly walkway, thereby connecting a variety of residents and communities. In addition, Libby is involved with Detroit Future City where she help think through how to transform vacant land into a community asset.
“When you find your interest, whether it be a subject, a teacher, or a topic, go deeper! Talk to those who foster that interest even if it be through recommending an author, article, or aiding in the discovery of a study abroad program.” Furthermore, Libby encourages people to get involved and participate. “Find your people, but don’t limit yourself.” Always leave room to explore and learn!