If you have visited the Green Garage, you have probably already seen the alley on the south side of the building. It is 100% concrete, if you don’t include the stubborn weeds that make a home next to the building every summer. One of the first things we decided to do once we bought the building was remove the concrete and make the surface permeable – in other words, allow enough space for the rainwater to become absorbed back into the ground, with a minimal amount heading for the storm sewer. We have been discussing this project for a while, and had a sketch of the greener alley done a few months ago.
The center part is composed, alternately, of historic brick and pavement, and is bordered by permeable pavers, which is bordered by 3- and 5-ft garden beds holding native plants. Bollards will be placed at either end of the alley to encourage pedestrian-only traffic. High-efficiency lighting will be installed.
This coming Saturday, April 18th, we will celebrate the figurative groundbreaking of this project to celebrate Earth Day, in conjunction with the groundbreaking of the Cass Community Garden at Willis and Second. We will begin with a community clean-up of the Cass garden from 9-11, then convene to Motor City Brewing Works for the more formal celebration. At this point, we think the literal groundbreaking will follow next month. For more information about the design features of the alley project, click here.