Detroit has many great, viable neighborhoods where people take enormous pride in their property. On my two-wheel travels through the city, I’ve seen blocks and blocks of well-maintained neighborhoods, where most, if not all of the vintage brick and frame homes are in remarkably good shape, considering that many are approaching 100 years old.
Nearly all the outstanding, restored homes I’ve seen are located in some of the city’s most notable, historic neighborhoods – East English Village, Boston-Edison, Corktown, Lafayette Park, Brush Park and many others as this map shows.
These tight neighborhoods are usually well-marked with custom signs and utility pole banners that reflect the personality of the area. Like my eastside neighborhood, I assume these tight communities have an association made up of volunteers from the neighborhood that meet regularly to promote revitalization, safety, and work with the city to enforce code violations and other issues that may arise. Some are so well-organized that they promote their neighborhoods by hosting home and garden club tours, open house realty bus tours and other events to draw people into their community.
Many of us are aware of these high-profile, prime residential communities of Detroit. But there are other small residential organizations in Detroit making a big difference as well. Block clubs.
I never realized how many block clubs there are in this city until I started noticing the many identity signs found in a small eastside stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are hundreds of these grassroots organizations found within the city. Someone is — or groups of people living on those streets are — concerned about their neighborhood and want to improve quality of life for them and their neighbors. Like all of us, they want to stop crime and illegal dumping, have their street plowed in the winter, take care of the elderly, hold block parties and protect their investment. It’s encouraging to see community activism at such a local level.
Take a look at the variety of block club signs, note the tag lines and designs, and think about those in Detroit that are making a difference.