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Shine One Corner
(videos below)

Detroit Zen Center as a model for
Urban Ecological Stewardship & Public Greenspace
2024 - 2026 Initiative
Since 1990, beginning with the reclamation of historic yet abandoned, dilapidated buildings, monks & countless volunteers of the Zen Center embarked on a grassroots journey to transform one corner of the world into a model of urban land & building stewardship, public greenspace, & beauty within blight.  Through a public schedule of meditation, retreats, an organic & vegan cafe/food business, short term guest, and long-term student residency, DZC monks & teachers seek to blend a spiritual mission of inner cultivation, with the outer cultivation of stewarding the lands & buildings they occupy & host.  For 30 years they have invited students, guests & the public into this shared vision continues to evolve. The vast majority of work is primarily funded by the unpaid labor of monks & students (operating food businesses, a cafe, & an affordable carpentry & home repair service for neighbors), as well as members & patrons.

To date, the Zen Center campus includes an Upper & Lower Green Roof (atop its meditation hall & entry corridor), 2 Bioretention Gardens, a formerly abandoned lot converted into a Public Peace Garden, extensive reclamation & re-use practices, full site composting & recycling, & broad storm-water capture (GSI).  

In the summer of 2024 we will launch site-wide improvements & the launch of tours, residential 'urban ecology stays', & partnerships with the City of Hamtramck, the high school LEAP students & regional non-profit groups.  Improvements will include repairs & refinement of the bioretention gardens, an A/V presentation with subtitles for our diverse neighborhood, interpretive signage, a staircase to the green roof(s), added seating & bike racks, a patio in the public garden, and a schedule of tours & workshops (featuring tea served on the green roof).  This initiative will be fueled by volunteer monastics, members, volunteers, local partners, & your generosity!  We will apply for grants, but we need your help. 

Our current campaign, thru 2026, seeks 500 individuals giving at least $10 per month, in perpetuity, helping the light of this corner continue to shine.  A link to become a monthly or annual patron is below.  The videos below narrate the causes, mission & vision of the decades long evolution of the Center as a micro model & living laboratory for urban ecological care & renewal, and specifically GSI (green stormwater infrastructure), for the benefit of our neighborhood, our community, the Detroit & Rouge River watershed, & all living beings.

Shine One Corner
2024 & Beyond:  Narrated Video


2018 Green Roof Crowdfunding Campaign


Shine One Corner
Narrative, Vision, Plan

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