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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Myungiu Hillary Moga, Director
Detroit Zen Center

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
734.669.6317; C: 810.874.1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Detroit Zen Center Green Roof Park and Gardens

$50.000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Detroit Zen Center, nestled in the city of Hamtramck, will soon become home to a public Green Roof Park and Gardens through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Detroit Zen Center announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by December 17, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This green roof park and gardens represent an innovate response and solution to a community flooding problem while creating an outdoor public space,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign will complete the multi-level outdoor/indoor space at the Detroit Zen Center, Green Roof Park, Lower Rain Garden and Tea House. The green roof and rain gardens will serve as beautiful public gathering spaces that are also able to absorb thousands of gallons of storm-water at a time and serve as a model of sustainability for the community.

Detroit Zen Center is partnering with the installers of the legendary Ford Rouge Green Roof (Xero Flor) and Michigan State University 'Green Roof Studies' students and faculty to grow and install the 2,500-square-foot green roof. The neighborhood has recurring flooding and very few public spaces, and this space will create a place where folks can gather, engage, and be restored.

"Our Green Roof Park and Rain Garden/Tea House project is motivated by two things: the continued and devastating storm-sewer floods that damage our buildings, programs and neighbors' homes, and the lack of public green space around us. We dreamed of modeling a solution, and now with the guidance and financial help through a matching grant from PSCP, we can do it,” said Detroit Zen Center Director Myungju Hillary Moga. “The project has a unified aim: To shine our one corner of the world. The Green Roof and Rain Garden will absorb up to 10,000 gallons of rainwater at a time, while creating a lovely place for neighbors to get inspired, relax and enjoy life. We hope our project will spark a community-wide campaign for green roofs and rain gardens. These amazing systems absorb run-off, significantly reduce heating and cooling bills, establish ecosystems and green space, create a home to butterflies, birds and plants, and maybe most importantly, improve the quality of life for people.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Sustainability is a major factor in great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Detroit Zen Center’s eco-friendly development will creatively address the community’s sustainability while also creating an inviting public gathering space.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of September 2018, MEDC has provided $5,403,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 179 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.4 million raised from 32,261 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

iMichigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at




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