Wildflowers Add Vibrant Colors to Detroit’s Renewal
Whether Detroit's leaders want to acknowledge the truth or not, the city's citizens are redefining what it means to be both urban and rural. The city and countryside are converging in the Motor City--and original Silicon Valley--with often spectacular results. Michigan's valley, in this case, is returning to what much of the state was before the rapid industrialization of 100 years ago: a valley with meadows and flowers. Urban and rural are no longer just synonyms, but come together and are now creating synergy in this humbled and hopeful city. While Detroit becomes the anchor for urban farming, large swathes of city blocks are returning to nature. While visiting one of the city's urban farms, I could not help but notice how fruits, and especially flowers, are taking over the city. While Detroit's transformation is an inspiring bottom-up affair, it is at once eerie and inspiring how pollination, not paint, is adding splashes of color throughout the city. The wildflowers are all over Detroit: a local entrepreneur may be on to something if he or she wants to make a living and send flowers from the Motor City across the country. Detroit's metamorphosis is often painful for its citizens and former Michiganders that want the city's return to what it once was. Nevertheless, the quiet, serenity, and return of wildflowers all add to the joys of exploring Detroit. For all of its challenges, Detroit's potential to surprise us is one reason why the map of Michigan shows a thumb's up. Enjoy the pictures. The camera and I sure did.
Another example of where wildflowers will surprise you is in