I had the opportunity to attend Great Lakes Bioneers in Detroit, October 14-15, 2011. It was a real pleasure to experience Bioneers without having any responsibilities, and especially enjoyable to connect with people we’ve worked with through the Great Lakes Bioneers network. Cleveland and Detroit share so many similarities; it was great to see how much they care about their city and how proud they are of strides forward. One highlight was seeing the new “Green Garage,” a beautiful restoration of a Model T showroom that had fallen into disrepair. The restoration has been done to make it into a zero energy and zero waste building with lots of insulation and some solar water heating. Wood and brick were reused to great effect, and a formerly derelict alley has been transformed into a garden-like atmosphere. Even more exciting, the building is being used as a green business incubator using an innovative “One Earth Patterns” concepts, promoting good design that is attuned to our relationship with the earth, minimizing our impact. Check out: http://greengaragedetroit.com.
The other impressive part of the conference was the involvement of 100 middle and high school students in a full day of tours and special workshops. Their energy and interest was rewarding to see.
Nancy King Smith