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Grayling, MI (May 2023)—If you’ve ever dipped your toe into a sparkling Michigan stream or cast a line in one of our state’s magnificent rivers, you know how unforgettable the experience can be. Memories are made on the banks of these freshwater treasures, and ensuring their sustainability is so important for communities, and the aquatic wildlife that call them home.
Detroit, MI (May 2023) - On any given night in Detroit, homelessness impacts 14,000+ people, many of whom are Black women and children. These families often face insurmountable barriers including lack of access to employment opportunities and adequate transportation, challenges in mental health and systemic racism that make it nearly impossible to feel physically or financially safe, much less self-sufficient.
Detroit, MI (May 2023) -Veronika Scott had a brilliant idea. While working on a college project to design for those in need, she came up with a sketch of a coat that could double as a sleeping bag. To hone the design and understand those who could benefit from it, she spent countless hours at a nearby warming center. Her idea quickly gained interest in the community, and by the time her class ended, Veronika received multiple coat requests.
Southfield, MI (May, 2023) - Michigan’s manufacturing landscape is brimming with incredible ideas. Whether it’s the creation of eyeglasses made from discarded water bottles or the development of AI-based ergonomic monitoring, these diverse and creative ideas offer an exciting glimpse into the future. However, there is a funding gap for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are developing these new products, some of which have the potential to significantly advance innovation, sustainability, and design in Michigan.
Detroit, MI (May 2023)—Derek Aguirre, Executive Director of Racquet Up Detroit (RUD), has a picture hanging on his office wall that means a lot to him. It’s 2010 and he’s standing with a class of 5th graders in the MacDowell Elementary School gymnasium. He remembers trying to convince them to try out for Racquet Up Detroit – a new afterschool program in the neighborhood that combines squash with academics. SquashBusters began in Boston in 1996 and its successful youth development formula spread to more than 20 member programs across the country, including Racquet Up Detroit. “I remember the kids looking up at me thinking, “Who is this guy?” he says, with a laugh.
Detroit, MI (January 2023)—Studies show that when it comes to college studies and careers in zoology, African Americans are enormously underrepresented. In fact, less than three percent of all zoology degrees are awarded to African American students. University Prep Schools, which has a 98 percent African American student population, wanted to change that statistic, and cultivate a strong pipeline from its science classrooms to university zoological studies and careers.
Traverse City, MI (January 2023)—Think of the most pristine Michigan rivers you’ve seen. Imagine the clear blue-green water with brook trout and sculpin able to swim and spawn freely within. Now imagine crumbling overpass structures and outdated boiler pipes impeding these aquatic passageways. Picture tons of sediment from rain and snow melt accumulating over dozens of years and woody debris piling up over fish and insect habitats. These are the kinds of problematic environments that the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) has been repairing and restoring to health for more than five decades.
Detroit, MI (January 2023)—Think back to your best day ever as a kid. Did it involve walking like your favorite animal through the halls of the most amazing art museum in your city? Did it including viewing colorful mosaics from Mesopotamia and then creating one of your own with funky wooden pieces and colorful foam shapes? Those are just a few of the memorable activities underserved preschool children get to experience as part of the DIA Kids program.
Alpena, MI (April 2022)—“The best way to get someone to protect something is to get them to love it and the best way to get them to love it is for them to experience it.” That’s one of the mottos driving the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (The Sanctuary), says Superintendent, Jeff Gray. Located in Alpena, the 4,300 square-mile, federally-protected marine sanctuary is the nation’s first freshwater sanctuary and contains over 200 of the world’s best-preserved historic shipwrecks.
Detroit, MI (April 2022)—In 2003, a small group of local leaders presented a bold vision for Detroit’s waterfront. The vision was inspired by the belief that all Detroiters should have safe, clean, accessible, and welcoming places to gather on the river. From this vision, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy was born, and a plan emerged for a five-and-a-half-mile public space spanning the Ambassador Bridge to the MacArthur Bridge at Belle Isle. Today, the riverfront welcomes more than three million visitors annually.