ARISE Detroit Neighborhoods Day grows in 12th year

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Two years ago, NW Detroit Cougars C-Team Cheerleaders Kaitlyn Henry, left, 8, of Farmington Hills, and Autumn Gilmore, 7, of Warren, pick up trash during Arise Detroit! Neighborhoods Day. (Todd McInTurf, Detroit News, file)

Teams are gathering supplies and volunteers for the 12th annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day approaching in August. 

ARISE Detroit!, a coalition of more than 400 community organizations, works to improve Detroit neighborhoods year-round. On Aug. 4, the groups will gather across the city for beautification projects, clean ups, empowerment programs, festivals, parades, back to school events, information and health fairs. Officials also said parenting, mentoring and anti-violence workshops are a key part of the day. 

Luther Keith, ARISE Detroit! executive director, said in its 12th year the agenda has nearly tripled in size and has extended throughout August. 

"ARISE isn’t Detroit’s annual clean up day... It’s much more," said Keith, a retired Detroit News editor. “That’s why we are now calling it ‘Detroit’s Great Neighborhood Tradition.’ It has become an iconic manifestation of the spirit of city residents and those who love the city.”

Keith said they have 100 churches, block clubs, businesses and community groups registered as of Friday and expect to exceed 200 by the July 15 deadline

While Arise will have groups placed throughout the city, Keith said they'll be focusing heavily on blight removal in the 48205 area code on the east side. 

"We're always trying to focus on the more economically challenged neighborhoods and especially in the 48205 area, there is a high crime and poverty rate," Keith said. "We have a large clean up planned involving the Pathway to Safe Schools Project, which involves removing blight and making it safer for kids to walk to school." 

The Garden Detroit is joining Neighborhoods Day for the third year, turning vacant land into flower farms in the 200 block of Manistique. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. volunteers will learn how flower farming can be an innovative way to transform blighted land into beautiful productive landscapes, said spokesman Tom Milano. 

"We want people to know our vision to repurpose land and turning it into sanctuaries... to raise the level of conversation and turn Detroit into the paradise it was meant to be," Milano said. "There will be so many operations from, mulching to weeding and harvesting. We hope to engage plenty of people."

Keith said they're always looking for volunteers to assist and get involved. To register a community organization, a $50 fee includes a custom banner, five T-shirts, vouchers to purchase supplies for your blight removal and beautification projects and volunteer recruitment assistance. 

To register visit

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