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An exciting new opportunity to expand recycling in Detroit

In an effort to continue increasing recycling efforts across the city of Detroit, Green Living Science is excited to announce their partnership with the Gilbert Family Foundation to launch Our Backyard Detroit, an environmental stewardship program.

Our Backyard Detroit is a program designed to bridge the gap between community spaces, Detroit residents, and city departments. This program will provide eight city spaces with champions to host cleanups, beautification projects, and encourage connection of residents with their local green spaces.

“A key focus area at the Gilbert Family Foundation is ensuring that Detroit residents have universal access to thriving, inclusive and vibrant spaces that will improve their health and foster connections in the community,” said JJ Velez, Director of Public Spaces at the Gilbert Family Foundation. “That’s why we’re proud of our partnership with Green Living Science, and the Our Backyard Detroit program, because residents have a vested interest in preserving the healthy green spaces in their neighborhoods. Our Backyard Detroit empowers them to take the lead on elevating and advocating for the community they love.”

Development of the Our Backyard Detroit program will advance Detroit’s efforts of increasing access to healthy green spaces and public space recycling. Our Backyard Detroit Champions will be a modified role from the current GLS Recycling Ambassadors who currently spend their time attending community events and canvassing door to door, signing residents up for curbside recycling carts.

Natalie Jakub, Executive Director of Green Living Science says, “We hope this program will help increase the ability for residents to provide stewardship of their local green spaces, and give them the tools and resources needed to make a difference”. The goal is to build a network of Detroit residents and resources to activate and steward our parks and recreation areas in order to promote a healthier and cleaner city!

Inspired by the youth nature activity book, Bee Green In Your Backyard, Our Backyard Detroit’s name encompasses all public-use green spaces throughout the city that residents utilize as a “backyard” in a sense. With Detroit being such an industrialized urban setting, many residents are apartment/condo renters which can reduce their engagement with green spaces. The name helps to reinforce the idea that residents can rely on these stewarded spaces to be their own backyard.

The spaces that Our Backyard Detroit Champions will be assigned to in this program include: Stoepel Park No.1, Ella Fitzgerald Park, Jayne Field, Lasky Park, Balduck Memorial Park, Pingree Park, Maheras-Gentry Park, Saint Hedwig Park and Zussman Playground.

For more information on the Our Backyard Detroit program see the website at

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