Rebecca Salomen Witt

Rebecca is the commander in chief of the Greening of Detroit.   Should you be unfamiliar with this organization, they sponsor some 1500 urban farms in the city of Detroit.  In the past 21 years, they have planted 70,000 trees-every year, year after year.  They teach a variety of classes from growing herbs for tea-  to how to grow great tomatoes.  Each summer they hire 200 young Detroiters whose other prospects for a job are slim-to haul water one bucket load at a time to newly planted trees.  To weed-to work.  They teach people how to garden. They teach these kids what it means to have a job-to be on time, and do good work.  They teach them how to open a bank account, and manage their money.  They teach them to smile, and say hello to the residents in the community where they are working.  They teach good works, and then importance of community.  This program aims at teaching young Detroiters how to grow a life.

The tab for these 200 summer jobs is one million dollars.  Wages, truck payments, gas-it adds up quick.  Every year the Greening has to raise this money-no grant covers this.  I am astonished at Rebecca’s unwavering determination that Detroit be a better, and greener place.  They tackle the overwhelming job of teaching the children in an industrial city about the importance of the environment.  The importance of good food.  The importance of community.  We hope to help with that one million dollar bill.

This is my fifth year, sponsoring a tour of landscapes and gardens of my design to benefit their educational programs.  A tour ticket is 35.00-a tour and reception ticket-50.00.  I donate the staffing of the shop, the dinner reception, the garden cruise website hosting, the tee shirts, and the advertising of the tour, so 100% of every ticket purchase goes directly to the programs for which they need funding.

OK, I am a member of the board, a commissioner, of the Greening of Detroit.  But I am not so great with meetings. My contribution?  I sponsor this tour to raise money for them.   Should you buy a ticket, you get a lot more than a garden and landscape tour for your money.  You get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is going to support the programs of an organization whose aim is to remake Detroit.  One neighborhood, one urban garden, one young person at a time. Rebecca is awesome.  Her devotion and energy to a very tough cause is astonishing.  She has a vision of the future. A vision for the future of our city.

Interested?  the tour website: Not available to take the garden tour?  The Greening of Detroit has memberships available for 25.00.  Do your gardening soul some good.  Sign up.  Go here:  You will not be sorry.  Rebecca and her staff deserve my support.  I am asking for your support.

Redbecca is a pioneer.  She is a spokesperson.  She has energy that puts me to shame.  Whenever I talk to her, I want to help.   Should you live in the greater Detroit area, sign up for our tour.  The gardens on tour this year are beautiful.  Your contribution to this big cause-absolutely necessary, in my opinion, to the survival and health of our city.  I would invite you to get involved.  Being involved feels good-you’ll see.


  1. Thank you Deborah for supporting the Greening of Detroit – it benefits all of us. I am not connected with that organization in any way, but let me say that I and some colleagues organized a group to work on a specific smaller project with them two summers ago, planting a perennial garden at the Capuchin Center in Detroit for the kid center and individuals who have meals there. We funded it, they got the plants, made the plan and we all planted it (kids too). It was one of the most fulfilling days I have had. Since this is a gardening/landscape blog, I am guessing there are a lot of people with skills reading here that Greening would love to have plant with them!

  2. Woow, great story and admirable collaboration. I would love to buy a ticket, but…

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