Trees!3 min read

What has Camp Restore Detroit been up to lately? Watching God’s awesomeness at work! On Wednesday, December 11, Mark Kaline emailed and said English Gardens had some trees available if we were interested. After many emails, we learned that there were HUNDREDS of trees available! We also learned that anything we did not use would be destroyed. We contacted several of our community partners to see if they would like a gift of trees. Everyone we spoke to was SO EXCITED.

Next began the overwhelming task of figuring out how to pick them up, how to distribute them, and how we would use them on our campus. I have never used the words “we are in over our heads” more in my life. If we had not had campers onsite, I am not sure we would have said yes. So many people came together to make this all work:

  • Camp Restore brought Brian with two friends, two days’ worth of a truck and a minivan along with 6 campers who had willing (and cold!) hands.
  • Osborn Community Alliance provided 2 days of a truck, flatbed, and a knowledgeable landscaper
  • Mayfield Conservatory brought their minivan and knowledge
  • Mohican Region brought their cheerleaders and LOTS of encouragement as things seemed impossible
  • Detroit Arboretum is willing to store or take whatever we cannot give to other community organizations
  • Invest Detroit even helped look for storage options!

Throughout the process, Mark Kaline was an amazing leader and communicator and Bethany Mrosko, our intern, handled the on-the-ground leadership like a rock star. We are so very thankful! Overall, the total donation from English Gardens was worth $50,000!

The Outcome

  • 3 community orchards exist in the middle of a food dessert. This means many people in our community will have access to free fruit where before they had none!
  • 1 family has added income, as they will give away what they can first, then sell the rest at Eastern Market to support their farm and family
  • 1 local, just starting, nonprofit nursery (run by local students?) just got a huge boost to their number of trees
  • The area as a whole will have more beauty in the middle of what can seem bare, providing more hope
  • Our community gardens just got a huge boost to get going
  • Many community nonprofits worked together to benefit one another and better our community!

So Now…

Brian (from CRD) and Dean Osborne made final trips to English Gardens on December 19—and with that we picked ALL OF IT UP! Mohican Region and Mayfield Conservatory have picked up their items already. CRD (Brian) tagged the items that we would like, and the rest will be distributed by Bethany to community organizations.

CRD Plan

English Gardens had a special in December that, if you bought a $300 gift card, they would plan your landscaping for free. Knowing there was a $300 donation sitting in the community garden funds, Brian decided to utilize this to work with the very people that gave us the trees and will be leading the effort on that front. We have MANY, MANY campers coming in March. I believe that all of our community organizations can keep them very busy planting trees if the ground thaws by then. Say some prayers!!

Thank you, English Gardens, and thanks everyone for any role you played in this! God is SO good! It was a lot of work on everyone’s part and has been so incredibly worth it!

Photos courtesy of Camp Restore Detroit

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About the Author

Amy Fanta serves Camp Restore Detroit as its executive director.

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Rodney Otto - January 17, 2020

This is sooo cool. Trees will provide a place of meditation for hurting people…see Lord of Rings and Genesis 1 & many Psalms. You have made the LCMS more centered in the Triune God…sometimes we forget the important teaching of creation and cooperating with God to have dominion over the earth!

Beens Sandra - January 17, 2020

Praise God for this wonderful blessing! We are now praying that the Lord will bless the planting with many volunteers, and the growing of these trees! To God be the glory!