Community Gardening Sprouts Up On Caniff

By Catherine Gasior

Review Special Writer

The streets of Hamtramck are turning a bit greener.

Kathleen Bittner and Thomas Koch have created a garden among the midst of the buildings on Caniff. The urban garden, the former site of a vacant house that was torn down, is located right next to the Hamtramck Public Library. The library owns the site.

After successfully planting their first garden three years ago at the former Knights of Columbus hall, Bittner and Koch decided to expand to different parts of Hamtramck.

“The outcome of the first one was very positive so we wanted to spread it to different parts of Hamtramck,” said Bittner.

She further explained how Hamtramck citizens have responded positively to the garden. “Whenever I’m out here working, so many people stop to compliment and admire the garden,” she said.

Not only does the garden consist of colorful flowers along the sidewalk, it also includes plenty of fruit and vegetable plants. Tomatoes, raspberries, peppers, strawberries and many other plants fill the garden.

The garden itself is very “green-friendly.” Water for the garden comes from two containers that collect rain water.

Bittner and Koch pride themselves on keeping the garden very cost effective.

“All the flowers and plants have been donated. We are trying to keep it growing at minimal costs,” said Koch.

As the garden continues to grow, more help will be needed to upkeep it. There is a sign-up list at the library for anybody who has a green thumb or wants to learn about gardening. Those who are handy in building things are also needed.

Future plans even include building a gazebo and creating a mural next to the garden.

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