The first of Detroit CLC’s 2011 crews to be featured this year is Crew 6: The City Soldiers.
City Soldiers are working hard in Brightmoor. The objective of the CS’s site is to work with Neighbors Building Brightmoor to create a series of pocket parks along the Brightmoor Chalfonte Farmway. Within the first day, the CS had cleared most of the overgrowth in the area. Within one week, the CS had completed twenty steps of the timber staircase leading down to the flood plane of the RougeRiver. In addition to the neighborhood trail already planned for crew 6, they completed another connecting trail because they were so far ahead of schedule.
By next week, Crew Leader Nathan anticipates being finished with their first site area, and ready to move onto raised beds, a fire pit, and three willow tree benches.
Almost all the crew members live in or around Brightmoor. This, they explained, was the reason for their incredible investment in their project. Gerald, a returning crew member of three years, has been working on improving the Brightmoor area since he was 10 years old. His favorite activity this year, so far, has been the step building.
Michael, whose favorite job has been cutting the trees, says, “It’s sad when people talk bad about the city. And illegally dump their garbage in our neighborhood. People live here”.
The cooperation and team morale is high in Crew 6. There is a strong bond of collective motivation that keeps everyone working as a tight unit.
It is Crew Member Barri’s first year with CLC and she says she loves it. Her favorite activities have been using the weed whip and building the stair case. In the middle of chatting, she popped up to ask Crew Leader Kisha if she needed help with the day’s snacks, then explained, “It would be shameful for someone who doesn’t live in the neighborhood to come and fix our neighborhood when we can do it ourselves”.
Josette, a four year CLC returner and unofficial team cheerleader, adds, “It’s patronizing when people outside Detroit come to ‘fix it’. We can do it ourselves”.
Other’s chime in, “Detroit isn’t dirty!’
“Yeah, there’s meaning behind what we’re doing”.
“Yeah! Come see!”
Crew Leaders Kisha and Nathan are impressed with their crew’s dedication and hard work. They explained that the progress and results are so evident that it makes the crew work harder to accomplish more. Working towards something tangible is the best motivator, according to the CL’s.
Kisha adds, “They want to work as hard as they can because they want to earn their money and produce solid results”.