Detroit, August 19, 2023 – Green Living Science, in collaboration with the Gilbert Family Foundation, today announced the inaugural “Our Backyard Detroit” Block Party happening August 19th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pingree Park.

The Block Party is a celebration of the “Our Backyard Detroit” program, which was created by Green Living Science and the Gilbert Family Foundation to increase access to healthy green spaces in Detroit. The program utilizes resident ambassadors to facilitate engagement, stewardship and collaboration in support of eight city parks. “Our Backyard Detroit” selected eight residents out of a total of nearly 40 applicants, who were already stewards of their parks and provided them with additional resources to promote a healthier and cleaner city. These paid positions bridge the gap between city departments and public community spaces in parks across Detroit.

Eight individuals, called Detroit Champions, have transformed local parks into vibrant community hubs through a range of unique, community-informed activities. They execute community events, lead cleanups and beautification initiatives and foster connections between neighborhood residents and their local green spaces.

“Our Backyard Detroit” Champions represent eight city parks:

• Stoepel Park (District 1)
• Fitzgerald Park (District 2)
• Jayne Lasky Park (District 3)
• Balduck Memorial Park (District 4)
• Pingree Park (District 5)
• Maheras-Gentry Park (District 4)
• Saint Hedwig Park (District 6)
• Zussman Park (District 7)

“We can’t wait to see the turnout to both celebrate the success of this program and provide a fun, inclusive and accessible celebration for all Detroit residents,” said Natalie Jakub, Executive Director of Green Living Science. “Together, we’ve transformed our parks and created a positive impact that’s visible in every corner of Detroit.”

The Gilbert Family Foundation invested $200,000 in this initiative, providing beautification grants to the eight parks.

“Our Backyard Detroit empowers local residents to lead the way in enhancing and advocating for the green spaces they cherish,” said JJ Velez, Director of Public Spaces at the Gilbert Family Foundation. “At the Gilbert Family Foundation, we believe that creating engaging, accessible and vibrant spaces are the key to creating and growing a sense of belonging and togetherness that is at the core of creating vibrant and thriving communities.

Block party attendees will have the chance to enjoy a variety of food trucks, explore a Community Resource Fair and take part in activities such as bounce houses and face painting. Additionally, there will be an interactive photo booth for capturing memories.

Tickets are free and can be acquired here:


About Green Living Science:

Green Living Science is a 503(c) nonprofit organization founded in 2011 as a result of the City of Detroit recognizing the need to improve the environmental sustainability efforts of the city. Their mission is to transform Detroit through environmental education. Learn more about Green Living Science at

About the Gilbert Family Foundation:

The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers. For more information on the Gilbert Family Foundation, please visit