In October 2004, Mildred Hunt Robbins and Tommie E. Robbins, Jr., telephoned neighbors with the hope of addressing shared concerns on West Grand Boulevard (between M-10 and I-96) and four (4) streets (Poe, Kipling, Woodrow Wilson and Churchill) intersecting West Grand Boulevard.  Their first call (to Henry Ford Hospital) resulted in an offer by the Security Department to host (what turned out to be) the founding meeting of the West Grand Boulevard Collaborative on Thursday, October 28, 2004.  With more than 25 individuals present (representing businesses, institutions and private households), it was agreed that shared concerns would best be addressed by cohesive community action.

The WGBC is a non-profit corporation registered with the State of Michigan as a not-for-profit corporation in June 2005, and determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation in December 2008.  The WGBC continues to meet on the third Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m.  Meetings are hosted by members on a rotating basis.  Visit the Meeting Schedule for more information.


Timeline

2015 Accomplishments, Supports and Recognitions Report

2015

  • New community partner Moneta Energy, LLC, makes public announcement of redevelopment of historic Detroit icon, the Lee Plaza Residential Hotel, at WGBC Annual Event, Breakfast on the Boulevard (Craig Sasser, Managing Member).
  • Herman Keifer Development, LLC, becomes new community partner with WGBC (Studio Castellano/Ron Castellano).
  • WGBC Workforce Pipeline for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs partners with Southwest Economic Solutions.
  • After 18 months of Letter of Understanding (May 16, 2014) negotiations, Henry Ford Health System commits to providing Human Resources staff to present at WGBC Workforce Pipeline Workshops (the first having been conducted 11/4/15) to place attendees on a “pathway to employment at HFHS”.
  • Completed Phase II of Duffield Branch Library Mary and Albert H. Mallory Reading Garden (Jeffrey Klein, ASLA).
  • New Partnership with Herman Keifer Development, LLC, (Ron Castellano).
  • Pro bono legal services Dykema Law Firm & Ford Motor Company Office of Legal Counsel (Rochelle Lento, Esq., and Kyle Sandefur, Esq.)
  • Updated WGBC Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.
  • Updated WGBC forms.
  • Registered WGBC logo and names.
  • Joint Venture Agreement between Sobriety House and WGBC.
  • Pro bono services of Harold Michael Stack, Ph.D., WSU professor and labor workplace consultant.
  • UAW Ford to secure building for West End Detroit Welcome Center or land for new construction (UAW Vice President James Settles).
  • Instituted WGBC Pipeline Workshops for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs.
  • Ongoing negotiations with HFHS/Developers regarding Letter of Understanding signed in May, 2014.
  • HFHS HR present at WGBC Pipeline workshop, the first community benefit from HFHS since signing of Letter of Understanding (LOU) in May of 2014.
  • Partnered with National Conference of Artists Detroit Chapter, African Bead Museum, and Irwin Art Gallery to develop projects and programs for West End Detroit Welcome Center + Art & Culture Gallery.
  • LTU sponsored NEA Grant application on behalf of WGBC.
  • First annual Walk, Paddle and Roll Fundraiser in partnership with Freshwater Future.
  • Since 2009, continuing annual participation with Arise Detroit Neighborhoods Day.
  • Arise Detroit Angelo Henderson Community Servant Award presented to
  • Mildred and Tommie Robbins at Neighborhoods Day press conference.
  • Equitable Detroit Coalition Tech Town panel on Community Benefits Agreements (Mildred Robbins).
  • State-Wide Community Benefits Conference presenter (Mildred Robbins).
  • Freshwater Future Certificate of Recognition for “projects and efforts to… address climate change impacts and increase sustainability”.
  • Pro bono services of Kristine Miranne, Ph.D., Consultant to Non-Profit organizations.

2014

  • WGBC Infrastructure Enhancement Project – Green Infrastructure Design (Jeffrey Klein, ASLA).
  • WGBC/WGBC3 signs Letter of Understanding (LOU) regarding Cardinal Warehouse complex with HFHS and development partners Cardinal Health and Kirco Manix.
  • Press conference for signing of LOU (Gamma Phi Delta Sorority House (Celestine Carter, Bertha Crossley, catering provided by ECS Partnership – McDonalds).
  • WGBC Pipeline for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs partnered with Crossroads of Michigan employment services.
  • tPro bono legal service from Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice (John Philo, Esq.)
  • Pro bono legal services from Perkins Law Group (Todd Perkins, Esq., Nikkiya Branch, Esq.)
  • Pro bono services from Kristine Miranne, Ph.D., Consultant to non-profit organizations.
  • Ongoing negotiations for community benefits with HFHS/Developers.
  • WGBC Pipeline for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs partners with Detroit Public Library Department of Technology, Literacy and Careers.
  • LTU Department of Architecture Detroit Studio, community development consuls (Joongsub Kim, Ph.D.).
  • West End Welcome Center Design – Zero Energy (Terrence Samuels).

2013

  • Mildred Hunt Robbins received a Quiet Heroes Award at the Annual Ford Freedom Award Ceremony honoring Congressman John R. Lewis, recipient of the 2013 Ford Freedom Scholar Award.
  • Duffield Reading Garden Design Phase III (Jeff Klein)
  • American Planning Association Conference in Chicago – Stormwater Management: A Community Perspective (Deborah Dorsey)
  • Healing Our Waters (HOW) Community Planning Workshops (Deborah Dorsey)
  • WGBC spearheads formation of the WGBC Community Coalition (WGBC3)
  • HFHS and partners Kirco Manix and Cardinal Health agree to negotiate for community benefits with WGBC/WGBC3.
  • Negotiations between HFHS/Developers (Kirco Manix and Cardinal Health) and WGBC/WGBC3 are convened.
  • WGBC Pipeline for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs established.
  • WGBC-LTU Department of Architecture Detroit Studio field trip to O’Hare International Airport and Zero Energy Container Construction (David Robbins, Terrence Samuels).
  • Pro bono legal services of Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice (John Philo).
  • LTU Department of Architecture Detroit Studio master planning for West End Detroit community.
  • Participated in Arise Detroit Neighborhoods Day.
  • Pro bono services from Vince Proctor Landscaping for landscape maintenance of Duffield Reading Garden.

2012

  • BLAK Magazine interviewed Deborah Dorsey and Mildred Hunt Robbins for feature article on the Mary and Albert H. Mallory Reading Garden installed by the WGBC at the Duffield Branch Library.
  • First WGBC Advisory Board dinner meeting, Gamma Phi Delta Sorority House (Bertha Crossley).
  • SAFE Grant administered by Michigan Community Resources (Dalton Roberson, Jr.).
  • Purchased commercial-grade riding mower, push mower, and power and hand tools for WGBC Community Tool Shed.
  • Freshwater Future Grant for measuring volume of water diverted from stormwater system because of Duffield Reading Garden stormwater-diversion elements, and other designs and systems included in the Rain Garden installation.
  • WGBC volunteers participated in Angels’ Night patrols.
  • Rain barrel workshop conducted in collaboration with the Sierra Club at Duffield Reading Garden.
  • Campaigned successfully to appeal against the opening of a new liquor store.
  • Proposed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with developers, HFHS, Kirco Manix and Cardinal Health.
  • Spearheaded campaign to initiate CBA regarding HFHS/Kirco Manix/Cardinal Health warehouse project.
  • Organized coalition of Boulevard-area organizations, businesses and residents to seek CBA with HFHS/Developers.
  • NOF Grant funds reallocated to the Duffield Reading Garden project.

2011

  • WGBC Advisory Board established.
  • Participated in LTU accreditation process (evaluation of community outreach Pprograms).
  • Phase I of the Mary and Albert H. Mallory, Sr., Reading Garden installed at Duffield Branch Library, MSU Department of Horticulture (Robert Schutzki, Ph.D.).
  • Established CASE Project (Clean and Safe Environment).
  • Received SAFE Grant administered by MCR (Dalton Roberson).
  • WGBC was fiduciary for Churchill Block Club SAFE Grant (Deborah Dorsey).
  • Purchased, installed and stocked community tool shed (CASE Program).
  • Freshwater Future Grant for Duffield rain garden (Jill Ryan, JD).
  • Vacant lots between Churchill Street and MLK, Jr., Park cleared of abandoned building materials and debris, General Services (Brad Dick, Tim Karl).
  • Completed Phase I of Mary & Albert H. Mallory, Jr., at Duffield Branch Library, MSU Department of Horticulture (Robert Schutzki), and WGBC volunteers.
  • WGBC presented at Healing Waters (HOW) Conference (Deborah Dorsey)
  • Duffield Reading Garden placed on Healing Waters tour schedule, Mildred Robbins (2 tours).
  • Duffield Reading Garden placed on Sierra Club’s tour schedule, Mildred Robbins (3 tours).
  • Duffield Reading Garden placed on Bioneers (Sierra Club) tour schedule, Mildred Robbins (1 tour).
  • Partnered with Sierra Club to conduct 2 rain barrel workshops at Duffield Reading Garden.
  • Presented at Green Task Force Round Table (Deborah Dorsey, Mildred Robbins).
  • Presented at Sierra Club Rain Garden Conference (Deborah Dorsey)
  • WGBC volunteers participated in Angels’ Night patrols.
  • MSU Department of Horticulture produced designs for Boulevard islands (Robert Schutzki, Ph.D.).
  • Comerica Grant for Duffield Reading Garden.
  • Pro bono website redesign (Roslyn Coleman).
  • Pro bono website management (James Witman).

2010

  • Awarded Comerica Grant to defray cost of 2010 Annual Event (Louise Guyton).
  • Awarded Kresge Foundation Community Arts Grant for artwork in Phase I of Duffield Library Reading Garden.
  • LTU Department of Architecture produced Phase II Design Study & Conceptual Plan (Joongsub Kim, Ph.D., Detroit Studio).
  • MSU Department of Horticulture assumed leadership for design and installation of plant material for Duffield Library Reading Garden (Robert Schutzki, Ph.D.).
  • Dan Burden Walking Audit (walkability study) facilitated by Raquel Wilson and funded by Henry Ford Hospital.
  • Commissioned College for Creative Studies to produce artwork for Duffield Library Reading Garden (Vera Smith, Sioux Trujillo, Steve Schock, Graham Whyte).
  • Ferry-Morse Seed Company commits to partnership with WGBC to beautify Boulevard landscapes to commemorate the Ferry Seed Company’s residence and legacy in the WGBC community (Monika McCurdy).

2009

  • Granted 501 (c) (3) status by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
  • LTU Dept. of Architecture produced Phase II Design Study (Joongsub Kim. Ph.D., Detroit Studio)
  • Awarded York Foundation Grant facilitated by Cole Home for Funerals (Antonio Green).
  • Ombudsman’s Newsletter recognizes WGBC for No Trash Left Behind initiative (Ombudsman Durene Brown)
  • Vacant overgrown lots mowed General Services/Forestry (Brad Dick).
  • Large debris removed from Boulevard lots and alleys, DPW (Alfred Jordan, Charles Harmon).
  • Lee Plaza Existing-Conditions Report produced by Christopher Heini, RA.
  • Alleys clear from Boulevard to Pallister and Churchill to Poe Streets, DPW (Alfred Jordan, Charles Harmon).
  • Small-debris cleanup on Boulevard between Lodge and Jeffries, General Services (Lee Stephenson).
  • WGBC joins Arise Detroit Neighborhoods Day. (Cleaned MLK Park and sponsored live entertainment and refreshments.)
  • Received CLR non-profit training (Leor Barak, Esq, Sarida Scott, Esq.)
  • Successfully advocated through appeal process at Board of Zoning Appeals for compliance with Mainstreet Overlay on Boulevard – unfortunately, the BZA reversed their decision on an irregular appeal in 2010, with strong objections by WGBC.
  • Continuing pro bono architectural services (Patti Hurst, RA, Christopher Heine, RA)
  • Annual Event venue provided by Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.

2008

  • UD Mercy Department of Architecture produced Community Development Study (Professor Will Wittig).
  • Community Legal Resources secured attorneys for 501 (c) (3) application (Foley & Lardner).
  • Rosemarie and James Evenhuis seed grant for Mary & Albert H. Mallory Reading Garden.
  • Henry Ford Hospital matched seed grant toward cost of installation of Reading Garden.
  • No Trash Left Behind launched (Candy Collins-Adams Committee Chair) – name coined by HFHF President and CEO Anthony Armada.
  • Police support for No Trash Left Behind kick-off (13th Precinct, Sherese Fleming Freeman).
  • WGBC received Keep Detroit Beautiful Award (Councilmember Alberta Tinsley-Talabi).
  • WGBC hosted Motor City Makeover Kickoff in Martin Luther King, Jr., Park.
  • MLK, Jr., Park spring cleaning and bench painting with support of General Services (Brad Dick).
  • Detroit Public Library (DPL) and WGBC members donate to reading-garden installation with volunteer support from Habitat for Humanity and Sobriety House.
  • DPL Duffield Branch grounds prepared and plants purchased preliminary to Phase I installation of Reading Garden.
  • WGBC rallied support for restoration of Lee Plaza
  • Pro bono interior inspection of Lee Plaza (Christopher Heini, RA).

2007

  • PBS Greenways Documentary, Pathways for People, features Mildred Robbins, Alex Wright/Oliver Thornton, producers.
  • First public Annual Event hosted by HFH (Anthony Armada, President/CEO, Candy Collins-Adams, Dir. Comm. Relations.)
  • First consultation with Community Legal Resources (now Michigan Community Resources), Leor Barak.
  • Established Tribute Award, Robert E.L.Parking DDS, MDS, first recipient.
  • Design standards developed by Tribute Award (Sue Sells).

2006

  • WGBC Design Study produced WSU Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning under professorship of Constance Bodurow, Ph.D.
  • To date, Pattie Hurst, RA, continues to offer pro bono architectural services on an as-needed basis.

2005

  • Granted not-for-profit status by State of Michigan.
  • Launched WGBC Newsletter (Sue Sells, Patti Hurst).

2004

  • WGBC co-founded by Mildred Hunt Robbins & Tommie E. Robbins, Jr.
  • Logo designed and donated by Kari Lehman and Mildred Hunt Robbins.
  • Logo stamps produced and donated by DC Graphics (Denise Coklow).
  • Street lights restoration facilitated by Councilmember Joann Watson.
  • Open buildings boarded with intervention of Ombudsman Durene Brown.
  • Pro bono registered architectural services for WGBC projects (Patti Hurst and Christopher Heini).