Hamtramck Zen Center Looks To Crowd To Fund Green Roof Park

Sourced from The Detroit News

The Detroit Zen Center, nestled in the center of Hamtramck, is trying to tackle stormwater flooding with an eco-friendly solution that serves the community.

The center hopes to install a multi-level green roof park, rain garden and tea house at the residential Buddhist center on Casmere. And there are plans to construct a public park through a crowdfunding campaign.

Detroit Zen Center director Myungju Hillary Moga said they started the project to fix recurring flooding that nearly destroyed the organic food cafe.

“Every time it rains in Hamtramck, the basements flood with a combination of stormwater and sewage, and that’s been happening for decades," Moga said. "That’s been a major challenge for us. ... This year was OK, but four years ago, we had close to 3 feet of water and in the lower level where we have the café ... we were completely devastated and nearly had to close the business down."

The center started the project a year ago, with $35,000 to replace the sewer system, which has held up but doesn't help neighbors facing similar flooding.

"We see the neighbors emptying everything out of their basements again and dealing with whatever mold and health issues they have from heavy rain," Moga said. "Not many of our neighbors are in this position to pay $10,000 to replace their sewer system, and the green roof is just one part of the solution to the stormwater crisis."

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