University of Michigan—Flint
432 N. Saginaw St., Suite 1001
Flint, MI 48502-1950
Throughout the planning phase and its first two years of implementation, Discovering PLACE worked within Genesee County, specifically in the northern and northwestern sections of Flint. In 2013, we established a partnership with Flint Community Schools and began to work throughout the City of Flint.
Local partners and stakeholders who helped to define and design Discovering PLACE at its inception identified two overarching themes to characterize the hub’s work. One theme recognizes the interconnectedness of community, land, and water: we are connected to each other; we influence how our land is used, which in turn influences the health of our waterways; and our waterways connect us to our neighbors and to the wider world. The second theme recognizes that community, land, and water can all be recovered and transformed, and that we, as engaged citizens, have an obligation to exercise our civic duties and reclaim our city.
While acknowledging and respecting the historical uses of our land, we can nurture the development of a new narrative for Flint–one that is centered on the concepts of regeneration, transformation, and sustainability. Our work, and the support we provide to schools and community partners, integrates ecological, cultural, and civic concepts. It’s no surprise that many of our students’ stewardship efforts also reflect this integrated approach.