Community Collaboration

Together, we make Southwest Detroit stronger.

Ideal Group is empowering the community through service experiences and collaborative partnerships that meaningfully serve Southwest Detroit and create an active, aware, and engaged neighborhood.

Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt

A partnership with General Motors helped transform blight to a beautiful garden with the assistance of the local youth in Southwest Detroit.

Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt, in the heart of Southwest Detroit, began as a vacant lot. Once a GM executive parking lot, it was overrun by growing weeds and scrap metal. The concept of the garden began with GM shipping carts that came from Korea. A GM Environmental Engineer and his team looked at these shipping containers and asked,

What else can we do with these?

Their first idea was to make carts, and they invited Ideal to look at the crates.

“We saw an opportunity to re-purpose the crates into raised vegetable beds and the empty lot on McKinstry and Merritt into an urban vegetable garden”
-Frank Venegas

Rush Trucking aided in the effort and delivered 250 of these shipping containers to the Clark Street headquarters to be painted. Ideal Contracting, Ideal Shield, and Ideal Setech secured planting supplies, gardening tools, gloves, water supplies, etc.

Launched on May 19, 2012, Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt has since collected over 12,000 hours of youth service (and counting), planted over 2,500 plants in 2016 alone, and has over 332 bins in CUGM. Our partners include Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, Congress of Communities, DHDC, LA SED, Magna, Young Neighbor in Action, General Motors, Rush Trucking, DTE Energy, General Electric, Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Ideal employees, and Southwest Detroit neighborhood residents.

Volunteer Hours in 2023

Scarcyny Park & Garden

Located in Southwest Detroit, Scarcyny Park was in dire need of revitalization and care. Ideal Group led the community in taking action for the restoration.

Scarcyny Park is a perennial garden for family use in the Southwest Detroit community. It adds aesthetic value to its neighboring residents and corporations through its magnificently colored tulips, roses, lilies, and other luxurious flowers.

From its start in May 2011 to the renovation for its 10 year anniversary in August 2021, volunteers from Ideal Group, SDEV and the local community continue to transform this one-time grassy lot into another flourishing attraction in Southwest Detroit.

The name of the park also holds symbolism. Scarcyny, a word derived from an ancient language, means, “hidden within”. The name fits the park, as houses, buildings, and factories border Scarcyny, leaving Junction Street as the only viewable source for commuters. This garden is definitely a hidden gem within a typical Detroit urban environment, but grows every year, leaving it up to the people to find our hidden treasure.

“Bees in the D” Comes to Scarcyny Park & Garden

We are excited to announce our partnership with Bees In The D!

In the summer of 2021, Ideal Group became the first to host beehives in Southwest Detroit!

We placed two hives behind our building, and we hope they help Scarcyny Park & Garden and Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt thrive around the hive this summer. Each hive contains 30,000-40,000 honeybees, do not get them confused with their cousins, the yellow jackets. Honeybees are super pollinators and are not aggressive and usually fly away if disturbed. So, please be mindful and respectful of our new neighbors and they will do the same.

Did you know that 1/3 of the food we eat comes from pollinators like bees? Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination.

Unfortunately, bee populations have been declining rapidly over the years. By adding our new neighbors, we will not only be improving our sustainability efforts on campus but also helping improve the ecosystem both in Southwest Detroit and in the great state of Michigan.

To learn more about our Ideal bees and what you can do to save the bees, please visit #beesintheD