Save Hamtown Farms!
For more than 2 years Hamtown Farms, a community garden featuring raised beds and a significant fruit orchard (including the exotic pawpaw), has been dramatically reshaping the landscape of Hamtramck Michigan.
Launched in 2011 with full city support and overwhelming volunteer involvement, Hamtown Farms cleaned up 9 city-owned lots that had sat vacant, littered and neglected for nearly 40 years.
Farm organizers wished to buy the property from the very beginning, and the city depserately wanted to sell the property. Unfortunately all city-owned property in the south side of Hamtramck was frozen due to a lawsuit filed in the 1970's.
So, for two years, utilizing a 5-year city issued permit and a promise of a sale once the ban was lifted, the community worked together to breathe life into something that wildly exceeded expectations.
Unfortunately the great recession that swept the country was far more dramatic and lingered in southeastern Michigan. As a result, on July 1, 2013 the city of Hamtramck was placed under the control of a state appointed emergency manager (EM).
The EM was granted extreme authority and tasked with balancing the city's budget. One line item on the EM's turnaround plan was the sale of 400 city-owned properties including the 9 lots now known as Hamtown Farms.
After a number of confusing meetings with the EM, and our initial attempt to make an offer on the property, it became quiet clear that the sales process was not going to be clear, transparent or fair.
Just under a month after making the first offer on the property, Hamtown Farms received a call form the EM. During the call, the EM informed Hamtown Farm members that the property was going to be sold to a nearby business for only $500 more than the farm's initial offer. No method to counter the offer was presented.
Quickly we took to social media and shut the sale down in less than one day! Such an outpouring of support led to the EM to announce that all city-owned property would be sold at auction. But, shutting down the sale and forcing a level playing field for all interested parties was only one victory in an ongoing battle.
This is where you come in:
Through social might and activism we were able to force what we desired from the very beginning- a clear, transparent and fair process for interested parties to acquire city-owned property in Hamtramck, the fight continues.
This indiegogo campaign is an effort to collect funds to use to acquire these 9 lots through the auction process and to secure Hamtown Farms' future. We are under a very short deadline. We need to get in front of this. The auction will be taking place very soon.
We need to raise funds to effectively bid on the 9 lots that will be auctioned off in the near future.
DO NOTE:If our attempt to acquire the land is unsuccessful, all efforts will be made to return funds (minus fees) to those who contribute-So please be thorough with your contact information when you contribute.
Your contribution will have a dramatic impact on Hamtramck. As Michigan's most densely populated city, Hamtramck needs green spaces. Spaces that will continue to pay dividends in the form of youth education & recreation, public access to free fresh produce, public event space and community interaction.
Other Ways You Can Help:
If you are able to contribute, thanks! If you are not able to contribute but feel as strongly about this project there are many ways to help us reach our goal. First and foremost, tell others. Sharing our Facebook page www.facebook.com/hamtownfarms is a great way to demonstrate to others the magic that is happening on the farm!