The Greening of Flint: An extended look at the “Kings of Flint”

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Michigan State University faculty and students are producing a documentary on a vision of Flint as a healthier, greener city. It will show the challenges of bringing fresh produce to a food desert, feeding schools, providing educational options and battling bureaucracy.

On Wednesdays, Great Lakes Echo will run a segment expected to become a building block of the finished story. You can help.

The Greening of Flint main page is where to post questions, suggest interviews, make comments or offer suggestions to help producers tell the story of a city trying to re-grow its roots literally and figuratively as a model for post-industrial revitalization. It also contains links to each of the published segments and tells which ones are coming up.

This week:

An 8-minute version of the story of Jackie and Dora King and their Youth Karate-Ka: Harvesting Earth Farm, where kids learn to grow food and practice martial arts. The project turned a lot covered in garbage to productive urban farm. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says urban gardening is fine, but Flint needs more jobs than that can provide.

4 thoughts on “The Greening of Flint: An extended look at the “Kings of Flint”

  1. What the Kings are doing is not edible farming, it’s the disciplined growing of character, responsibility and nuturing of the sense of ownership in the youth of the neighborhood. They are growing hope and pride, something money can’t buy. By changing the landscapeoif their immediate surrounding, they are changing the attitudes and culitvating hopeless youth into responsible, take charge citizens who realize the value of that empowerment. What Jacky and Dora are doing is not about monetary value, it’s a new beginning beyond measure!

  2. A vision. Innovation. Healthy Living. Discipline. What more can one ask for? It is such an honor to see the innovative work of the Kings via this story. They are providing lifelong skills and a entrepreneur spirit to the youth they serve. Many say the youth are the future when in reality they are the present. The Kings are making that a priority with the work they are doing. They are not talking about what needs to happen but making it happen!

    Best Regards,

    Kevin Simpson (Flint Native)
    Global Education Consultant
    KDSL-Know Do Serve Learn

    TEDxFlint 2010 Licensee and Organizer
    Kettering University
    Twitter: @TEDxFlint
    Facebook: TEDxFlint 2010

  3. I agree with Mr. Walling that this is not the solution for bringing jobs to Flint, but urban farming and what it can do for Flint is just as critical. It will give people access to inexpensive, fresh and healthy food, allow them to have pride in their area again, and most importantly, to have pride in their ability to grow that food. It is especially important for young people to experience this. As Jackie said, this will give hope back and without hope we are lost. What he is doing for Flint and it’s youth is fantastic!

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