BorgWarner Helps Launch Crowdfunding Campaign for ‘Urban Agrihood’ in Detroit

  • BorgWarner donates $10,000 to revitalize Detroit neighborhood
  • If $50,000 crowdfunding goal is met by April 2, MEDC will make matching grant

Auburn Hills, Michigan, February 21, 2017 – BorgWarner helped launch the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’s (MUFI’s) crowdfunding effort today with a $10,000 donation to support America’s first sustainable urban agrihood in Detroit’s North End. If the $50,000 funding goal is met by April 2, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will provide a matching grant with funds from MEDC’S Public Spaces Community Places program.

“Through the all-volunteer efforts at MUFI, vacant land is producing fruits and vegetables. Now, in an area with few fresh food options, a vacant building will be refurbished to teach the importance of nutrition and serve healthy food in its café,” said Daniel Paterra, Vice President, Enterprise Sustainability and Reliability, BorgWarner. “BorgWarner is excited to help finance this innovative neighborhood revitalization project with the first contribution to the crowdfunding campaign. We encourage other companies and individuals to support their community through this effective program.”

“BorgWarner is long recognized around the globe for their innovative work in propulsion technologies, but are equally impactful in communities, said Tyson Gersh, president of MUFI. “From donating bikes for kids in Germany, to providing flood relief supplies in India, or helping to uplift our North End neighborhood in Detroit, BorgWarner’s impact on our communities make the world a better place.”

Funds raised will transform a vacant three-story apartment building into a 3,200-square-foot Community Resource Center with gathering space for educational programs and training opportunities as well as two commercial kitchens and a healthy food café. Once two-square-blocks of vacant land, the campus currently includes a 2-acre urban garden, 200-tree fruit orchard, sensory garden and water-harvesting cistern. Over the past four growing seasons, the project has provided more the 50,000 lbs. of mostly free produce to more than 2,000 households, food pantries, churches and businesses in the area.

The building restoration project will be a featured component of Sustainable Brands ‘17 Detroit global conference held in Detroit for the first time at Cobo Convention Center May 22-25.  For project details and to donate, please visit Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity at

About MUFI

Founded in late 2011, The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is an all-volunteer non-profit whose mission is to use urban agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community in an effort to uplift and empower urban neighborhoods, solve social problems, and develop a broader model for redevelopment for other urban communities. The group’s focus is the redevelopment and growth of a two-square block area in Detroit’s North End through alternative and cost-efficient models.

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