In the News


Pontiac Community Garden Project Plants Seeds of Change

Erb Family Foundation

Lawrence Tech is part of a $90,000 grant from the Erb Family Foundation to develop four community gardens in Pontiac, Michigan, that will help increase awareness of environmental issues while producing fruits, vegetables, and flowers for area residents in 2012.

Community Gardens in Pontiac

Donald Carpenter, associate professor of civil engineering, is heading up the Lawrence Tech effort. He said, “Our contribution will be to conduct a survey of each site, perform soil measurements, develop a color landscaping plan, and order construction materials and supplies. Our team, which is comprised mostly of civil engineering majors,will function as the construction project manager as well as offer guidance on the educational materials being prepared. It’s a great experience for our students.”

Carpenter, who is also founder and director of the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute at Lawrence Tech, welcomes the opportunity because it will help create mentors, tutors, and champions of environmental preservation among local residents while contributing to neighborhood beautification and civic pride.

“It’s our hope,” said Carpenter, “that the project will promote a cleaner environment and good health through home grown fruits and vegetables.”

Other participants in the grant include Cranbrook Institute of Science, Welcome Missionary Baptist Church, Pontiac Garden Club, the Greater Pontiac Community Coalition, Pontiac Public Schools, and the Engineering Society of Detroit.

Founded by Fredand Barbara Erb, of the Erb Lumber enterprise,the Birmingham-based foundation “focuses the family’s philanthropy through the lens of sustainability.”

Howard Davis, director of corporate and foundation relations, said, “The Erb Family Foundation has a long history of supporting initiatives that nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit as well as efforts aimed at restoring the Great Lakes Basin. We are excited to be a part of this significant local effort.”

For more information on the Erb Family Foundation’s Community Garden Project, contact Howard Davis, director of corporate and foundation relations, at 248.204.2316 or