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Nicholas Leonard

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Nicholas Leonard

Nicholas Leonard

Name of Host Organization: Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
City, State: Detroit, Michigan
Issue area: Environmental Justice, Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
Sponsors: Deere & Company, Lane & Waterman LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP

The Project

Nick provided pro bono transactional legal services to individuals, nonprofit corporations, and for-profit businesses engaged in urban agriculture in Detroit.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Due to economic downturn in recent decades, Detroit has a large proportion of abandoned properties. While Detroit has incentivized private redevelopment in some areas of high abandonment, it has yet to provide a systemized or viable redevelopment solution for some of its most depressed neighborhoods. Urban agriculture is a great and cost-effective urban revitalization tool, but is sadly underutilized in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Not only could urban farms provide Detroiters with a degree of autonomy regarding how their neighborhoods are redeveloped, they could also provide them with a much needed source of fresh food. Nicholas’ project will provide vital and sustainable legal assistance to Detroiters promoting urban agriculture.