(CBS DETROIT)– Sister’s Kim and Rhonda Theus reflects on their time growing up on Detroit’s eastside.

“It was a thriving self-sustaining community, it was very connected, our neighbors we all knew each other,” said Co-Founder of The Canfield Consortium Rhonda Theus

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She says like many neighborhoods around the city, over time things on Canfield and Montclair, changed.

“Resources have been removed from the community which has caused it to become blighted, there’s a lot of vacant lots, and vacant houses,” Rhonda Theus said.

Rhonda says most of this occurred during the dramatic decrease in the city’s population.

The sister’s say they were a-part of the decline, but being away and seeing their childhood neighborhood go down they knew something had to be done to preserve the family’s legacy, so they came back, and brought funding with them.

“The first garden was the east Canfield community flower garden which was launched in 2018,” said Co-Founder of The Canfield Consortium Kim Theus.

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The sister’s now have a non-profit Canfield Consortium, and have received funding from various sources including CN Canadian National Railroad and America in Bloom.

In addition to purchasing vacant lots and creating beautiful gardens and meeting spaces. They’re also reinventing alley spaces in the area.

“Build not only green spaces but opportunities for people to socialize together outside, our neighborhood doesn’t have social spaces so if you wanted to go outside a lot of people went to Belle Isle, or Chandler Park, but we wanted to have something in the neighborhood,” Kim Theus said.

Up next for the sister’s, revitalizing Brewer Park, an area where they have fond memories before the rec center was torn down.

Canfield Consortium and Wayne State University are hosting a fall festival and inviting the public to join them in a neighborhood cleanup around the park and greenway.

Canfield Connect is looking for volunteers to help clear first two vacant lots in 2-3 hour shifts.

Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

4531 Montclair Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214 (right across from Brewer Park)

Wayne State University – https://rsvp.wayne.edu/canfield-connect-cleanup- volunteering

Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/canfield-connect-area-cleanup-tickets- 189844689577

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