By MORGAN LINN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Blight harms Detroit residents every day.
It lowers the perceived worth of a community and makes residents feel unsafe walking in their own neighborhood.
That’s why John Hantz, a finance mogul and long-time Detroit resident, decided to help replace that blight with the world’s largest urban farm.
He promised $30 million of his own money to renovate 10,000 acres of Detroit.
“It’s an investment in a livable neighborhood,” said Mike Score, a Detroit native and the president of Hantz Farms, Hantz’s company.
But Hantz met unexpected resistance from some local residents who saw the move not as charitable, but as a grab for land by a wealthy, white business executive.
The project also led to the release of the new documentary “Land Grab,” about the creation of Hantz Woodlands and the political uproar surrounding it.
Director-producer Sean O’Grady had heard about the controversy and wanted to find out why residents opposed a project that could benefit them.
O’Grady, who grew up in Saginaw, previously produced two other documentaries, “In a World” and “Big Sur.” Continue reading