The Detroit Mower Gang
Many Detroit parks are overgrown. But there’s one group of people doing something about it.
They’re the Detroit Mower Gang.
It was once a field of dreams. But now…it’s just a field. Grass…uncut for weeks.
The money just isn’t there to cut it. The task is daunting. That’s where the Detroit Mower Gang comes in.
They come from all over. Converging this day on Wigle Rec Center field just off the Lodge in Midtown.
And they’re on a mission. Lawn tractors…big…and small. Push mowers…weed whackers…It’s truly a team effort.
The Mower Gang started a couple of years ago. Tom Nardone came up with the idea.
“I decided it was time to do some volunteer work…I decided that maybe I could buy a lawn tractor and go mow some playgrounds,” Nardone told Detroit 2020.
Others heard about his idea—and hopped on board.
So once a week, the mower gang selects a park in Detroit…and goes to work.
“We have anywhere from five guys to 50 people show up,” Nardone said.
Dan VanHamme, a member of the Detroit Mower Gang, said “it’ll make Detroit look better and you’ll feel better.”
They focus on 5 or 6 parks for the summer.
What do the mower gang members get out of it? It’s really pretty simple.
“I feel better—it’s good karma,” said Michael, a Mower Gang member from Warren.
“It makes you feel good,” said John Barrett from Washington Township.
Nardone is trying to recruit new mowers. “There are no qualifications…you come on out if you want—we usually have weed whips that we can loan you.” said Nardone.
At each park, they work…for hours.
And Nardone says the payoff is instant—
“Every time we do the play places, there’s always kids that come out—it never fails that you see the result right away,” he said.
And this day was no exception.
Sure enough…as the mower gang was wrapping up, a game was starting on the court.
Click here if you want to know more about the Detroit Mower Gang and might want to join them!