Detroit Mower Gang: Cleaning Up Detroit One Park at a Time

By: Scott Davis | July 29, 2014

Back in early May, you may have read an article I wrote about the Detroit Mower Gang. Our discussions with founder Tom Nardone and our research on the group led the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers to the decision that the Detroit Mower Gang would be the perfect fit for the newest 2014 Silverado commercial.

The commercial began airing just a few days ago. If you haven’t see this cool new spot yet, check it out on YouTube.

Much like your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, the Mower Gang has a passion for Detroit. The importance of highlighting the community is a priority for both parties involved, which is why this was an ideal match.

“I was very excited when I heard about the commercial! I even have a Chevy van,” Nardone, said. “I’m always happy to work with somebody local, and the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers were great to work with.”

Nardone started the group in 2010, after hearing the city of Detroit announce it would no longer maintain abandoned parks and playgrounds. He invites anybody and everybody that is willing to help to join the gang. Just bring your own lawn tractor, weed whacker, tools and other equipment! If you do not have your own equipment, then you can simply show up and help clean up the site.

The most intriguing thing about this bunch of mowers and cleaners is that it is strictly compiled of volunteers. Volunteers, who go to the abandoned parks of Detroit to cut the grass, fix up the playground, whack the weeds and clean up debris completely free of charge. If that isn’t for the common good then I’m not sure what is. It is comforting to know that there are still people out there trying to make a difference.

“We focus on any park that has children near it,” Nardone said. “Even if it doesn’t have a playground, maybe it could make a nice soccer field, or something along those lines.”

So far in 2014, the gang has mowed 24 parks and counting. The next project on tap is this Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. at O’Shea Park. The mission at this park is to cut a “cow path” to help make room for people to walk to the park from its back entrance—instead of trekking through grass that hasn’t been mowed in seven years.

In 2011, the group also started a gardening initiative with the intention of growing and distributing food to those in need. Each garden is nearly an acre in size!

“The gardening is going very well,” Nardone said. “We don’t expect the crops to be ready until late August or early September, but it is coming along nicely!”

There are plenty of ways to help the Detroit Mower Gang, whether it be through volunteering, donating equipment or just simply spreading the word. For more information, please visit the group’s Facebook page or check out my previous article.