DETROIT - Stellantis wants to make the area around its Detroit Assembly Complex the most environmentally friendly neighborhood in the city, the automaker announced Thursday.
The 3-year, $1 million endeavor seeks to help improve environmental infrastructure around the complex on the city's east side.
A neighborhood education pavilion will be built starting this year at a nearby stormwater park, a greenspace reconfigured to filter rainwater runoff before it flows into sewer systems. Environmental education signage, bike racks, a bat house, beehives, a pollinator garden and a rain garden also are planned.
In 2019, Fiat Chrysler began converting two old plants into the assembly complex. The company agreed to a community benefits deal with the city to provide $35 million to support workforce development and training programs, education, neighborhood and housing improvements, and sustainable operations.
The agreement is in addition to the automaker's $1.6 billion investment in the assembly complex. It hired 3,850 people to work at the new auto plant.
More than 75 meetings have been held with neighborhood groups, residents, area businesses, and others to get input on what should be done around the complex, according to Stellantis.
"We're listening to our neighbors and working with them to improve the quality of life for people who live and work here," said Ron Stallworth, an external affairs manager for the automaker.
About 800 of a planned 1,100 trees also have been donated by Stellantis and planted with the help of the nonprofit group The Greening of Detroit on the automaker's property and within the immediate neighborhood.
Rain barrels and information about the benefits of capturing and reusing rainwater, wildlife, and habitat conservation efforts, and restoration of vacant lots are among future projects of Detroit's Greenest Initiative.
"We put in a lot of time working with Stellantis on the ideas that would be best for our community, and we are happy to see these projects starting," said state Rep. Joe Tate, a Democrat from Detroit.