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Not every city has wandering lawnmower enthusiasts that mow abandoned parks and playgrounds. Only the city of Detroit does. Not every volunteer group plans to work for 24 hours straight. Only the Detroit Mower Gang does.
On May 25th at 10AM the madness will begin. This band of rebel landscape artists will blast the grass of parks all over town. There is strength in numbers, so they will travel together from park to park for an entire day and night. Before they exhaust their blood, sweat, tears, and time the Mower Gang will mow 8 parks and cross the city.
Why does the Mower Gang mow parks and playgrounds? According to Tom Nardone, the Mower Gang’s leader “Because kids need a place to play, and 5 year olds can’t cut grass, that’s why.”
Since 2010 the Mower Gang has been keeping abandoned parks in service. At first they just mowed a playground or two, but momentum is on their side and the group is growing. They meet every other Wednesday evening and sometimes mow as many as three parks. Typically 20 people bring their bodies and tools. With strong running equipment, this small crowd makes a huge impact. In the last year they have mowed and revived 14 different parks.
The Motown Mowdown by Husqvarna will be their biggest event yet. It will be 8 times as long as a typical park cleanup, and will involve working all night. Besides the danger and duration, there are many questions. Can a lawnmower run for an entire day straight? Can the gang members last? How many burgers, beers, and burritos will they consume? Nobody knows.
Unlike most Mower Gang events, which are member-funded, the Motown Mowdown by Husqvarna is made possible by a few sponsors:
Husqvarna donated a new mower and a chainsaw to the Mower Gang (valued at $4,000) in exchange for naming rights to our event.
RepairClinic.com is donating extensive spare parts to keep the mowers and weed whips running for 24 hours.
U-Haul donated the use of a trailer for the 2013 season.
Ryobi Tools donated a generator to provide lighting.
The group will be fed by Green Dot Stables, Whole Foods, Woodward Avenue Brewery, and El Guapo Fresh Mexican Grill.
PriveCo Inc. supplied $1,000 in financial support to cover the remaining event needs.
For more information or to sign up for the Motown Mowdown, visit http://www.MowerGang.com or contact Tom Nardone: tom@MowerGang.com / 1-248-457-6874.
I want to announce that from this point forward, we are going to blog, post photos and events on Facebook. Facebook allows us to connect with friends, allows everyone to post and works really well. I’ll still keep the MowerGang.com site up, but for most stuff, see our facebook page. It will be easier for us to maintain and keep current. Thanks!