Detroit resident Tonya Wall, the vice president of the Regent Park Community Association, is among the volunteers cleaning up the medians along Kelly Road in Harper Woods June 2.

Detroit resident Tonya Wall, the vice president of the Regent Park Community Association, is among the volunteers cleaning up the medians along Kelly Road in Harper Woods June 2.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Harper Woods, Detroit residents clean up Kelly Road

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published June 11, 2018

HARPER WOODS — On June 2, Harper Woods and Detroit residents came together to clean up the medians of Kelly Road.

Kelly Road serves as the dividing line between the west side of Harper Woods and Detroit. The trees and shrubbery of the medians have become overgrown in recent years, and they have become a frequent dumping ground for litter. Volunteers from both cities joined to remedy those issues.

“It’s the Detroit side and the Harper Woods side coming together to clean up the medians on Kelly Road,” said Harper Woods City Manager Joe Rheker. “This is good, substantive work where people can say they’re making a difference. It’s not just pulling weeds.”

The Harper Woods Beautification Committee pushed for the project, and Mary Kingston, one of the committee members, said it was a highly successful initiative.

“We’re working from Chandler Park Academy to Eastwood Drive. … We’re cleaning up, picking garbage, and clearing bushes and weeds,” explained Kingston. “After we get some space, we’re seeing which places we want to plant something new in.”

Tonya Wall, the vice president of the Regent Park Community Association, which serves the Regent Park neighborhood on the Detroit side, said she hopes this project will not only benefit both communities, but also bring them closer together.

“(Kelly Road) is one of our boundaries, so it’s a collaboration between Detroit residents and Harper Woods,” said Wall. “This will open up the street and stop it from being a boundary between the two cities and beautify the area. It lets us work for the common good.”

Rheker said he hopes more projects similar to the Kelly Road Clean-Up will take place in the near future — particularly those that allow Harper Woods and Detroit to work together again.

“We want to keep the momentum going on projects like this,” he said. “We’re also considering putting in some crosswalks along Kelly Road and maybe adding another traffic light.

Rheker said anyone interested in upcoming community projects can call City Hall at (313) 343-2500, and staff can put residents on a notification list to automatically be sent updates on future projects or developments.

The Kelly Road Clean-Up is the latest step in efforts that Harper Woods has taken toward revitalizing the Kelly Road corridor. Improving the quality of life for residents along Kelly Road and bringing in more businesses is a highlight of the Neighborhood Improvement Plan that Harper Woods residents and city officials created in 2017.

“The city’s Neighborhood Improvement Plan encompasses everything: education, beautification, public safety and more,” said Rheker. “The first priority in the plan is Kelly Road.”

Kingston said she was pleased with how much better the medians look, but she hopes others will ensure that they stay that way by keeping the community clean.

“We hope more people will volunteer and people will be a little more conscious about showing more kindness to the environment and making sure they don’t litter,” she said.

Wall said her hope is that this will inspire others to join them in the future to keep taking steps to make the Harper Woods and Detroit area a good place to live.

“All we ask is people volunteer an hour or two on projects like this,” remarked Wall. “No matter which side of the street you’re on, volunteering benefits us all.”