Fraser to host meeting of regional beautification council

By: Brendan Losinski | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published December 6, 2023




FRASER — Hoping to step up and play a more active role in community improvement, members of the Fraser First Booster Club will host the Beautification Council of Southeast Michigan’s winter quarterly meeting for the first time.

Hosting the meeting marks a new relationship for the two organizations — one that Vania Apps, the founder and a board member of the Fraser First Booster Club, said will mean more improvement projects within Fraser in the future and new opportunities for Fraser residents to help in other communities.

“This relationship has already made a difference,” she said. “We have nominated some projects to start in Fraser. We want to showcase more of Fraser because of this and promote more local projects. For instance, a Fraser student, Wynnis Chan, made three free respite benches on the back paths at McKinley Barrier-Free Park for his Eagle Scout project. He was a Michigan award winner this year through BCSEM.”

The BCSEM organizes and promotes community improvement and conservation projects throughout the metro Detroit area. They also work with a related nonprofit, Keep Michigan Beautiful, on projects in other parts of the state as well.

“The Beautification Council was created to promote beautification throughout southeast Michigan,” said BCSEM organizer Pat Deck. “This can be done in a variety of ways. We can impart lessons through speakers but also by sharing historical and restoration projects. Sometimes, it’s an environmental project that we promote.”

The meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, at Hanover Grove Cooperative in Fraser, 15750 Sabre Lane. Tickets are available at For questions, call Vania Apps at (586) 453-4081.

“We have two awesome speakers, and they do a great raffle,” said Apps. “Schott’s Market will provide a buffet lunch. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is the first speaker. Deputy of Government Relations Daniel Acciavatti is the other speaker, and he works for Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller’s office. They hold the meeting in which everyone is there to listen and take part in.”

Having an organization, rather than a municipality, host the meeting is another big step being taken.

“It is not the city of Fraser that is hosting, it is the Fraser First Booster Club,” said Deck. “As an organization, the BCSEM generally has the host city host the event. In this case, it is a private nonprofit group in the host city. That’s one of the first times we’ve done that.”

The two groups began working closer together after the Fraser First Booster Club was recognized by the BCSEM for its work on McKinley Barrier-Free Park in Fraser.

“Fraser hasn’t had a garden club or beautification club, and back in 2022, Fraser First Booster Club won (BCSEM’s) Keep Michigan Beautiful President’s Award for McKinley Barrier-Free Park and we got involved with them that way,” said Apps. “When they asked if someone could host their winter meeting, we jumped at the chance. We see this as a reintroduction of them to the city since we haven’t, as a city, been involved in a long time.”

Apps said they hope this strengthened relationship will lead to even greater things for Fraser and said that goals such as community improvement and conservation are vitally important.

“If you appreciate the need to be wise stewards of our environment and appreciate the value of beautification in a community, you would be interested in an organization like this. We really promote that,” added Deck. “In this particular meeting, we will have two speakers from Macomb County, including Mark Hackel, the county executive. He’s a dynamic speaker and often speaks about the importance of our water quality and waterways. The second speaker, Acciavatti, will also speak on environmentally related issues.”

Apps encourages the Fraser community to check out the meeting and see what upcoming projects are coming down the pipeline.

“They’re a great organization that does amazing projects throughout the state, so it’s a big deal that we are hosting the meeting. Hanover Grove is stepping up to host and donated their community center free of charge also was big since our organization doesn’t have a big enough event space,” said Apps. “People will find it inspirational. They will find a group of really involved volunteers who are working to make Michigan better. You will get to hear about a lot of great projects going on in the state right now.”