Gloria and Ken Terry have lived in their home on Alexander Street, which is a 2021 award winner, since 1986.

Gloria and Ken Terry have lived in their home on Alexander Street, which is a 2021 award winner, since 1986.

Photo provided by the city of St. Clair Shores

Green thumbs honored for efforts with Beautification Awards in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 7, 2021

 The backyard of the home on North Rosedale Court, owned by Diane and Doug Friedel, who were given a Beautification Award Sept. 20.

The backyard of the home on North Rosedale Court, owned by Diane and Doug Friedel, who were given a Beautification Award Sept. 20.

Photo provided by the city of St. Clair Shores


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Three residential homes and three businesses were honored for the time and effort they put into making the city a beautiful place with the 2021 Beautification Awards given out at the Sept. 20 meeting of City Council.

“We look forward to this every year — recognizing the hard-working residents and, also, our Beautification Commission,” said Councilman John Caron, the council liaison to the St. Clair Shores Beautification Committee. “Anytime something needs to get redone, (the) Beautification Commission takes care of it.”

Mayor Kip Walby said they appreciate how the winners are helping to make St. Clair Shores beautiful.

“Your homes do a great job for St. Clair Shores (and) do a great job for your neighborhoods, so thank you,” he said.

This year’s winners include Jim Selegean and his wife, Sara, who have lived in their home on Champine Street for more than 50 years.

“We used to do a lot more annuals, but now we’re about 75% perennials,” he said.

“We try to look for the shortcut,” joked Sara Selegean.

Jim Selegean said he spends about eight hours per week in the yard, and he likes to add something new every year, which he’s done for about the past 20 years.

“That’s how I got to where I am now,” he said.

Diane and Doug Friedel, of North Rosedale Court, plant a lot of flowers in the spring, along with decorative grasses and a vegetable garden.

Although she doesn’t always enjoy the hard work that goes into planting and maintaining her gardens, “I just enjoy looking at it,” Diane Friedel said. “We enjoy being out there and being around the flowers.”

Doug Friedel said they like to share the fruits of their labor with others, as well.

“We enjoy having people over and enjoying it with them,” he said.

Gloria Terry said she had a lot more time to work on the home she shares with Ken Terry on Alexander Street after she retired. Getting the yard and garden to where they are today was a process, but she said she feels that now, “we have it fixed pretty nice.”

She said she’s also proud to have four generations of her family all living in St. Clair Shores.

“I love planting and watching it grow,” said Gloria Terry. The Terrys have lived on Alexander Street since 1986. “(I) like to see all the different colors explode. We spend a lot of time in the yard.”

Lillian Claycomb, chair of the Beautification Commission, said the awards are based half on the home and half on the landscape.

“We are a neighborhood of older homes. What we’re looking at is for a home that, when you drive down the street, there’s a house that stands out,” she said. “Usually they have new windows, new roof, maybe a patio in the back, maybe they’ve added on, maybe they’ve bought an extra lot.”

Homes are nominated by Beautification members and other residents and then voted on by 12 members of the commission.

“We usually watch this house for a year to see exactly how it’s kept up through the winter, through the fall,” she said.

The city and the Beautification Commission honored three restaurants this year for their efforts to make the city beautiful.

“For the business awardees, we did recognize all restaurants. Especially for the tough year that it’s been, we thought it was fitting,” Caron said. “They’re all deserving. It’s great to see so many back in business and supporting the city, so thank you very much.”

Awards were given to Corner Kitchen, 22428 Greater Mack Ave.; Encore Catering and Banquet Center, 21801 E. Nine Mile Road; and Gaudino’s, 27919 Harper Ave.

JoMarie Amato, who owns Gaudino’s with her husband, Tom, said they were so excited when they were notified that Gaudino’s had won a Beautification Award.

“We spent a lot of time with the architect revising the original building,” which was owned by her parents, she said. “We wanted to capture some of the features of the original, but yet we wanted to give it a modern feel.”

She said their groundskeeper, Mark Hovis, does an amazing job with their landscaping, “keeping everything spectacular.”

Caron said there are also businesses in the city that support the work of the Beautification Commission: Soulliere Landscaping Patio and Garden Center, Hall’s Nursery, Landscape Services, and First State Bank. In addition to the members of the commission, there are also many volunteers who put in time and effort to work on the city’s garden beds throughout the year, he said.

“We all drive the city and ... most evenings, you’ll go by some flower bed somewhere and you’ve got a Beautification member or volunteer there,” said Walby. “Thank you for all your hard work.”