The Harper Woods Beautification Commission will once again commemorate Earth Day with a community cleanup event. This will be the fourth year that the city has celebrated Earth Day in this way.

The Harper Woods Beautification Commission will once again commemorate Earth Day with a community cleanup event. This will be the fourth year that the city has celebrated Earth Day in this way.

Photo provided by Maria Nawrocki


Harper Woods to get in the spirit for Earth Day anniversary

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published March 13, 2020

 Members of the Harper Woods community will come together April 25 to clean the lawns and gardens of public buildings, street medians and parks.

Members of the Harper Woods community will come together April 25 to clean the lawns and gardens of public buildings, street medians and parks.

Photo provided by Maria Nawrocki

HARPER WOODS — For the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, Harper Woods residents will once again be going out into the community to clean up their town.

Hosted by the Harper Woods Beautification Commission, the Harper Woods cleanup will focus on several community areas, street medians and parks.

“April 22 is Earth Day; we will be doing our program on Saturday, April 25,” said Maria Nawrocki, who is coordinating the city’s participation in the event. “We’re continuously increasing the amount of community spirit each year and getting more people on board to take pride in our community.”

Those hosting the event are hoping the anniversary will cause additional people to take part.

“This is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and we are hoping to get an even bigger crowd than ever before,” said cleanup co-organizer Mary Kingston. “We want people to come down and pick up some trash. The Harper Woods School District will be joining us again. We will be cleaning the medians around Kelly Road. We will be working at Salter Park by cleaning up and putting some mulch down. We also will be replacing some plants and bushes in front of City Hall.”

The cleanup will consist of a morning of work followed by a meet-and-greet at Salter Park.

“Volunteers can come down for an hour or the full time — we just ask that they register so we know how many people are coming,” explained Kingston. “Sign-up and (on-site) registration will be at 8 a.m., and we’ll be working until noon and then have some time for fellowship after that at Salter Park. If you can pick up trash or pull weeds, you can help. They can sign up at (313) 343-2505.”

Nawrocki said they have gotten strong feedback from Harper Woods residents regarding cleanups in previous years, and organizers are glad to welcome back Harper Woods High School students as well.

“It’s our fourth annual Earth Day in Harper Woods, and the third year the school district has taken part, which brought a lot of people on board to help,” she said. “The residents and community were pleased with the accomplishment, and we’ve gotten good feedback because once they see what the improvements are just from a few hours of work, they are inspired and I think it gets them interested.”

She hopes people will recognize the significance of the 50th anniversary and be inspired to chip in, especially if they haven’t before.

“This year is a little unique because we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day,” Nawrocki said. “Nationally, it’s very significant and people are reflecting on what it means. It brings people together for the same purpose. When it was created in 1970, there was so much political activity going on. It was a way to unite people despite political disagreements.”

Kingston said that environmental and conservation efforts are at the forefront of many people’s minds and that they can make a difference right in their hometown.

“Everyone is talking about our global environment, so people should be conscious of that,” she said. “They can pick up trash, use reusable bottles or walk instead of using a car. Maybe use less energy with those electronic devices by using them less. We need to be more conscious of that.”

She added that there are numerous ways people can help, even if they can’t join in on the community cleanup.

“It was started in April of 1970, and it’s a good opportunity for people to look around their property or their city and do something to improve it,” remarked Kingston. “They can repair something or clean something up or just make something better. Everyone is always so busy, so it’s nice to slow down, volunteer and work with their neighbors.”