Annual Sponsor a Garden program continues to blossom in Shores

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 1, 2015


GROSSE POINTE SHORES — When it comes to garden sponsorships, Grosse Pointe Shores is having a banner year so far — and the ground is still in the process of thawing.

Shores Beautification Chair Helen Bai said that as of the March 17 City Council meeting, they’d already received 17 garden sponsorships from people who’ve never sponsored a garden before. She said the bitterly cold winter has “kind of helped” beautification efforts in the city.

“All we can figure is … people have gotten really stir crazy locked in their homes,” Bai said. “We attribute (the new garden sponsorships) to the cold weather, I guess. That’s the only good thing I can say about this winter.”

Mayor Ted Kedzierski — who thanked Bai for her leadership on the Beautification Commission — concurred.

“I think you’re right,” Kedzierski said to Bai at the March 17 council meeting. “People are looking for spring more so this year.”

For the last several years, the Shores has given individuals, groups and businesses a chance to support plantings throughout the city through Sponsor a Garden — including some outside city offices and some at Osius Park. Sponsors are recognized with a plaque placed in the garden they’re supporting that year. The program has enabled the city to maintain beautiful gardens even in the wake of budget cuts during the recession.

“Our Sponsor a Garden project is off to its best start ever,” Bai said recently. “We are delighted.”

Inspired by the success of the Shores’ garden sponsorship, Grosse Pointe City in 2012 launched a similar program called Project Bloom. Like the Shores, the City’s program has met with strong community support.

The Shores Beautification Commission is looking for volunteers to plant flowers on May 21 and 22. For information on volunteering or sponsoring a garden, call city offices at (313) 881-6565.