City Beautiful Commission to make a splash with dog wash fundraiser

‘Dog and Butterfly Dog Wash’ to raise funds for pollinator gardens, park mural

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 15, 2021

 Abby, the dog of Rochester City Councilwoman Amanda Harrison, is geared up for the City Beautiful Commission’s first Dog and Butterfly Dog Wash July 17.

Abby, the dog of Rochester City Councilwoman Amanda Harrison, is geared up for the City Beautiful Commission’s first Dog and Butterfly Dog Wash July 17.

Photo provided by the City Beautiful Commission

 The Butterfly Garden in Rochester Municipal Park is home to many native plants for pollinators to feed from.

The Butterfly Garden in Rochester Municipal Park is home to many native plants for pollinators to feed from.

Photo provided by the City Beautiful Commission

ROCHESTER — Community members can get their dogs pampered this month while raising funds to help beautify the city of Rochester.

Rochester’s City Beautiful Commission is hosting its first Dog and Butterfly Dog Wash 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, in the grassy area on the west side of Rochester City Hall.

For a minimum donation of $9.99 — paid either in person or online —  leashed dogs will be bathed in a kiddie pool by CBC members — along with various members of the Rochester City Council, including Mayor Stuart Bikson — while their owners sit in a chair next to them. CBC member Melissa Bevacqua said the dogs will then be rinsed, dried off with a towel and given a treat, with permission. A bandana will be tied onto each dog’s collar or neck, and dog wash participants — or anyone who donates at least $9.99 to the cause — will be entered to win a “Doggie Door Prize” consisting of a basket of dog goodies.

“It’s raising money for a good cause, and it should be really fun,” Bevacqua said.

All of the proceeds from the event will support the existing and new pollinator gardens in the city, as well as the installation of a mural in Rochester Municipal Park.

Marilyn Trent, who chairs the CBC’s Rochester Pollinators Subcommittee, said the group aims to encourage the revitalization of pollinator populations by reintroducing Michigan native plants into local landscapes.

The Rochester Pollinators Subcommittee is encouraging local businesses and community members to plant a pollinator-friendly garden with milkweed and other native plants. The committee planted the city’s first pollinator garden — which includes native plants that bloom from May to October to support monarch butterflies and their pollinator friends — in Rochester Municipal Park. The Rochester Municipal Park Butterfly Garden is located near the south entrance of the park.

Since then, additional pollinator gardens have been installed at the Rochester Hills Public Library, the Rochester Fire Station and Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, to name a few. Many more are in the works — including one at the Mount Avon Cemetery and one at the bridge near the Paint Creek, on North Main Street.

“It’s a great community spirit-building activity that helps people individually contribute to an ecologically solvable problem,” Trent explained.

Michigan plays an important role in the monarch life cycle, according to Trent.

Each year, she said, millions of monarch butterflies migrate across the U.S., many spending their summers breeding in Michigan before traveling to the mountains of central Mexico for the winter. In one season, she said, it can take up to four generations of monarchs to reach their destination from Mexico to Canada. The monarchs that are native to Michigan are the fourth generation and have a long journey home back to Mexico.

New generations of monarchs start here on their host plant, milkweed, on which they depend to develop. But recent declines in the milkweed habitat across the Midwest have contributed to the monarch population decline. Trent said the milkweed plant is the only plant that monarchs will lay their eggs on, and it’s the only plant that the caterpillars that are born can eat to become the monarch butterfly.

For more information about the Dog and Butterfly Dog Wash or the City Beautiful Commission, email cbc@rochestermi.org. Dog wash organizers are scheduling appointments for two dogs every 15 minutes. Those interested can pick a time by going to the CBC Facebook event page and clicking on the Calendly sign-up, or by emailing cbc@rochestermi.org.

Walk-ins will also be accepted the day of the event, which is sponsored by The Urban Dog of Rochester Hills, Mr. C’s Car Wash of Rochester, 2nd Street Quilt Shop of Rochester and All American Screen Printing of Sterling Heights. The rain date is July 31.

For more information on the Rochester Pollinators Subcommittee, including a list of pollinator-friendly native plants and a starter garden layout, visit rochestermi.org/pollinators or email pollinators@trentcreative.com.