Jackie Davis, of Harper Woods, takes home daylilies and coneflowers from the Eastpointe Beautification Commission plant exchange Oct. 23.

Jackie Davis, of Harper Woods, takes home daylilies and coneflowers from the Eastpointe Beautification Commission plant exchange Oct. 23.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Eastpointe Beautification Commission plants beauty in the city

By: Maria Allard | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 10, 2021

 Eastpointe Beautification Commission Treasurer Paul Kolbe gets ready for the plant exchange Oct. 23.

Eastpointe Beautification Commission Treasurer Paul Kolbe gets ready for the plant exchange Oct. 23.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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EASTPOINTE — After putting some projects on hold in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19, the Eastpointe Beautification Commission is getting busy again.

On Oct. 23, the organization held a plant exchange outside the Eastpointe Memorial Library. The event — held during the Eastpointe Friends of the Library book and media sale — gave participants a chance to bring in plants of their own and exchange them with other gardeners.

“We haven’t done it in quite some time,” Beautification Commission Chair Lynn Salafia said. “We were really happy with the way it turned out. It was fun.”

This year, the group also went ahead with the city’s Honorary Memorial Tree Program, in which family and friends purchased trees in memory of a loved one who died. Trees were planted at both Kennedy Park and Spindler Park. On Nov. 13, the commission will hold its annual memorial tree ceremony at Spindler Park to honor those who died. Friends and family members of the departed have been invited to the ceremony.

“It’s a nice little ceremony,” Salafia said. “We read some poems. The participants say a few words about their loved ones.”

The Eastpointe Beautification Commission formed in 2004. Currently, there are eight members, but there can be up to 11 members in the organization. The group of volunteers has a number of objectives to beautify the city.

For starters, Commission members promote public education against littering in the city, and they also sponsor and plan two volunteer cleanups each year: one in the spring and one in the fall. The Eastpointe Beautification Commission members also enlist support from businesses, associations, and school and civic organizations that share their vision.

Taking it a step further, members investigate, study and recommend plans to improve the general health, sanitation, safety and cleanliness of the city. Another priority is encouraging the placment, planting and preservation of trees, flowers and shrubbery, and sponsoring and promoting Arbor Week.

The Beautification Commission also promotes the city’s Adopt-A-Flowerbed program in which the Parks Division plants and maintains flowerbeds in parks, at city buildings, and the Kelly Road and Gratiot Avenue medians. Residents, civic organizations, sporting groups, schools and businesses are encouraged to adopt flowerbeds. The program was put on hold because of the pandemic, but Salafia said plans are to bring it back in 2022. People need not be experts with trees and flowers to participate.

“It’s a great group of people. It’s a learn as you go. I’m learning so much,” said Salafia, a committee member since 2017. “You just have to like flowers and things looking nice.”

Eastpointe Parks Supervisor Joe Merucci, who is the Eastpointe Beautification Commission staff liaison, announced that for the first time since 2019, the city has trees available at no charge to be planted in the right of way adjacent to homes. Varieties include maple, Princeton elm, catalpa, sycamore and Cleveland pear.

The trees come from the state. The city’s Department of Public Works plants them at no charge. For more information, call Merucci at (586) 343-8079 or email jmerucci@eastpointecity.org.

Honorary Memorial Tree Program applications are available at City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave. For more information, contact Mary at the parks office at (586) 441-1118. Details about the Adopt-A-Flowerbed program can be obtained at the same number. Applications to become a commission member are available in the City Manager’s Office at City Hall.

The commission meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. The group typically meets at City Hall, but because of COVID-19, meetings are currently being held virtually via Zoom. For Zoom access, visit cityofeastpointe.net.

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