Students from local schools plan to be among the volunteers helping to spruce up Harper Woods next month for Earth Day. Pictured, volunteers beautify Salter Park at last year’s Earth Day event.

Students from local schools plan to be among the volunteers helping to spruce up Harper Woods next month for Earth Day. Pictured, volunteers beautify Salter Park at last year’s Earth Day event.

Photo provided by Mary Kingston


Harper Woods to get clean and green at Earth Day event

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published March 19, 2019

 Harper Woods Beautification Commission members hope that people will volunteer their time from 8 a.m. to noon April 27 to help them clean up and repair municipal grounds and areas along roadways in honor of Earth Day.

Harper Woods Beautification Commission members hope that people will volunteer their time from 8 a.m. to noon April 27 to help them clean up and repair municipal grounds and areas along roadways in honor of Earth Day.

Photo provided by Mary Kingston

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Beautification Commission is putting out a call for anyone who wants to pitch in for Earth Day.

The commission is organizing its third annual Earth Day cleanup from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27. Volunteers will go to several of the city’s major streets and municipal grounds to clean up and repair the areas.

“We are hoping to work on the City Hall and library grounds,” said Beautification Commission Chair Mary Kingston. “We will be picking up litter on Harper Road and on the medians on Vernier. Hopefully we’ll get more people to help out and get even more done than last year. After we complete our work, we will have fellowship time at Salter Park so everyone who volunteered can have some food and drinks.”

Beautification Commission members and volunteers will be joined by students from the Harper Woods School District, the Diploma Success school, Chandler Park Academy and Regina High School.

“This will be our third year hosting this event and our second in coordination with the Harper Woods School District,” Harper Woods City Manager Joe Rheker said. “Last year, their participation was incredible and truly gave the effort a community feel. Last year, we had nearly 200 participants, and I believe we can top that this year. This event opens the eyes of our youth with the need to be community-minded and understand that it takes everyone to improve our community. In a sense, when you act locally on Earth Day, you are thinking globally.”

The national Earth Day celebration actually takes place on Monday, April 22, but the Beautification Commission wanted to schedule it for the next weekend so that more people would be available due to the Easter holiday being Sunday, April 21.

The organizers think the annual Earth Day cleanup is doing tangible good in Harper Woods.

“Personally, Earth Day was just started when I was a kid, and we tried to clean up around the school, and we have a small, close-knit community, so it seemed like a good fit for our city,” remarked Kingston. “Everyone is more aware of being green now, so it seemed like a good opportunity for our community. … It’s a great way to get people out and involved, get some exercise and do something positive for where they live.”

Those wishing to get involved can contact the city to RSVP or show up at City Hall on the day of the cleanup.

“They can call the city at (313) 343-2505 and tell them they are interested in participating, and they can get signed up and get some more information from them,” Kingston said. “People can still show up on the day of the event and pitch in, but we would prefer to get a number beforehand so we have enough refreshments for people and so forth.”

Kingston and Rheker both stressed the importance of having pride in one’s community and taking the time to help the world at large.

“(We hope) to keep growing the event in number of participants and scale of work, to keep increasing the spirit of community-mindedness and to continue working with our fellow community stakeholders, such as the Harper Woods School District,” said Rheker. “Everyone’s efforts to make Harper Woods a more beautiful and harmonious community are welcomed, not only on Earth Day, but every day.”

“Be aware of your community and take pride in it,” added Kingston. “It’s so easy these days to say, ‘It’s not my problem,’ or ‘I wasn’t the one who made this mess,’ but I think we all need to do our part to take action. It’s good for people to slow down a bit and do their part for their community.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.