A Woman On A Mission

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Two like-minded organizations – Keep Michigan Beautiful (KMB) and the Beautification Council of Southeastern Michigan (BCSEM) – joined together this past Wednesday in Warren to share ideas and information about projects that combat litter in our communities.  I was excited to have the opportunity to attend this unique event on behalf of the City of Auburn Hills.  To start the conversation, they brought in a local expert to share her story.

Audra D. Carson, founder of two blight-busting organizations, shared incredible stories of her volunteer events that cleanup more than just litter.  Her focus is on discarded tires.  While that is not a big problem in some communities, it is in others.  It is a national problem in fact, and Audra has found a way to make a very positive impact in her area.  She shed light on this issue for the diverse audience of southeastern Michigan community representatives – as far-reaching as Midland.

Her company, De-tread, LLC is a non-profit youth initiative that fosters environmental stewardship, civic engagement, and creativity.  During a cleanup, her groups will take on an area, clean it, clear all discarded tires – except a few that they transform into an art installment.  Her efforts have led to growing awareness of this problem while teaching our younger generation to be good stewards of their environment and how to create and maintain welcoming spaces.  Her motto is to “Leave people, places and things better than we found them.”  She is truly inspirational, and all communities can learn from her example.

The key to successful clean-up events is (obviously) volunteers!  The Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) invites residents and businesses to get involved in cleanup efforts – whether it’s a small group of friends and family, co-workers or a coordinated event supported by our “Keep It Clean” program.

If you would like to coordinate or volunteer for a clean-up event, or if you want to share details and photos of a cleanup you’ve done, please call me at 248-364-6946 or send an e-mail to beautification@auburnhills.org.  We’d love to share your stories!

Together we make the City of Auburn Hills a beautiful place to live, work and play!

Plogging, Anyone?

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Just this morning, I learned that there is a growing fitness trend here in the US that combines physical activity with environmentally-friendly activity.  It started in Sweden several years ago and it’s called Plogging – a combination of “plocka upp”, which is Swedish for “pick up” and jogging.  This idea is now promoted by Keep Michigan Beautiful (KMB) as a fun and healthy community activity.

While jogging, stop along the way to pick up discarded plastic bottles, wrappers, etc.  A 30-minute plog will burn an estimated 288 calories compared to a 235 calories jog.  Deep knee bends and lunges to pick up litter add to the physical benefits.  A simple concept, right?  It’s a win/win – a healthier you and a healthier environment.

The Auburn Hills Beautification Commission is hosting a “Keep It Clean” event on Saturday, May 12th at 10 a.m.  This event welcomes everyone.  You can choose to focus on a cleanup walk or try plogging with a group of your friends, family or co-workers.  Contact the Community Development Department at 248.364.6946 for more information and to sign up.  Together we make Auburn Hills a clean, healthy and happy place to be.

Clean Up Event Provides Immediate Gratification

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) held their first clean up event of 2017 this past Saturday morning.   A small group of volunteers, which included two elementary school students, gathered at Will Rogers Elementary School to clean the natural wooded areas and open spaces surrounding the building.

From left to right – Connor Grosz (student), Carla Withers, Mattie Lopez (student), Rich Foster; City Councilman Bob Kittle, me and Jan Kittle (our photographer) post clean up.  A big thank you to all and especially Councilman Kittle for helping out on his birthday!

The group collected seven large bags of trash from the woods, along with an old, rusted, antique mattress frame and a wheel/rotor assembly.

Often the eye passes right over what we don’t want to see.  Discarded cups, bottles, wrappers and such can become a part of the landscape and erode an otherwise pleasing scene.   Litter, when left unchecked, can lead to feelings of unrest, discomfort and sometimes even fear.  The disorganized appearance can lead to lower property values and even disinvestment.

That is why beautiful cities, like Auburn Hills, remain vigilant in clean-up efforts.  The solution to litter is quite simple and takes a minimal amount of time – especially when friends, relatives and neighbors come together.   One of my favorite things about these events is the immediate gratification – knowing that you’ve made a difference and are leaving something in better shape than you found it.

If you see an area in our fine City that needs attention, contact the City to help get the ball rolling.  If you would like to coordinate your own cleanup event, our Keep It Clean program can provide the needed supplies and safety equipment to help ensure a safe and productive day.

Contact the Auburn Hills Beautification Commission at beautification@auburnhills.org or 248.364.6946 for more information.  Help keep Auburn Hills a beautiful place to live, work and play.

“River Life” Art Project Recognized by Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc.

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Auburn Hills Parks and Recreation Director Brian Marzolf did just that, when he found that five trees lining the river bank in River Woods Park had been irreversibly damaged by a hungry beaver.

Auburn Hills Parks & Recreation Director Brian Marzolf with 2016 Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc. Award

Auburn Hills Parks & Recreation Director Brian Marzolf with 2016 Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc. Award for “River Life” art project

Brian enlisted the City’s DPW Department and Beautification Commission to take part in a creative solution that transformed the damaged tree trunks into works of art.   He commissioned Chainaw artist Scott Kuefler to create wood carvings that reflect the wildlife that lives in and along the Clinton River.  The carvings now serve as a point of interest on the riverbank for all to enjoy.

2016 Beautification Advisory Commission

2016 Beautification Advisory Commission

In October, Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting and recognizing beautification and restoration projects throughout the State of Michigan, presented the City of Auburn Hills with a Beautification Award for this “River Life” art project.

beaver

Carving in the likeness of “the culprit”

The Clinton River and our parks and trails are a source of great pride here in Auburn Hills.  A big thank you to Brian and all the parties involved in this special project.

Beautification Award Winners Honored

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) gathered together 130 residents and business representatives to celebrate the beauty in Auburn Hills.  The Beautification Awards, the BAC’s largest program, was designed to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of our residents and business in creating beautiful landscapes which enrich our community.

Special guests (from left to Right) Mayor Pro-Tem VeRonica Mitchell, Clair and Coucilman Henry Knight, Coucilwoman Cheryl Verbeke with daugher, Chole

Special guests (from left to Right) – Mayor Pro-Tem VeRonica Mitchell, Claire and Coucilman Henry Knight, Coucilwoman Cheryl Verbeke with daugher, Chole

Al VanHoutte, owner of Farm Boy Produce located on Auburn Road was honored last night for his years of event support and generous donations to the BAC.  Mr. VanHoutte’s dedication and donations have added value to BAC events, including the Perennial Exchange and Beautification Awards Dinner, for all to enjoy.

From left - Al VanHoutte, Owner of Farm Boy Produce on Auburn Road, with BAC Secretary Pattie Ormsbee and Vice-Chair Celeste Yoskovich

From left – Al VanHoutte, Owner of Farm Boy Produce on Auburn Road, with BAC Secretary Pattie Ormsbee and Vice-Chair Celeste Yoskovich

Beautiful properties, both residential and commercial create value and an inviting atmosphere for our residents and all who work here or simply pass through.

raffle-group

Award winners enjoyed a gift raffle at the end of the evening. Mums and pumpkins from Farm Boy Produce and table centerpieces created by Yesterday’s Florist were raffled off to lucky winners

The BAC thanks the 2016 winners for their hard work and dedication to making Auburn Hills a beautiful place to live, work and grow!