The Big Picture

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Nothing builds a team like spending time together.  Knowing this, the City of Auburn Hills developed a program called Auburn Hills University (AHU) which brings one employee from each department together, for one day out of the month, for six months.  The group visits a new department each month for an in-depth look at its core functions.  At the end of the program, they have a better understanding of how the deparments work together to service the City and make connections with co-workers that strengthen our team.  They get a look at the big picture.

Yesterday, AHU employees spent the day with the Community Development Department.  They were treated to a day full of information about Building, Planning, and Code Enforcement activities.  While this may sound terrifically dull, it was anything but.  The best way to understand Community Development is to be out in the community!

The group visited the construction site of the nearly complete, Round 1 Entertainment attraction coming to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.  They got a sneak peek of the space and learned about the growth of this company that is new to Michigan.

Checking out the Round 1 project under construction

Then it was off to SEALIFE Aquarium, Michigan.  A behind-the-scenes tour gave them a chance not only to see the incredible sea life but see the space that had been transformed from a restaurant into an entertainment destination for people of all ages to enjoy.

Overlooking the big pool at SEALIFE

The group stopped for lunch at The HUB (The Home of Urban Bowling) to try out Bomb Bowling.  No bowling ball needed…just a football.  It’s not as easy as it looks!  The HUB is located in a newly redeveloped restaurant that sat vacant for years.  The new use brings life and fun back into the space.

CD Director Steve Cohen has a good arm! Way to go, Steve!

Saving the best for last, the day ended with a tour of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US).  FCA gave generously of their time to give our AHU group a tour of their facilities and then shared fascinating background of how their headquarters building came to be.

Photo taken from the 15th floor of the FCA US Headquarters tower

We look forward to leading a tour of brand new spaces next year!

Auburn Hills Students Help Monitor Clinton River Health

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

On May 22nd, students from Avondale High School headed out to Riverside Park to determine the overall water quality and health of the Clinton River.  Led by their teachers, parents, mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the City of Auburn Hills, the students conducted water quality tests and scientific surveys.

The Avondale students have been monitoring the health of the river for more than a decade through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s “Stream Leaders” program.  In addition to conducting chemical tests on the water, students donned waders and entered the flowing river to collect, identify and count macroinvertebrates.  Some of the creatures found included dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, scuds, and crayfish.

The City looks forward to seeing the final results of the data collected by these dedicated students.  We will be sure to share those findings when the data becomes available.

Click here for more information on how you can protect water quality.  To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s “Stream Leaders” program, please click here.

FCA Motor Citizens Recognized for Stewardship Efforts

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The City of Auburn Hills would like to congratulate FCA Motor Citizens, a volunteer corps assembled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, for receiving the Clinton River Watershed Council’s 2015 Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award.

FCA Motor Citizens were presented with the Award for their longtime support and stewardship efforts in keeping our waterways clean.  The great majority of their efforts were achieved through their participation in CRWC stewardship programs, such as Weekly Clean, Clinton Cleanup, and woody debris removal events.

Left: Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council Middle: Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler Right: Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

From left, Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council; Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler; Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

FCA Motor Citizens provides dozens of volunteers to these stewardship efforts each year which equates to hundreds of hours spent cleaning up trash and other debris from the Clinton River, its watershed and Lake St. Clair.  The time that FCA Motor Citizens continues to provide CRWC and the community in the form of positive and hardworking volunteers, shows their commitment to protecting our waterways for all to enjoy.

The Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award was created to recognize individuals for their extraordinary commitment of time, talents and resources to fostering improvement and protection of the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair.

Click the links to learn about volunteer opportunities in and around the Clinton River Watershed and the City of Auburn Hills’ Keep it Clean program.