Hazel Park Beautification Commission Blossoms, Welcoming New Members
(Mary Dupuis, Aug 11, 2022)
Hazel Park, MI – The city of Hazel Park formed a Beautification Commission about one year ago to improve the cleanliness and visual appeal of the community, planting the seeds for efforts which are now starting to blossom. And the best part is, there is room for more to grow as residents are invited to apply.
The commission is headed by its chair, Nicole White, and consists of eight other members, those being: April Beaton, Alexandra Beninda, Gaven Burns, Heather Hopkins, Charles Lisee, Jeffrey Olivier, Sara Pitchford and Marcel Roig. The commission also includes Ed Klobucher (ex officio) and Mayor Pro Tem and city council member Mike McFall.
One of the commission’s first activities for the community are the Beautiful Block Awards. This contest invites members of the community to put time and effort into beautifying their properties and nominate their block for evaluation by the commission for an award. Online applications can be found on their website.
White said she was inspired by Ferndale and their own ongoing Beautiful Block Awards as well as the increase in care of the homes on her own block.
“It’s just a really nice thing to see when you’re outside and you can see six or seven other neighbors outside and everybody’s doing something whether it’s just watering their flowers or sweeping up the sidewalk or I mean just whatever it is,” White said. “Everybody’s been out there and doing things and a lot of our neighbors do look out for each other which is really nice too.”
Blocks are evaluated based on overall curb appeal – how neat, clean and orderly the block is, what plants (annuals and perennials) are planted, how eye watching the block is, if the general lawn upkeep is up to code and if the yard is free of all trash and debris.
The blocks are also evaluated based on enhancements and improvements such as weeding, fresh mulch, trimmed shrubs, clean gutters and edging.
White said the awards aren’t as much about who has the greenest thumb, but bringing the community together.
“When we talk about beautiful blocks we don’t mean ‘Homes and Gardens’” White said. “We don’t mean it has to be an immaculate landscape…We’re looking for blocks who are helping neighbors. We’re trying to get more of a community. Let’s help each other. If your neighbor is not able to get out and mow the lawn, well how about you reach out to your neighbor and say, ‘Hey, can I do this for you?’”
White said as the commission grows they would like to expand within the city to beautify businesses, homes and even parks.
She said the commission hopes to partner with other community groups, the parks and recreation department and the Department of Public Works to come up with future plans for improving the health, cleanliness and safety of the city.
The Commission also plans to host community events.
On Saturday Aug. 20 at 10am there will be a two hour workshop at the Merrill Street Community Garden, covering topics like gardening basics, tools, garden planning, transplanting, growing from seed, and pest control.
White said regardless of what may take place with the commission’s future plans, the constant goal will be to better the community for its residents.
“I like the direction that Hazel Park is trying to go,” White said. “We can really get that community feel, try to weed out the negativity, try to make things positive and incorporate that into what we’re doing. And that’s why I think for us… I feel like our main goal is community….We’re all in this together. We all want to make this the best place that it can be.”
As of May 2022 the group meets at 6:00 p.m. in the city’s council chambers on the third Wednesday of every month. The meetings are open to the public. Members of the community are welcome to apply to join the commission. Paperwork can be found in the City Clerk’s office or on the city’s website.