By Sarah Shurge – Do you want to make the world a greener place? You can start one park at a time.
Four years ago the City of Wayne created a Parks and Trails Committee who volunteers to keep the greenspace in Wayne clean and free of debris.
The committee consists of: John Mills, Michelle Nedzlek, Eric Cleereman, Councilman Alfred Brock, Jeremiah Webster, Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong, Ed Queen, and Lisa Nocerini.
“The group is dedicated volunteers that have a love for the environment and understand the city has financial challenges and not enough employees to keep up with the maintenance of the parks,” said Lisa Nocerini, City Manager and liaison to the committee.
From the start, the committee decided to clean four to five parks each summer. The efforts include: trimming trees, bushes, and shrubs, raking leaves, picking up garbage, painting pavilions, and some volunteers even do repairs.
“You walk out of these clean-up days so exhausted because it’s a lot of grunt work but you feel so good that you gave back to the community,” said Nocerini.
In February 2022, the committee launched a Facebook page called City of Wayne Parks, Trails, & Greenspace Clean-Up Heroes. It’s a page for volunteers interested in getting involved, updates about park clean-up dates, pictures, videos, and information.
The park clean-up schedule for summer 2022 is: Attwood Park: Saturday, May 21st, from 8:30 a.m.-Noon. Soroptimist Park: Saturday, June 11th, from 8:30 a.m.-Noon. Sue Win Park: Saturday, July 9th, from 8:30a.m.-Noon. Angelo DeMario Park: Saturday, August 20th, from 8:30 a.m.-Noon.
Nocerini explained that on a good clean-up up day, there can be anywhere from 25-30 volunteers. Volunteers don’t need to stay the entire clean-up either. Even 30 minutes of cleaning is helpful.
“I just encourage people to sign up. We are going to continue to make these efforts as much as we can but we need volunteers and we need help,” said Nocerini.
Nocerini has been helping clean the parks for four years now and has managed to get poison ivy three different times, but even that hasn’t discouraged her.
“It’s the sense of accomplishment and pride at the end of these clean-ups. The feeling that you made a difference,” said Nocerini. “And supporting that the city doesn’t have the resources, so giving back and doing my part so everyone has a park or a trail or some outdoor activity.”
The parks in the city have a rich history as well. The committee is trying to work with the Wayne Historical Society to get more involved with the history of the parks and maybe add signs so the community can learn more about the history of the parks they spend time at.
Parks are a wonderful place to bring people together, which is why the committee is hosting a “Fun in the Park” art contest for children and adults. The contest started May 2nd and runs through May 28th.
Submissions can include photos, hand-drawn pictures, paintings, watercolors, and collages. Sculptures and large items aren’t accepted because they won’t fit in the box. Entries should be related to the City of Wayne Parks, Trails, and Greenspaces.
You can drop your submissions off at City Hall. There is a table with a tote in the main hallway outside of the City Council Chambers where entries will be collected every day. Remember to put your name, email, and phone number on the back of your entry.
Winners will be announced at the City Council meeting on June 7th.
For children and youth, the Wayne Fire Department is offering two sets of tickets for a family of four for the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, another winner will receive a station tour, a ride in the fire truck, and lunch with the firefighters. The Wayne Police Department is providing a ride with a police officer and the winner will be treated to ice cream at Dairy Queen. The top five adult submissions will be awarded with gift cards from the committee.
If you are interested in joining a committee, you can find applications for committees that have open spaces at cityofwayne.com.
If you are interested in getting involved for clean-up, there are postings on the boards in City Hall. For more information about the Parks, Trails, and Greenspace Clean-Up Heroes or to stay updated, you can find them on Facebook at facebook.com/cityofwaynecleanup-crew.
If you know a group that wants to clean-up garbage in the park, contact Lisa Nocerini or the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the proper supplies will be provided. You can contact Lisa Nocerini by phone at (734)722-2001 or email at email@example.com. Or contact Ed Queen at equeen@cityofwayne-.com.