Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.
Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more
Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort of spring cleaning for the city and surrounding townships.
Sixteen years later, Ypsilanti PRIDE (People Restoring Image and Developing the Environment) Day organizer Jane Carr said inspiring people to clean up the neighborhoods is more important than ever, with dwindling city and township budgets to fund park maintenance.
“The idea is to get a lot of people out to participate in making Ypsilanti look nice,” Carr said. “It helps people take ownership of their community.”
Forty cleanup sites have already been set up in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township for the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Each site is listed on the group's website at www.ypsipride.org, and a site captain is named for each area so volunteers know who to talk to Saturday morning when they arrive.
Carr said anyone wishing to donate their time to clean up the communities is welcomed to stop by a site ready to help pick up garbage, plant flowers, landscape and do various other tasks needed at each location. Volunteers are also encouraged to help clean up elsewhere in the community, and many residents choose to work on their own lawns and gardens after Saturday's thank-you lunch.
Potential volunteers can register to volunteer or donate on the group's website or can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Volunteers will meet up at noon for lunch, which is provided by local businesses and restaurants, in Parkridge Park, near the intersections of Harriet and Hawkins streets in Ypsilanti. The lunch is expected to last until about 2 p.m. This year's Ypsilanti PRIDE Day Award winner, determined by nominations from citizens, will be announced during the celebration.
During last year's PRIDE Day, the award winner was the Heritage Park Men's Group, who Carr said work diligently to maintain Parkridge Park. The lunch is being held there to honor their effort, she said, and to highlight a park many in the community may not be familiar with.
There has also been some discussion about alternately holding the thank-you lunch in the city and in the township, but Carr said no decisions have been made.
The site captains will be unmistakable in their YpsiPRIDE 2010 “Captain” shirts, Carr said, which were donated by VG Kids in Ypsilanti. Other shirts commemorating this year's PRIDE Day will also be available for people to purchase during the lunch for $10 each.
After paying for the cost of the logo design, all proceeds from the sale of shirts will go toward helping to fund future Ypsi PRIDE days, Carr said.
Though the event is somewhat weather-dependent, organizers expect about 350 volunteers to participate this year, since more than 300 have already registered on the website and more people usually show up than register.
Saturday will also see the 22nd annual Downtown Blooms Day in Ann Arbor, where volunteers plant flowers and landscape areas in downtown Ann Arbor. Carr said Ypsi PRIDE and its sponsors are looking into the possibility of combining the two events, which often occur on the same day anyway.
Ypsilanti PRIDE Day is sponsored by the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees and the Ypsilanti-Ann Arbor Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Residents get Ypsi PRIDE
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