Friends of Rouge returns Saturday

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — The Dearborn Heights Watershed Stewards Commission is calling for volunteers to help take part in the Friends of the Rouge River: Rouge Rescue 2013.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Parkland Park with volunteers working on multiple projects including weeding and cleanup of the native plant gardens, invasive plant removal and trash pickup.

“We’ll be offering the choice of different jobs to the groups and volunteers,” said Barb Goryca, commission co-chairwoman. “We will also be working side-by-side with the volunteers and can answer any questions they have.”

Goryca said the work is done to not only control invasive species of plants but also to keep the trees and native plants healthy so that they will absorb as much storm water as they can, which would help to reduce flooding out of the river.

At the site working alongside the volunteers will be the Stewards, which includes Crestwood High School National Honors Society members.

Goryca said there are currently two CHS students on the commission with two more to hopefully be added soon. She added they have been a good addition to the commission.

“They have been a tremendous help,” Goryca said. “We are very happy they wanted to join the team.”

Goryca added that the CHS students have been labeling the storm drains surrounding the school with stickers that warn passers-by that the drain leads directly to the river. If there is time, this labeling will also be done during the event.

Attendees are to meet at the entrance to the park off Ann Arbor Trail, east of Outer Drive. Volunteers should wear boots or sturdy shoes and long pants and shirts. They should also bring sun screen, bug spray, work gloves and basic gardening tools to assist in the cleanup.

Goryca also said experience is not necessary and those who come will walk away with more knowledge about how this type of work positively affects the environment.

“This is really a great opportunity to learn more about the ecosystem and contribute to the beauty of the area,” Goryca said. “Public education is really a big part of this program.”

Volunteers are being asked to show up at 8:30 a.m. for registration, but pre-registration is also available by calling 313-274-3144 or 313-978-9888.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)