DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Dearborn Heights City Councilman Tom Wencel is looking for at least 50 volunteers to help participate in different events to beautify the city.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, the annual Ecorse Creek cleanup will be taking place along with the Richard A. Young Center Rain Garden Maintenance at 9 a.m.
However, Wencel said this year he wanted to go the extra mile.
“The parks in Dearborn Heights are usually kept up by city employees,” Wencel said. “But for some reason the parks haven’t been kept up the way that they should be. Every year from now on when we do the Ecorse Creek cleanup, we will also adopt a city park to help make more inviting.”
This year’s park is Heather Lane Park.
“I take my kids to this park,” Wencel said. “It’s a really great park that not many people are aware of. It has three different streets that you can access it from; there is a bear with a slide coming from it, a tennis court, large grass area with a lot of space for other activities. It’s a really nice park that our neighborhood frequents, but I don’t think the rest of the community knows about.”
Heather Lane Park was opened Aug. 17, 2012 in the southend of Dearborn Heights.
“Right now, it’s not in the best shape,” Wencel said. “I don’t even want to take my kids there with how it looks right now. There is a ton of graffiti, obscene words and drawings all over the playscape there, the weeds are almost two feet tall. It’s in real rough shape.”
Wencel said that his primary focus when taking office was meant to be community and environment involvement, but the political stuff has slightly taken away from that.
“I haven’t been able to do everything that I’ve wanted to do,” he said. “I want to get people out and together while also maintaining social distance, and what better way to do that than to volunteer outside? This is a way to help improve our community and it’s important to help out.”
Wencel also said he couldn’t do this alone.
“I contacted the directors of the DPW Department, Building Maintenance and Parks and Recreation about coming up with a plan to resolve the issues at Heather Lane Park,” he said. “The Building Maintenance department will help kill all the weeds by the playgrounds and fences by the tennis courts, Parks and Rec is having new playground mulch delivered and DPW has agreed to do whatever they can to help as well.”
The overall goal for Wencel is to ensure the parks don’t get like this again.
“I’m definitely going to investigate why they have gotten so bad and why they aren’t being kept up,” he said. “I love Dearborn Heights and I want the residents to be aware of these parks.
“The rain garden is such a cool thing and I want people to know just what Dearborn Heights has to offer and respect it. It’s like I tell my kids, ‘leave it better than how you found it.’”
The Ecorse Creek clean up and Rain Garden Maintenance day will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at the Richard A. Young Center and the Heather Lane Park cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. on the same day. Some refreshments, personal protection gear and t-shirts will be available for all volunteers and the events are expected to take three hours. To volunteer or ask questions, Tom Wencel can be reached at 313-598-5182 or by email at email@example.com.