27 Park Cleanups
2 Tree Plantings (31 trees planted)
3 volunteer building projects (2 new kiosks and a new bridge)
587 total volunteers
1,918 hours of volunteering
5 Nature Walks
6 Sessions of Yoga
Ela Jiga Memorial Bench Dedication
On November 20, a dedication of the Ela Jiga Memorial Bench was held at the Stone Bridge Nature Trail. The spot for the bench on top of the hill looking down on the Stone Bridge was chosen by her husband, Roger Corpolongo, so that people can sit and enjoy the peacefulness of the forest and renew their spirit here like Ela did in her frequent walks in the park. Ela loved Rouge Park, the birds, the butterflies and volunteered her time on the board because she wanted make a difference and improve the park all that she could. Ela served on the Friends of Rouge Park Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015. The $1650 bench was funded exclusively from donations to the Friends of Rouge Park.
Prairie Volunteer Work Day
On October 24 in partnership with Plastic Oceans, a small but dedicated group of volunteers removed trash and cleared overgrowth at the north entrance to the Prairie Pathway.
Prairie Pathway Bridge Construction
On Sept. 8, David Oakley supervised a team of GM volunteers and FORP Board members to construct the bridge at the entrance to the South Prairie loop. Volunteer extraordinaire, David Oakley, designed the bridge, making sure to size it to accommodate the wide park mowers. Intern Cara Beld led another crew in clearing invasive trees and shrubs from the Prairie. The new bridge spans a small intermittent drain that fills after a rain.
New Signage for the Prairie Pathway Installed
A partnership between the City of Detroit and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks received a grant through REI to install maps and wayfinding signage within, and directing visitors to, the Prairie Pathway. The installation began on Oct. 26 and should be completed by the end of October. Next time you hike the prairie pathway you will not get lost.
New Information Kiosks for Rouge Park
Two new information kiosks, one at the Brennan Recreation Area and one at the Sorensen Recreation Area were installed by GM volunteers July 26-30. Juliana Fulton, Park Planner for the city, is updating the map of the park for each kiosk and we should get them installed by the end of the year.
Survey of Rouge Park's Underutilized Buildings
We have been working with GM volunteers to explore the possibility of rehabbing some of the seven unused buildings in the park. Ideas for use include storage of camping equipment for the Detroit Outdoors Camping program in Scout Hollow, offices and meeting space for FORP and the community, and a "Sugar Shack" for processing maple syrup for the youth maple sugaring that happens in spring near the Stone Bridge Nature Trail. There are many more possibilities. The GM volunteers will assess what these buildings will need to be restored and estimate the cost for each building. By next year we hope to began a campaign to begin rehabbing the first building. Stay tuned!
Art for Rouge Park
We were awarded DIA’s 2022 season of Inside|Out! and will receive nine art installations in the park.
Rocket Community Fund Volunteer Days: Aug. 13, 18 & 27
Volunteers from the Rocket Community Fund spent three day in August
Rocket Volunteer Workday
Rocket Volunteer Workday
Trees & Seas
teamGM Cares work days
July 26-30, GM Volunteers spread out across the park to do many work projects including reclaiming the overgrown paved walking/biking loops, building information kiosks at the Brennan and the Sorensen Recreation Areas, trail work on the Prairie Pathway and the Joe Prance Nature Trail and more!
Two Mile Paved Path Reclamation & Cleanup
14th Annual Butterfly & Native Plant Walk
We held our annual butterfly walk on Sunday, July 25, the day after one of the many big floods we have had this summer. The butterflies were hunkering down to dry out their wings so they weren't flying around as much as usual, though we still saw15 different species of butterflies. In addition, we saw two types of hummingbird moths: Snowberry and Clearwing, and a unique and HUGE Mydas Fly!
See the full report with photos of each species here.
Youth Group Spends 5 days improving Rouge Park: June 21-25
The Grosse Pointe Memorial Church T.U.X.I.S Youth Group spent five days working at the Sorensen Rec. Area and the Prairie Pathway, clearing overgrowth from the future site of the large picnic shelter planned for the site of the old Rouge Park Recreation Center and at the entrance to the Sorensen Promenade. They also cleared overgrowth at the entrance to the Prairie Pathway and along the 1.5 trail. They worked amazingly hard each day, only taking breaks for lunch and a tour of the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association and a swim in the Brennan Pools during the week.
Rouge Park Appreciation Day, May 15
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Rouge Park and Friends of the Rouge, Rouge Park Appreciation Day brought together 35 volunteers to four sites in the park and filled 80 bags of trash weighing 1172 lbs. plus a pet carrier, couch, bench, carpet, chair, comforter, pillow, concrete tiles, tires, spackling, pail, cardboard; 2 bags of garlic mustard weighing 2.3 lbs., 7 cubic yards of invasive woody shrubs, and improved 1000 feet of trail.
May 1 WSU Cleanup at Sorensen: 25 people removed 50 bags of trash and 4 tires
May 1 Botanical Walk Stone Bridge Trail: 25 people, promoted through Detroit Environmental newsletter Planet Detroit and Michigan Botanical Club.
April 30 Tree Planting near Scout Hollow sign: About 45 volunteers planted 20 trees.
April 24 Earth Day Cleanup at trailheads at Tireman and Outer Drive: 25 people removed 74 bags of trash, 11 buckets, part of a motorbike and 2 tires.
Pistons Clean-up: 12 people removed 14 bags of trash
Motor City Mountain Biking Association: Cleared a large section of invasives along Joy Rd and several bags of trash. Opened up a new bypass in the northeast corner of the trail and started a kids’ loop at the trailhead at Outer Drive and Tireman.