SAGINAW (WJRT) - (05/17/19) - A clean up project that started in 2002 on Ojibway Island with just a few volunteers has grown into a city-wide effort.
The Riverfront Development Commission was expecting upwards of 400 volunteers Friday and Saturday.
This year's effort focuses on Wickes Park, Ojibway Island, and other areas along the Saginaw riverfront.
"Come down and help out, it's not mine either. My neighborhood association is on that side of the river and I'm over here," said Southwest Neighborhood Association President Rick Russell. "It's about, of course, the theme is, 'one river, one city'. We have one city, it's not divided between the east and the west."
Saginaw City Councilor Clint Bryant is proud of the work being done. "They're doing some raking and mowing, pulling some weeds. Lots of tree planting and perennial planting," he said. "We want to bring people together in the city of Saginaw, and really the Great Lakes Bay Region, around one of our greatest assets, and that's the river."
In just a couple of hours volunteers were able to compile a huge pile of limbs and logs that had washed ashore. Others were raking, painting and planting.
"They've been able to make light work. Many hands make light work and with everybody pitching in, that's when the magic happens," Bryant said.
This project happens just in time for summer.
"We want to do this because, it's not only good for us to clean up our own backyard, but in the city of Saginaw, with the different events we have throughout the riverfront, we're going to welcome tens of thousand of people here so we want to put our best foot forward and really change the image of the city of Saginaw," Bryant said.
"I'm tired of people saying 'Sagnasty'. You know, I'm only one person, I can do only what one person can, but as you can see, all the volunteers out here trying to make a difference in the city of Saginaw," Russell said.
Saturday is the second and final day of the 2019 Riverfront Beautification effort. Work begins at 8:30 a.m. at Wickes Park.