To promote, to provide education and to recognize beautification and restoration projects throughout the state of Michigan

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  • 29 May 2024 2:43 PM | James Keehn (Administrator)

    The KMB Foundation and Keep Michigan Beautiful, inc. recently awarded 10 grants (listed below) of $750 each for the Shirley Richardson Mini-Grant program. The purpose of these grants is to provide for maintenance of previous KMB award winners or funding for programs and projects that contribute to clean-up, site restoration, historical preservation, and environmental enhancement in Michigan.

    • Detroit Hives. Funds are to be used to support their newest project: the GO Green Botanical Garden located at the Michigan State University Farm Site in the Brightmoor neighborhood.
    • Harrison Township Dragonfly Sculpture Project The township has a goal of telling their story through sculpture and has several site throughout the community. Each one is placed in a landscaped setting.
    • City of Southfield Monarch Butterfly Sculpture and Pollinator Garden This grant will be used to purchase plants for an extensive garden surrounding the sculpture. It will provide beauty and education on pollinators.
    • Urban Seed of Eastpointe for the building of 10 new raised garden beds in their community garden. The beds are rented at a modest fee for members of the community who do not have access to space to grow a garden. The gardens provide food security and teach natural growing practices that promote pollinators and a sustainable ecosystem.
    • The Northville Beautification Commission for the 1930”s vintage-style garden at the site of the Mary Gilbert Log Cabin. The cabin is being moved in order to daylight a section of the River Rouge. The cabin will serve as a gateway for the River Walk.
    • Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan for their raised therapy garden. This is a nonprofit that provides services free of charge to children and their families dealing with medical diagnoses leading to hair loss. The garden teaches healthy meal planning and cooking cases. There is a memorial flower garden for children who have been lost. 
    • Michigan War Dog Memorial Cemetery In Lyon Township for the maintenance of grounds and plantings. The 2-acre site was left unmaintained until 2012 when volunteers restored an overgrown, old pet cemetery. This is maintained by volunteers and memorializes hero dogs who have served mankind. 
  • 12 Jun 2023 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    The Keep Michigan Foundation received thirteen applications this year for the Shirley Richardson Mini-Grant Program.  Ten of these entries, listed below, will receive a grant of $750.00.

    • Novi Parks & Recreation for part two of their Villa Barr Garden Restoration.  This will complete the restoration of two main gardens at Villa Barr Art Park, which hosts artists-in-residence and many visitors.  The gardens are considered “works of art” on the property and more than just complimentary to the sculptures.
    • Discovery Elementary Young Fives – Learning Garden in Williamston.  The mini-grant will be used to help maintain and update the learning garden space, repair garden boxes, add children’s art work and a permanent sign.
    • Detroit Hives for the Dresden Botanical Garden Project to create signage and establish a certified pollinator way-station.  In partnership with the Detroit Oudolf Garden, Wayne Metro and the Piston’s Foundation, a vacant lot in Detroit has been transformed into a botanical garden to support people and pollinators within the Osborn Community in Detroit.  This is the 18th vacant lot to be transformed by Detroit Hives.
    •  St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Meditation Trail in Beulah.  This is a half-mile trail that is designed as a place to rest, relax and meditate.  Church members work on the project and the grant will be used for the purchase of wildflowers and signage.
    • Van Buren Conservation District State Trail Project in Paw Paw.  The grant will be used for creating and purchasing educational signage and equipment to do a clean-up event on the Van Buren State Trail.
    •  Grosse Pointe Shores Beautification Committee for the maintenance and renovation of Osius Park Boardwalk Perennial Beds.  The Beautification Commission has maintained the beds as part of its annual Sponsor-a-Garden Project.  Six of the beds were destroyed by strong winds and waves that went over the break-wall in 2020 and 2021 and washed away most of the plants.  The city has repaired and strengthened the break wall and the Improvement Foundation repaired the boardwalk planking.  The Beautification Commission has re-designed the beds and grant funds will be used for replacement plants using native species.
    •  Eastern Middle School in Ada for native garden restoration in a courtyard at the school.  They anticipate the help of 200 – 7th graders.  Funds will be used for the cost of local experts, purchasing new equipment and native plants.
    •  Careerline Tech Center in Holland, MI will utilize their grant for a habitat creation.  Seventh grade students in the Environmental Field Studies program have designed a native plant garden and outdoor classroom.  Funds would be used to purchase plants and transform a two-acre plot into a vibrant native plant garden using Doug Tallamy’s concept of a Homegrown National Park.  They are working in collaboration with John Ball Zoo.
    •  The Grand River Trail Chapter of NSDAR will plant and maintain a pollinator garden at Bartlett Elementary in East Lansing to be used as an environmental teaching tool for students.  Many volunteers and students will be involved.
    •  The Aboriculture Society of Michigan Foundation and Historical Society applied for funds to landscape the Historic Belle Isle Sawmill Restoration Project in Detroit.  Landscaping at the sawmill has been neglected for decades.  Funds will be used to begin site clean-up and to purchase initial plant material to enhance the front facade of the property.

    Another Shirley Richardson mini-grant Program is planned for 2023-2024.  This program is jointly funded by the Keep Michigan Beautiful Foundation and Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc.

    Information provided by Pat Deck, member of the KMB Foundation and KMB, Inc.

  • 8 Jun 2023 12:09 PM | Anonymous

    This year’s KMB Award Conference is scheduled for October 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Lansing.  This is always the highlight of the KMB year.  To submit a nomination, use the Awards Nomination Form. Follow the directions closely for what information is needed for judging by the KMB Awards Committee.  Submissions must be received by August 16, 2023.  Judging will occur August 21.

    Please mail your submission with write-ups and photos to Awards Chair, Joanne Welihan at 9085 Cordwood Trail – Cheboygan, MI  49721.
  • 13 May 2023 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    KMB President Beverly Smith and KMB Board Director and Past President, Pat Deck were interviewed on 910AM Superstation Radio on Friday, May 12, 2023 with host Charlene Mitchell. They talked about KMB 's 60 year history, it's mission and how we can stop litter in our communities. Many people called in and shared incidences of littering. They also talked about BCSEM and KMB's reach across the state of Michigan. The host plans on having them back to talk more about KMB .

  • 25 Apr 2023 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Successful day planting trees on Earth Day. Several volunteers participated and enjoyed themselves. Submitted by Bill Strong, KMB Board Director


  • 2 Mar 2023 12:48 PM | Anonymous

    Click here to apply for our 2023 Awards! Deadline to apply is August 14, 2023.

  • 29 Nov 2022 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    Michigan Legislators Introduce Bills Banning Balloon Releases

    Michigan Legislators Introduce Bills Banning Balloon Releases Photo courtesy of Lara O'Brien

    By Lori Atherton | 

    November 19, 2021

    Local High Schooler and SEAS Mentors Bring Attention to Balloon Pollution

    The environmental problem of balloon debris now has a bigger spotlight on it thanks to the efforts of Michigan high school sophomore Nisha Singhi and her mentors at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS).

    In October, Rep. Mari Manoogian of District 40 and Senator Mallory McMorrow introduced bills in the Michigan House (Bill No. 5373) and Senate (Bill No. 675) banning the intentional release of balloons into the outdoors. 

    Nisha Singhi
    Nisha Singhi

    “It’s exciting,” said Singhi, who attends the International Academy in Bloomfield Township. “It helps us spread more awareness about this issue. There’s so much more work that needs to be done, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m really excited to see where this can go, knowing that these two bills have been introduced.”

    The introduction of the bills was a complete surprise to Singhi and her parents, which was done on the same day that Singhi was shadowing Rep. Manoogian. Singhi had brought the issue of balloon debris to the attention of her state representatives last summer, but she walked away from the meetings without knowing if any action would be taken. 

    “Nisha did a full presentation on the balloon issue explaining what it was and trying to convince them of why it would be good thing for Michigan to pass this legislation,” noted Nisha’s father, Amit Singhi (MScEng ’89, MBA ’94). “They all said it was a relevant issue and they definitely were interested, but they didn’t commit to anything. We’re very proud of Nisha and what she’s done, and how she went about doing it.” 

    The bills have now been referred to the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee and the Senate Environmental Quality Committee for review.

    Singhi first learned about the harmful effects of balloon releases on the environment in early 2020 after reading about them as an eighth grader. “About 18,000 pieces of balloon debris were found in the Great Lakes between 2016 and 2018,” she said. “That was really shocking to me.” Balloons that are released at weddings, graduations, and other celebrations can cause power outages; create litter that winds up in oceans, lakes, rivers, and other natural areas; and kill wildlife. 

    The young activist reached out to SEAS graduate Lara O’Brien (MS ’20), whose balloon debris research was cited in the article, so that she could learn more and get advice on how to spread awareness of the issue at her school and in the local community. 

    Balloon litter on a beach. Photo courtesy of Lara O'Brien

    “I was extremely impressed that Nisha, an eighth-grader, had read about the issue and felt inspired to do something about it,” said O’Brien, who created the Balloon Debris Survey that collected data on more than 3,000 pieces of balloon debris from all over the world, including the Great Lakes, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

    O’Brien, along with SEAS master’s student María Dabrowski (MS ’22), began mentoring Singhi. For the past two years, they’ve exchanged information through emails and Zoom meetings.

    “María and I shared information about my balloon debris research, plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, and community engagement and outreach. We also talked about various things that Nisha could do to raise awareness at her school,” O’Brien explained. This included giving presentations about the dangers of balloon releases, creating a pledge that students could sign stating that they would not release balloons and would use safe alternatives instead, and organizing a successful beach cleanup. 

    At the suggestion of O’Brien, Singhi eventually contacted her local officials and state representatives to bring greater attention to the issue, which led to the introduction of the balloon bills in October.

    O’Brien and Dabrowski are quick to note what a delight it’s been to mentor Singhi, whose passion for the issue inspires and energizes them.

    “Nisha has incredible drive and ambition and is always pushing herself to do more and go further,” said O’Brien. “I hope this will inspire other SEAS students to mentor young students like Nisha, who are interested in becoming more involved with the environment and climate change. These young people are our future leaders, and SEAS can help amplify their actions and their voices and help them make a difference.”

    “Mentoring Nisha has been invigorating,” added Dabrowski. “It's been inspiring to see the passion and energy she has, and she is an incredibly strong public speaker. What I like most about working with Nisha and Lara is the emphasis on the group effort—knowing that all three of us bring a wealth of experiences and perspectives and drive to this project, and that it is paying off.”

    As for Singhi, she said she has no plans to stop her advocacy and wants to “widen the circle” of people who become aware of the issue of balloon releases. 

    Her advice to other young people who want to make a difference in the world? “Choose a problem that is near and dear to your heart, something that is small enough that you can tackle full-heartedly, and encourage other people to get involved with you.”

    Learn more: Read about Lara O’Brien’s balloon debris research in The Conservation 

    Watch the video: Nisha Singhi's testimony in the Michigan House of Representatives Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee (start time: 57:50, end time: 1:02:02)

    Watch the video: Senator McMorrow introduces the Michigan Balloon Bill

    To read further click here.

  • 19 Oct 2022 6:18 PM | Anonymous

    The 2022 Annual Conference & Awards Program was held this year at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth on October 13 & 14, 2022  at 2PM Thursday. Cost was $20. 

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