SO much is happening in Rouge Park!
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In This Newsletter...
- Welcome to Our New Program Manager: Trinity Battle!
- Community Conversations on Park Events & Activities
- City Presents New Maintenance Plan at Annual Meeting
- Kenyetta Campbell Awarded Best Friend of Rouge Park
- Chris Romeo Awarded Best Partner of Rouge Park
- March Events: Tree Walk & Great Blue Heron Rookery Viewing
Earth Day Cleanup
Saturday, April 22 - 9am-noon
Meet at Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association Joy & Lahser (map)
Help pick up trash along Joy Road
Free trees to the first 25 volunteers
Rouge Park Appreciation Day
Saturday, May 20, 8:00am-1:00pm
SE Corner of Joy & Spinoza (map)
Trash cleanup, invasive species removal, trail work, planting/weeding and more
Free hotdog lunch grilled by the Detroit AeroModelers (veggie dogs available)
We are pleased to introduce Ms. Trinity Battle as our new Program Manager for Friends of Rouge Park. Ms. Battle joins us as a native of Ohio and a new Michigander. She attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communications Broadcast Media. She is an event enthusiast with much experience in planning and executing events. A special treat is that Ms. Battle has experience interning at the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio. She plans on putting her knowledge of the Buffalo Soldiers to great use here. We look forward to a joyous programmatic year with her.
Feel free to contact her at [email protected] to work with her to develop your program ideas.
As part of a Kresge Foundation KIP:D+ grant the Friends of Rouge Park received, we are hosting Community Conversations, engaging with community organizations, park user groups, the City of Detroit, and local schools to better understand how we can work together to revitalize the central core of the park (see map below).
Virtual and in person campfire focus groups were held to discuss the opportunities, barriers and challenges to developing effective programming in the area. See the report and analysis of the first four community conversations here.
New Maintenance Plan for Rouge Park
Jamal Harrison, Deputy Director of Operations for the City was our keynote speaker at our Annual Membership meeting held on Tuesday, March 21 at the Brennan Pools Bldg. He presented the City's exciting new plan to manage Rouge Park as a stand-alone unit instead of just another park on the west side. This means we will have staff based in, and focused solely on, Rouge Park for the first time in decades. This should greatly improve the quality and efficiency of mowing, trash pick-up and other maintenance of the park (See his presentation here).
Annual Membership Meeting Celebrates 2022 Successes
(See the full Annual Meeting presentation here.)
Over sixty people enjoyed dinner and a glass of wine while board members took turns reporting on our accomplishments over the last year, and awarded the Best Friend and Best Partner of Rouge Park awards to Kenyetta Campbell and Chris Romeo respectively (see below for details).
It has been another banner year for the Friends of Rouge Park, reaching new record highs in memberships, donations and sponsorships. We had record participation in events and volunteer work days in all four seasons. We hired two programming interns to plan and organize the ever-growing number of events.
Finally, we held our elections for the Board of Directors. We welcomed our newest board member, Rachel Meeker. The elected members of the Board of Directors are as follows: Sally Petrella - President, Arthur Edge - Vice President, Paul Stark - Recording Secretary, Chris Jackson - Treasurer, Paula Trilety - Membership Chair, Lorraine Harris - Corresponding Secretary, Cara Beld - Trustee, Garrett Dempsey - Trustee, Kenyetta Campbell - Trustee, Rachel Meeker - Trustee. If you are interested in serving on the board, contact us at [email protected]
Best Friend of Rouge Park Award
Our “Best Friend of Rouge Park” was awarded to Kenyetta Campbell in honor of her dedication to improving the capacity of Friends of Rouge Park (FORP) to grow as an organization and to provide programming for seniors and youth in Rouge Park.
For the past 15 years, she has led the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance (CRCAA) in bringing in over $20 million in investments to the Rouge Park community.
In 2022, she brought her talent and energy to help FORP engage seniors in the park through the $750,000 grant that CRCAA received from the State of Michigan to support senior citizens in our community. This enabled us to develop senior programming in the park with yoga, bus tours and a park picnic.
Then she joined our Board as a Trustee, sharing her expertise in community building, fundraising and grant management and helping us to grow as an organization.
FORP has a brighter future ahead because of her commitment to our mission. Rouge Park is decidedly a better place because it has a friend like Kenyetta Campbell.
Best Partner of Rouge Park Award
Our “Best Partner of Rouge Park” was awarded to Chris Romeo in honor of his tireless dedication to effectively addressing the extensive maintenance needs of Rouge Park.
As the person responsible for the supervision of the all the parks on the west side of the city, we understand what an insurmountable task it is to oversee the mowing, trash collection and maintenance of all 1184 acres of Rouge Park.
This is why we so greatly appreciate his promptness, kindness and professionalism in addressing our numerous maintenance complaints throughout the year. Whether it is a last minute mowing job before a park event or meeting in the Prairie to discuss control of invasive woody plants, Chris always goes above and beyond the call of duty to make time for us and to make sure that every issue in the park is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
We are excited about the plans to have his talent and expertise dedicated solely to Rouge Park as part of the new self-contained park initiative for 2023. Rouge Park is truly lucky to have a partner as wonderful as Chris Romeo!
Native tree enthusiasts pose at the Ma'iingan Wildwood trailhead at the last of the three "Woody Plants in Winter" walks on March 12 .
Over fifty people braved the windy, sub-freezing weather to view the Rouge Park Great Blue Heron Rookery on March 18.
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