FLINT, Michigan — Flint Lake Park became one of six locations that took part in the Flint River Watershed Coalition
’s (FRWC) Flint River Stewardship Day on Saturday, April 30. From 9 to 11 AM, residents, community leaders, and nonprofit organizations joined forces to help pick up trash and beautify Flint Lake Park, Glenwood Cemetery, Thread Lake, Vietnam Veterans Park, Atwood Stadium, and Riverview Park.
“Flint Lake Park is a gem in Flint, and to me, it’s an active environmental justice to take care of it." - Dr. Mona Monroe-Younis
The annual event says the FRWC “brings the community together to make a big impact on the Flint River and its watershed.” The event spearheaded by the FRWC saw much assistance from the Environmental Transformation Movement of Flint
, led by its Executive Director, Dr. Mona Monroe-Younis, and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Dr. Ladel Lewis of the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association.
“We wanted to pick a site aligned with our mission, and Flint Lake Park was the way to go. So I reached out to [Dr. Ladel] to join forces on this,” Monroe-Yunis says. “Flint Lake Park is a gem in Flint, and to me, it’s an active environmental justice to take care of it. The neighborhood deserves it, and we should take care of the environment and our people.”
Although Flint Lake Park is considered a part of Flint’s 1st Ward, 2nd Ward residents — particularly Sarvis Park residents — were present to help with cleanup efforts laughing, talking, and engaging with everyone who was out to help. Dr. Ladel Lewis and the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association aided the Flint River Watershed Coalition and Environmental Transformation Movement of Flint in their volunteer recruitment efforts.
Volunteers were treated to coffee and donuts in the morning and pizza later to boost morale on a cold and windy day. But while Flint Lake Park is a treasure for residents, and they’re happy to see restorative measures, there is also a bit of skepticism.
Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association's Dr. Ladel Lewis is all smiles with residents at Flint Lake Park.
For decades, Ms. Joyce of the Neighbors United Block Club has lived in the Flint community. With what she calls her “shack by the lake,” she speaks about how residents in the area have always made efforts to keep the lake area clean.
“When we first came here, the grass was above the stop sign. So we cut back the grass and [other efforts] to give the kids a place to play and catch the bus,” she says. “It’s money now, so people show up, but we’ve been doing this for years. I appreciate what they’re doing, but I hope they don’t do what they traditionally do.”
“Like St. Johns St.,” says Eartha Logan, a 2nd Ward resident. She’s a part of the Flint Residents Organized for the Good or F.R.O.G., a neighborhood that “makes sustainable improvements in our neighborhoods” across the many Flint wards.
“We’ve seen it at its best and it at its worst. We want better for our children and grandchildren. We want to leave a legacy behind and show them that a clean neighborhood is a vibrant neighborhood.”