HERITAGE PARK CLEANUP DAY IS TRULY A TAYLOR IDEA

Jim Taylor enjoys Heritage
Park.

But he also knows that if you want to enjoy something, a
little effort is often needed. That’s one of the reasons that he’s become the
driving force behind the first “Heritage Park Cleanup Day,” scheduled for
Saturday, April 19. The event will offer
Heritage Park
supporters a chance to give one of their favorite parks a good going-over for
spring, as well as a chance to win some great prizes.

Taylor has been a city
resident and self-proclaimed “
Heritage
Park
aficionado” for 27
years. Retired from BASF in
Wyandotte,
he and his wife Karen (a Master Gardener) have been married for 36 years and
have been very active in their Rose Garden subdivision, creating a newsletter,
signage and even a butterfly garden. Over the years, they have been recognized
by former mayors Gregory Pitoniak and Cameron Priebe and then-State Sen. Raymond
Basham, received special recognition from the Taylor Beautification Commission,
MonarchWatch.org, the Taylor Garden Club and the State of Michigan.

Taylor
believes in giving back to his community.

“Whether we enjoy Heritage Park for jogging, biking, dog
walking, concerts, soccer, baseball or any of a host of other activities, this
beautiful park is our to enjoy,” he said. “But it’s also ours to preserve.”

This year’s all-volunteer effort really started a year ago,
when
Taylor was walking through the back of Heritage Park along the tree-line. Thanks to the
wintry winds, debris often blows its way across the location before becoming
caught up in the foliage of the tree line between
Heritage Park
and the Wayne County Community College District’s Downriver Campus.

A short time later, Taylor
was playing one-man cleanup crew. Thirteen trash bags later, another city
resident, Dave Gorgon, happened past and wondered what
Taylor was doing back in the bushes. A little
discussion and a year removed,
Taylor
is campaigning hard for volunteers and donors to support this cleanup effort –
and Gorgon is a part of the team.

Mayor Rick Sollars is solidly behind the program, as is
Golf, Parks and Recreation Executive Director Jeff Dobek.

“This is the type of effort that can really bring the
community together,” Mayor Sollars said. “
Heritage Park
is one of the gems of this city. I think everyone appreciates Jim getting
behind this idea. I think as this idea gets out, he’ll have a pretty good crew
of volunteers by April 19.”

The focus of this cleanup will continue to be the tree-line
along the back of the park. The effort will take place – rain or shine –
beginning with check-in at 9:30 a.m. The registration will take place at the
picnic pavilion south of the baseball building at the east end of
Heritage Park. The actual cleanup will run from
10:15 to 11:45, followed by prize drawings at noon.

What do you need to participate? Just bring gloves and a
trash bag. Dress appropriately for mud and to avoid scratches from tree branches.

Thanks to sponsors, Taylor
has raised over $600 in prizes. Restaurant gift certificates are a big part of
the giveaway with the grand prize being a $160 Taylor Golf Package (for a
foursome). Gold-level sponsors of the cleanup are Little Daddy’s, Malek Al
Kabob, Pete’s Place, Pia’s, Secret Recipe’s, Texas Roadhouse and Taylor Golf.
Flamingo Restaurant is a silver-level sponsor and Leon’s and Mancino’s are
bronze-level sponsors.

Photo courtesy of
Dave Gorgon

Ken Hughes (left), Mary Krzeczkowski,
cleanup organizer Jim Taylor, Joan Teetzel and Perry Durham are getting ready
for the first Heritage Park Cleanup Day in Taylor, which is scheduled for Saturday,
April 19. Ken, Mary, Joan and Perry are volunteer coordinators. The marquee in
front of Heritage
Park
has details about
the day. To sign up or for more
information, call Jim Taylor at (734) 374-5708 or email bozko@wowway.com.