City Manager, Nate Geinzer, kayaking through the Millpond picking up trash during the Millpond Cleanup on Earth Day.
Green looked good on Brighton this year as the City took on new environmental initiatives! In June, Brighton was recognized for its environmentally sustainable efforts at the annual Michigan Green Communities conference. Earning a bronze award in the Michigan Green Communities Challenge, Brighton used the contest to benchmark environmental efforts and identify opportunities for improvement. Since then, the City has expanded the Millpond restoration effort, participated in a new environmental council, and increased recycling opportunities for community members.
Earlier this year, the City hosted a Millpond cleanup on Earth Day, which kick started the Millpond Restoration Project. 85 volunteers participated in the initial cleanup to remove brush and trash from the northeast shoreline. Volunteers returned throughout the spring to help plant native seedlings and continue cleanup efforts. With direction from staff at Landscape Design and Associates, the City plans to continue this work next spring, focusing on the removal of invasive plants and planting of native species to restore the wetland habitat.
With recent approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the City will also be taking on a massive shoreline reclamation effort around Brighton City Hall. This work will include restoring the shoreline to historic levels and replanting the area with deep-rooted native plants to reduce future erosion. The Millpond Restoration Project is volunteer-led and those interested in participating in the 2018 season can get volunteer opportunity updates by joining the Millpond Volunteers list at www.brightoncity.org
In September of this year, the Greater Brighton Area Chamber Environmental Council brought together interested community members to discuss environmental priorities. The project-based group hosted by the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce (GBACOC), plans to focus on initiatives that affect both community residents and local businesses. With representatives from the community, City staff and Council, business owners, and the GBACOC, the GBAC Environmental Council will work together to generate sustainable projects and plans that promote community action, environmental education, economic viability, and community prosperity.
Over the course of the year, the City has worked to expand recycling opportunities for Brighton residents. In December, the textile recycling program, Simple Recycling, kicked off making Brighton the 26th
community in Michigan to offer the program. Simple Recycling is available in addition to current waste and recycling services and provides curbside collection and recycling of clothing and small household items at no cost to the resident or City. Downtown Brighton will also be getting five public recycling bins that will be placed around the Millpond next spring. After earning a grant to purchase the bins from the MDEQ earlier this year, the City looks forward to having recycling options available to residents and visitors enjoying the downtown area.
With the New Year upon us, the City is excited to build upon the achievements from 2017 and explore new opportunities to make Brighton a more sustainable community in 2018 and beyond. For further information on these initiatives and more, visit www.brightoncity.org