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3/3/2017
Labor of Love: The Millpond
 
At long last, Brighton’s Millpond is getting some love!  The Millpond is the main focal point of our community, where the bustle of downtown meets a one-of-a-kind natural beauty.  It provides an essential gathering place, connection between Main St. and Grand River Ave., and center for activity. 

At first blush, the pond seems peaceful and pristine.  If one looks a little closer (literally), you will notice that the Millpond has served as a dumping ground for rubbish, is full of invasive weeds, is overpopulated with waterfowl, and has eroding shorelines.  The City has deemed the condition of our natural resource unacceptable and has put together a plan to restore, manage, and bring a little love to our favorite Millpond.

The City is tackling these issues starting this Spring with volunteer clean-ups, shoreline restoration, and weed and waterfowl management.  Karleen Schafer, from Landscape Design and Associates, presented a plan to Brighton City Council to restore the shoreline around City Hall to stop the Millpond waters from encroaching on the parking lot and City Hall structure.   Karleen’s plan includes extending the shore back to where it had been in previous decades and reseeding the area with native plants with stronger root systems.  This native plant design will provide a stronger base for the shore, an all-season aesthetic, and contribute positively to the ecosystem. 

Starting this spring, the City will be handling weed management differently.   Our investigation has shown little benefit to weed harvesting, so we will be looking into other treatment options that may discourage weed proliferation in the Millpond.  In addition, the City is investigating a barrier to keep waterfowl off of the sidewalks and partnering with the Department of Natural Resources to manage the goose population.

Most importantly, the City is going to need your help (and love) to make this project a success.  We will be hosting several clean-up days, beginning with Earth Day on April 22nd, to remove the rubbish from the water.  As the project progresses we’ll also be looking for volunteers to assist with planting and reestablishing the east shoreline.  Moving forward, we all have to be stewards of our beloved Millpond and do our part, whether it is educating other visitors about the harm of feeding the waterfowl, discouraging littering, and/or working with the City on this project long-term. 

If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact Management Assistant Jessica Reed at reedj@brightoncity.org or (810) 225-9257 or sign up for email updates here.