AmeriCorps members make big impact with Russ Mawby Signature Service Projects

AmeriCorps members serving

AmeriCorps members made a significant and widespread impact in communities across the state during six regional Russ Mawby Signature Service Projects in May.

The Regional Russ Mawby Signature Service Projects bring hundreds of AmeriCorps members to various Michigan communities for a day of intensive service. By the end of the day, several projects are completed, visibly demonstrating the power of Michigan's AmeriCorps members in action. 

“When AmeriCorps members and community residents come together to make a difference, it’s wonderful to see what they can accomplish,” said Ginna Holmes, Michigan Community Service Commission executive director.

Mid-Michigan (Lansing)

A total of 112 volunteers served at nine projects sites in Mid-Michigan, making an impact all over Lansing. AmeriCorps members and volunteers filled 20 22- gallon totes with weeds, planted nine trees at Peckham and sorted thousands of donations at Volunteers of America.

West Michigan (Grand Rapids)

AmeriCorps members in Grand Rapids served at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford, which provides riding therapy for individuals with a wide variety of disabilities. Throughout the day, 110 AmeriCorps members cleared five pastures of manure and old hay, loaded 150 bales of hay into the barn and cleaned equipment through the center.

Northern Michigan (Grayling)

In northern Michigan, 160 AmeriCorps members and volunteers served at eight projects in Grayling and the surrounding public land. Several projects were completed in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources including orchard pruning, directional sign replacement/installation, bird house building, 15 fishing line recycling container built and two tree planting sites.  In addition, 120 plants were planted in the pollinator garden, and 3,800 jack and red pines were planted between the two sites.

Flint/Tri-Cities (Flint)

In Flint, 115 AmeriCorps members and volunteers served to enhance and beautify the Genesee Valley Trail. Participants removed over 10,000 gallons/1,700 cubic feet of illegal dumping and approximately 700 additional pounds of bulk waste and filled two 40-yard dumpsters. They also made 100 gift bags to thank local law enforcement

Upper Peninsula (Hancock Beach)

In the Upper Peninsula, 117 AmeriCorps members and restored and beautified Hancock Beach. Participants painted 20 picnic tables, painted and cleaned the public restrooms, painted many of the doors throughout the park, painted playground equipment and removed 10 bags of leaves.

Southeast Michigan (Detroit)

AmeriCorps programs partnered with Detroit’s Department of Neighborhoods and the AmeriCorps VISTA team serving in the Mayor’s office to support 15 service projects. The project included beautification, board-ups, park cleanups, clearing of vacant lots and community gardening. More than 300 AmeriCorps members and volunteers removed 335 bags of trash, made 80 plantings, boarded up three houses and cleared six vacant lots.