At the Woodward Dream Show, the Deuces are wild

Neighborhoods Day to beautify 15 Detroit schools

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Schools in Detroit will get some much needed help preparing for the upcoming school year during the annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, organizers announced Friday.

Volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will work to beautify 15 Detroit Public Schools Community District buildings during the citywide event, which takes place Aug. 5. Among the tasks: planting flowers, clearing weeds and cleaning classrooms.

“These may seem like little things, but for us, this is tremendous,” said district spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson during a press conference Friday at Greenfield Union Elementary-Middle School, one of the volunteer sites.

“Thank you for our supporters in the community,” she said.

The school beautification project is among the more than 200 community events planned for Aug. 5. In addition to beautification and clean-up efforts, there will be festivals, peace walks, health fairs and school supply giveaways. DTE Energy Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the second year.

The events are hosted by community organizations, churches and block clubs as well as larger entities such the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Historical Museum.

Additional Neighborhood Day events are expected to continue rest of the month including a Detroit car cruise called CruisIN’ the D and the Crary St. Mary’s and Mack Alive community parades.

When ARISE Detroit! launched Neighborhoods Day in 2007, there wasn’t as much of a focus on the city’s neighborhoods as there is today, said Luther Keith, ARISE Detroit! executive director. Keith said the anniversary of the tumultuous summer of 1967 may draw some now looking to help in rebuilding efforts.

“These people have been working and always been working,” Keith said of many of the groups involved in Neighborhoods Day. “What I hope is that ‘67 makes people refocus about the Detroit of today, what people are doing today to create the kind of Detroit that we want.”

Another event the organization is highlighting is the Bridging the Gap Walk on the Detroit Riverfront.

“We want to bring old Detroiter, new Detroiters together and walk in love,” Keith said.

Those interested in volunteering can visit

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN