Last week, I had the great fortune of attending the lastest Tourism Cares event of 2017 in Detroit, MI. The event was great and Mayflower’s leadership and participation within the organization is well known and truly appreciated!
The event itself was a great opportunity for me. I enjoyed getting to know others within the travel industry and giving back our communities.
We started off with an opening presentation and mixer at the Punch Bowl Social in downtown Detroit. Friday was a beautiful day for working outside, with temperatures in the 70’s and beautiful blue skies the volunteers split up into seven groups and headed out to our sites. Each work site had a different and unique focus including the Georgia Street Community Collective Urban Farm, Pasteur Elementary School, Urban Graffiti Mural, Belle Isle Gardening, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Bus Mural Painting and Rehabbing Lafayette Park.
I was stationed at Lafayette Park, a site that was not rehabbed in 15 years. They had a metal sculpture in the middle that was worn down from years of neglect and trees hid the park fairly well. They removed several trees before we arrived as to open up the park. This made it possible to see the sculpture from the road and made room for gardens to be formed.
We started the day at 8am with a short presentation then went to our sites. When we arrived, I was surprised how much needed to be done! Our group was split into 5 teams of 6 people where we each were assigned a task. My group had to remove rocks (we joked that they were more like small boulders) from an old garden and brought them over to the sculpture to fill in the blank space in front and behind the sculpture. After removing rocks, we pulled all the weed out of the old garden, tilled to soil and put down new soil. After that, we planted around 60 hydrangeas, 100 roses and 200 other hearty plants in the new gardens around the park. We also mulched all the gardens and around the trees. It was a busy day!
I met many great people in the industry from the event. There are plenty more that you can check out on the Tourism Cares Facebook page, on our Mayflower Tours Facebook page or by searching #TCVolunteers.