Almost 100 local volunteers worked in teams across the city Saturday morning picking up trash and planting flowers as part of Clean the Ferndale Up, a community cleanup event initiated by the Ferndale Community Foundation.
The event brought volunteers together to clean, repair and improve public spaces that have been neglected, vandalized or misused within Ferndale.
Matthew Nowaczok, a resident and Ferndale Community Foundation board member, came up with the event and led the planning efforts. He said the community's response was overwhelming and it will likely become an annual event.
"It went awesome," Nowaczok said as the event was drawing to a close, adding that the turnout "far exceeded" his expectations. "This is Ferndale, I should have expected it."
The volunteers who participated were sent out in teams to focus on specific routes, including beautifying Hilton, Livernois and Eight Mile, local parks and schools including Grant Early Childhood Center and Coolidge Intermediate School.
No matter which direction in Ferndale you traveled on Saturday, you were likely to see volunteers dressed in their neon T-shirts with the event's logo. Even after cleanup was completed at certain assigned locations, Nowaczok said some volunteers called him to ask for more places to go, more work to do.
"People are looking [for ways to get involved], they just need to have the chance to do it," he said.
Volunteers from Ferndale Public Schools, the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority and other community groups all took part in the event. Sponsors included Credit Union One and Allied Printing.
Ferndale resident Kerrie McMullen was one of the volunteers. "It's an opportunity to be seen as a steward of our city – that we care, that we're out there," she said. "It's just taking pride in where you live."
Maddie Parks, 13, was also volunteering. "It seems like it's gonna be fun," she said before heading off with her team.
Judy Palmer, a member of the Ferndale Community Foundation, was out cleaning on Pinecrest. "I think it's going great," she said.
Peggy Snow, chairworman for the Ferndale Beautification Commission, said she appreciated Nowaczok's work in planning the event. "Matt did a wonderful, wonderful job," she said.
Did you take part in cleaning up Ferndale? Please add your own photos here!