The Rouge riverbank in Northville's
Mill Race Village
, a historical area close to downtown, is in the beginning stages of a five-year plan to restore the waterway to its 19th century state.
The Northville Historical Society is overseeing the project, which is supported by a federal grant, and the plan is to eventually make it a place where visitors will see how the locals once used the riverbank in their daily lives.
The first phase, just completed, was the removal Trees of Heaven, nonnative, invasive species that had overrun the bank.
"A lot of residents are really involved in the downtown and Mill Race … groups, churches," says Michelle Nabozny, executive secretary to the Northville City Manager Patrick Sullivan. "
"But we really need more help, more volunteers," she says. "They're really going to need a lot of help out there."
On June 2, from 9 a.m. to noon, more unwanted plants such as garlic mustard and creeping Charlie, will be removed and beds will be prepared for planting. To volunteer for Rouge Rescue '12, call 248-348-1845, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.millracenorthville.org
Ideally, the restored riverbank will be a part of day spent downtown. Walk a street over off of Main Street over a pedestrian bridge onto Griswold and visitors will see demonstrations such as dying clothes in the river, using local plants, using those local plants to eat and more.
The site of the restoration is the middle bank of the 127-mile Rouge River, which is the object of many federal and state clean-ups and improvements as efforts increase to make the river more useful recreationally and economically.
Source: Michele Nabozny, executive secretary to Northville City Manager Patrick Sullivan
Writer: Kim North Shine