Explore the scenic beauty of northern Macomb County: Introducing Ride Richmond

Ride Richmond 2017 PromoKicking off what will become an annual celebration of health and teen empowerment, Ride Richmond 2017 debuts its inaugural ride with something for everyone.

Presented by McLaren Macomb and featuring bike rides of 1, 15 and 25 miles in and around the city of Richmond and the storied Macomb Orchard Trail, the day’s proceeds will benefit A Beautiful Me to further its mission of instilling self-worth in young ladies.

The day’s festivities begin at 9 a.m. on July 29 at the Richmond Community Center.

“We’ve been working with A Beautiful Me and have been looking for something to partner on that will add mind and body wellness to people’s lives. This achieves both,” said Kelley Lovati, PhD., community relations representative at McLaren Macomb, who was instrumental in organizing the event. “This bike ride will highlight the scenic beauty and natural charm of the city of Richmond and northern Macomb County.”

Throughout the event, there’s plenty of family fun to stick around for, including a bike decorating contest, balloon art and hair coloring.

“Participating and completing rides of these distances gives every participant a real sense of accomplishment, a feeling we hope to instill in everyone,” said Karen Palka, executive director of A Beautiful Me. “We truly believe that once someone has that feeling, that it will spread – and enhance – other aspects of their lives, building self-worth.”

Registration is required – $25 per rider, ages 4 and under ride free – and can be made by visiting RideRichmond2017.eventbrite.com. The Richmond Community Center is located at 36164 Festival Drive in Richmond.

Included with each registration is a ride T-shirt, custom medal and pre-bike morning fuel.

Dave Jones is the media relations representative for McLaren Macomb and McLaren Oakland.

Posted in bike path, community, events, Fun, healthy, macomb county, outdoor, richmond | Leave a comment

Explore Macomb County trails and parks with the Adventure League

Clinton River_ photographer Jay Jones

Photo by Jay Jones

When you think about spending time outdoors, what do you think of? If hiking through dense trees, paddling down serene rivers and biking along dirt paths comes to mind, chances are you’re thinking about places up north. But there are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities to explore right here in Southeast Michigan – and the Six Rivers Land Conservancy Adventure League wants to help you discover them!

From May through October, the Adventure League offers hikes, bike rides and kayak paddles throughout Genesee, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties. While challenging, these tours are noncompetitive and often family friendly. They aim to be accessible to as many people as possible and can be enjoyed at your own pace.

Stony Creek Metropark Landscape Nature TrailThe schedule varies from year to year so participants can discover new places. Within an hour of Detroit, there are amazingly serene natural areas you may have never known existed. Adventure League guides will help you discover these pockets of untouched areas and incredible trail systems. And while participants have fun getting active, they can’t help but gain an appreciation for the beautiful natural areas that surround them.

Betsy Zobl Jagosz, Six Rivers Land Conservancy operations manager, says the Adventure League is an introduction to land conservation. Natural areas face development pressure, and her organization works to shine a spotlight on these resources and protect them – keeping them green, clean and available for everyone to use.

Check out these fun Adventure League events taking place in Macomb County this summer:

Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. – Kayak the lower portion of the Clinton River.

Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. – Cap off the summer season with a family friendly cookout and paddle at Stony Creek Metropark.

To learn more about Adventure League events, follow them on Facebook or join their email list.

treefall- Clinton River_ photographer Jay Jones

Photo by Jay Jones

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.

Posted in bike path, blue economy, environment, events, Fall in Love with Macomb, family friendly, Green Macomb | Leave a comment

Having fun outdoors is a walk in the park

In the summer, it’s easy to fall into the habit of spending all day in front of a screen.

You play a few games, binge all your favorite TV shows and scroll endlessly through social media pages. Before you know it, summer is gone. The bright rays of sunlight that once filtered through the trees are replaced with the gray chill of autumn. The flowers disappear; the tree leaves crinkle and go brown.

And suddenly you wish that summer would return, just for a day, so you could spend time outside. Breathe in fresh air. Hear birdsong. Walk barefoot in the grass.

Do me a favor—look up from your screen for just a minute. Look outside.

Doesn’t that look inviting?

This year, Macomb County’s parks have all kinds of updates and fun events to check out. Don’t let summer pass you by—go try them out! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Jacqueline K. Noonan Riverwalk Park (Utica)
    Looking for something to do on a Friday evening? Come to the weekly Music in the Park nights for free live entertainment!
  2. Spindler Park/Veterans Memorial Park/Kennedy Park (Eastpointe/Roseville)
    Use these warmer months as an opportunity to get healthy! Try Walk Michigan at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Walk Michigan is a walking program designed to promote healthy lifestyles. As an extra motivator, every time you walk, you’ll be entered to win a special prize! And don’t forget about Sizzlin’ Summer Night, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Aug. 3. The event will feature music, inflatables, a petting zoo, an outdoor movie showing of Moana, and more!walking
  3. Shelby Township Municipal Grounds (Shelby Township)
    Get in touch with your artistic side at the Shelby Township Art Fair! There will be arts and crafts for the kids, shopping for the grown-ups, and live music and great food for everyone to enjoy!tents
  4. Dodge Park (Sterling Heights)
    By the end of this month, Sterling Heights will have replaced 19 playgrounds with brand-new ones and begun implementing throughout the city many of the initiatives from their Recreating Recreation millage. On top of all the updates, Sterling Heights is also busy with tons of fun events! Every Thursday there is a free concert in the park, plus children’s activities and food vendors. There are also nature nights for kids, where they can learn about snakes, bugs, pandas, and other animals.people

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

Posted in bike path, community, environment, family friendly, Make Macomb Your Home, summer | Leave a comment

Environmental stewardship thrives at Weekly Clean

Heritage Park - AprilIf you are passionate about the outdoors and the environment, then Weekly Clean is the place for you! The Clinton River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) volunteer stewardship program, Weekly Clean, engages citizens of all ages in trash cleanups throughout Oakland and Macomb counties.

A cleanup takes place every Wednesday morning, and each week is dedicated to a different location. Locations are chosen based on recommendations from the community, residents and site recon done by staff at CRWC. Most locations are near a shoreline or riverbank along the Clinton River or Lake St. Clair.

“The trail between Budd Park and Canal Park along the Clinton River is one of my favorite locations for Weekly Clean,” said Chuck Lumpkin, a retiree and resident of Clinton Township who has been volunteering his time every Wednesday since the very first Weekly Clean in 2012. “I have always loved the outdoors, and seeing the impact these cleanups have on some of my favorite spots in my community is what motivates me to continue volunteering.”

couchWhile at Weekly Clean, volunteers are provided with gloves, trash grabbers and trash bags to pick up trash that would otherwise harm wildlife, get into the soils and wash into rivers and streams.

“What we do on the land directly impacts the water quality of this region,” said CRWC program coordinator Abby Lane. “By getting volunteers outside to help steward these natural areas in our communities, we are helping to cultivate a connection to the outdoors while also taking steps to improve our environment and water quality.”

Now in its fifth year of existence, Weekly Clean has attracted many volunteers that continue to return week after week. In the summer, cleanups will sometimes be held at the local county and Metroparks where volunteers have opportunities to pick up trash while in kayaks, providing a new and fun experience for many.

The program is open to all members of the community, but volunteers under the age of 18 years old must always be accompanied by an adult to participate. If you would like to get involved and join Weekly Clean efforts, visit the CRWC website at www.crwc.org/weekly-clean or contact CRWC at abby@crwc.org or (248) 601-0606.

Abby Lane is the program coordinator for the Clinton River Watershed Council.

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Making National Ice Cream Day a bit sweeter

Hot fudge with sprinkles, peanut butter parfait with chocolate, Blue Moon cone – you name it, and one of our over 30 locally owned ice cream shops has it. From kids’ faces covered in ice cream to chocolate dripping down shirts and dogs enjoying their own dishes, ice cream brings smiles to faces all summer long.

So much so that the ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs in communities across the country.

With July being National Ice Cream Month, what better way to celebrate than to check off each of the over 30 locally owned ice cream shops in Macomb County? Check out our list. How many have you been to? Do you think you can knock out every one this summer?

ice cream

Sunday, July 16 is National Ice Cream Day! For this week, July 16 to July 22, anyone who posts a selfie at their favorite locally owned ice cream shop can be entered into a drawing for a gift box of Sanders ice cream toppings.

Entry requirements:

  • Post on your Facebook page a selfie of you enjoying your locally made ice cream.
  • Tag @makemacombyourhome and the local ice cream shop
  • #macombicecream
  • Tell us your favorite ice cream

At the end of the week, one lucky ice cream eater will be drawn.

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in business, community, entertainment, family friendly, Fun, macomb county, outdoor, small business | Leave a comment

The fleeting magic of a festival

Few of us can forget the scene in The Notebook where Noah, dangling one-handed from a Ferris wheel, asks out Allie for the first time. Neither can we forget the final song in Grease where the Rydell High gang celebrates the end of the school year, singing and dancing their way through carnival rides and fun houses. Watch almost any nostalgic movie—Big, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Sandlot, Never Been Kissed, Charlotte’s Web, the list goes on and on—and you’ll spot an iconic festival scene. We just can’t get enough of festivals.

And it’s easy to see why.

No matter how old you are, festivals are magical. Once a year, the town square fills with rollercoasters, bumper cars, carousels, and all manner of swings, slides, and gravity-defying rides seemingly overnight. You can almost taste the sweetness in the air as the scent of cotton candy and funnel cake floats by.

Kids shriek with glee racing each other on inflatables. A row of classic cars lines the street; a tent displays unique arts and crafts for sale; a band rocks out on a nearby stage. There’s something for everyone, from age 1 to 101.

And then—just as quickly as it came—it disappears.

Maybe it’s their impermanence that makes festivals so special.

Something in the air makes us believe—just for a while—that our wishes can be granted by a Zoltar machine, or that our next Ferris wheel ride will introduce us to our soul mate. Something about a festival makes us feel as though a miracle lurks around every corner, waiting just beyond the Tilt-a-Whirl or past the pretzel stand.

This summer, don’t miss your chance to experience the ephemeral magic of one of Macomb County’s wonderful festivals. Check out our full list of county festivals here.festivalJenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

Posted in community, culture, entertainment, events, family friendly, Fun, macomb county, Make Macomb Your Home, outdoor | Leave a comment

Jimmy John’s Field knocks it out of the park


Crack. The baseball whizzes over the field in a smooth arc, and the crowd hushes for a moment in breathless anticipation. The outfielders scramble to the warning track, but the ball whooshes past their outstretched mitts, over the fence. Homerun! The entire crowd is on its feet: whistling, stomping, cheering. The hitter rounds the bases while triumphant music plays over the speakers.

It’s a beautiful moment, perhaps one that could only happen at Jimmy John’s Field. Yes, everyone watching the game has a favorite team or a favorite player, but somehow it feels like a victory no matter which side gets a run.

jennaMy dad and I are watching the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers play the Westside Woolly Mammoths. It’s our first time at Jimmy John’s Field, and we picked a great day for it. The weather is perfect. It also happens to be Oakland University day at the ballpark, so we’re treated to a performance by the OU Spirit Squad during the game. I’m glad to be surrounded by fellow Golden Grizzlies, whose enthusiasm in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is unparalleled. And our music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha’s rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner is profoundly moving.


Happily, all of our favorite ballpark traditions are there—our section of the park goes wild when we win the Dunkin’ Donuts race—but there are also several pleasant surprises in store. Blackjack the Border Collie amazes us with her Frisbee-catching skills, and the mascots (Buzz the Beaver, Woolly the Mammoth, and, just this once, the Grizz) race against one lucky kid selected from the crowd.

After the game, hundreds of kids pour onto the field to run the bases. My dad sips a beer while I enjoy my cup of strawberry gelato (a newfound favorite!) Finally, at the end of the night, we get to watch a fireworks show—a Friday tradition at Jimmy John’s Field.

The game itself is incredibly fun to watch. The players are all extremely talented; it’s no surprise that 14 players from the league have been signed into the Major Leagues so far. But Jimmy John’s goes the extra mile to make the full experience of going to a game truly special.

My dad is already asking me when we can go again. With so many fun themes—Star Wars night, Beatlemania, Lego Day, etc.—there’s a lot to choose from.

One thing is certain: a night at Jimmy John’s Field is guaranteed to be both fun and memorable. And I can’t wait to go back.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.


Posted in community, entertainment, events, Make Macomb Your Home, summer | Leave a comment