Fremont Area Community Foundation’s prairie restoration project recently received the President’s Award from Keep Michigan Beautiful.

In a ceremony held in Frankenmuth on October 12, Mary Huisjen, FACF special projects associate, accepted the award on behalf of the Community Foundation.

“I was excited,” said Huisjen. “I consider myself fortunate to have represented the Community Foundation at the Keep Michigan Beautiful awards program and to now have our prairie recognized by this organization.”

The Community Foundation’s turf-to-prairie conversion started in 2005 and has been carried out in phases over several years. Most of the eight-acre property now provides native landscaping for a variety of wildflowers, natural grasses, and wildlife. A species log kept by staff has included many deer sightings as well as geese, sandhill cranes, turtles, and a variety of butterflies. A honey bee hive was added earlier this year.

The public is invited to self-tour the prairie, located at 4424 West 48th Street in Fremont. A walking path begins with an interpretive sign at the rear of the parking lot.

“I like being able to show it off,” said Huisjen, who noted that individuals and groups like the Fremont Garden Club have visited. “I hope the award puts us on the map as a place to stop and visit.”

Keep Michigan Beautiful annually recognizes programs, projects, and activities that substantially contribute to the beautification, clean-up, environmental enhancement, site restoration, and historical preservation of the state. Other 2018 award recipients included community and school gardens, an urban bee and pollinator program, lighthouse renovations, and a fish passage project.

Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc. is a nonprofit, educational public service organization of volunteer citizens whose goal is to promote the cause of beautification, recycling, and anti-littering. KMB is the only organization sanctioned by the state that recognizes and honors beautification programs and activities as well as promotes and educates the public in all aspects of beautification. KMB is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.