by Pamela Young, Published May 14, 2013
YPSILANTI - Ypsi Pride Day, a yearly event that brings city residents, Eastern Michigan University staff and students, and the business community together for a citywide spring cleanup, will have some extra hands this year ready to pitch in.
Students from EMU's VISION office (Volunteers Incorporating Service into Our Neighborhoods) are gearing up to participate for the first time, but they need help from faculty and staff.
More than 50 students have already signed up and organizers hope to have a total of 100 volunteers so they can show city residents that EMU cares. The first 70 to sign up will get an EMU t-shirt.
This year's event is Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a free picnic, from noon - 2 p.m., in Riverside Park in Depot Town.
Volunteers should be at a site by 9 a.m., or if rides are needed, they can meet at the VISION office in the Student Center no later than 8:30 a.m.
"We're working three sites - the Water Tower, Depot Town and Frog Island," said EMU co-coordinator Megan Anthony, 22, of Ypsilanti. "I like any event like this because we have this great campus community and a great Ypsilanti community. I want to be part of a more connected campus/city community."
Fellow coordinator Haley Moraniec, 19, from Livonia, recommends volunteers dress appropriately because they will be planting flowers; picking up trash; weeding and edging. She suggests bringing gloves, gardening tools and closed toe shoes, and advises volunteers to mark their tools so they won't get lost. Volunteers are also asked to wear EMU gear.
Moraniec believes this is an important event for the students because this is the first year VISION students have attempted to organize an EMU group.
"It's important to me because I want the community to see us out there," Moraniec said. "We're giving back to the community."
For more information or to sign up, call the VISION office at 487-1713.