Detroit primed to start MotorCity Makeover in May

The City of Detroit and Mayor Mike Duggan are organizing teams of volunteers to get down and dirty and clean up the streets of Detroit.

The goal is clean up the city one neighborhood at a time and Mayor Duggan says this part of the facelift the city has gone through

"The city looks very different physically than it did four or five years ago," Duggan said.

Some say that's due in part to having the street lights on, better police and fire response time, getting the grass cut and projects like this one. 

Business owners and students volunteer each year to clean and beautify the city during the first three Saturdays in May, two or three districts each Saturday. Your help is needed, so says Mona Ali, the MotorCity Makeover Chair.

"We're looking for areas that need a little love and attention. Get that debris picked up, get some dumping picked up. Also we have a lot of projects going on with tree plantings and flower distribution, just beautification projects going on at the same time," Ali said.

Last year, there were 6,200 volunteers who went to work. So far this year, they've already received $45,000 in cash donations and another $15,000 worth of in-kind donations from area companies, like Adient.

"As Adient decides to move downtown we want to be part of the community. We want to make sure that the community safe, clean for everyone," Adient Executive VP Neil Marchuk said.

Part of this year's cleanup initiatives will be the city's alleys, which are in significant disrepair. District 3 Deputy Manager Ernest Johnson said they're trying to do as much as possible.

"We're gonna try to cover as much as we can in MotorCity Makeover to hit as many organized block club and organizations organization that's mobilized," Johnson said.

420 groups participated last year, which is roughly the same number of locations cleaned up.  

"You got a choice of three Saturdays as we move across the city and Charlie Beckham has promised, the weather will be great all three weekends," Duggan joked.

To volunteer, and find out which districts are going to be cleaned up each Saturday, check out the MotorCity Makeover site here.