Little Friends Children’s Center creates Marigold Mania in Miners Park

NEGAUNEE — It was Marigold Mania Tuesday morning at Miners Park in Negaunee. Negaunee Beautification Committee organizer Anna Mattson met with a group of kids from Little Friends Children’s Center to plant marigolds around the park.

Mattson says this annual tradition fulfills the committee’s mission of keeping the town beautiful, and getting people involved at such a young age will ensure it stays that way for years to come.

“Involving kids creates an awareness of ownership more so than involving adults,” said Mattson. “We hope these kids will carry this through as they become adults to realize this park needs help to look nice and beautiful. And that’s why we’re the Beautification Committee; that’s our goal, to make the environment and the parks look beautiful.”

Tiny hands got to work, digging in the dirt and placing flowers from the Snyder greenhouse in each corner of the park. It was a little messy, but 8-year-old Ellery didn’t seem to mind.

“I like planting flowers because it gets you outdoors, and it makes your back yard or front yard pretty,” Ellery said.

Usually older students grow and plant the marigolds, but with the coronavirus cutting the school year short, plans changed. Harper Kumpula was the oldest non-adult volunteer, and she said it was great to finally be outdoors again.

“I just think that it’s fun for kids to finally get out after COVID-19 broke out and after we’ve been stuck inside for almost three months and not being able to go to school,” said Harper. “And it’s just nice to get some fresh air.”

Mattson says this project is something the children will be able to look back on someday and be proud of. And hopefully, it will motivate them to continue making their town a beautiful place to live.

“When they get older they’ll come back and tell somebody, ‘When I was a kid I planted that park,'” said Mattson. “We want to keep things going forward.”

The marigolds will enhance the beauty of Miners Park this summer, and the efforts of Negaunee’s young people will keep it beautiful for many more.