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Sep 26

Luna Lake Press Release

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On October 4th, the Historic East Side Neighborhood Association will be completing PHASE 2 of our Luna Lake project. The project began in the early part of this century by raising funds to restore the site of Victorian pond and garden that sat on the site. In December of 2007, the neighborhood association received a grant from the Wildflower Association of Michigan. In June of this year, we completed PHASE 1 of the project by clearing the site and mulching the area. We are now finally ready to plant flowers.

Once completed, the project will be the largest rain garden in the entire City of Ypsilanti. It will be a modern intrepretation of those same Victorian gardens. And we hope it will become the model for neighborhood cooperation in taking care of our parks and green spaces.

We are still looking for people to help do the work on October 4th. If you’d like to get involved, read the press release and contact us now.

For Immediate Release:
Prospect Park’s Luna Lake To Become the City’s First Public Rain Garden
Date: September 25, 2008
Contact: Rachel E. Blistein, Owner, Veris Landscape Design, L.L.C. & Board Member, Historic Eastside Neighborhood Association;
(734) 485.3990;

Although it began life as the Ypsilanti’s first cemetery, Prospect Park, located at the corner of Grove & Prospect, has, for many years served as a lively community gathering space, recreational area and playground for nearby Adams Elementary. In its early days, Luna Lake, a small man-made pond complete with fountain, graced the park and served as a destination for the surrounding park pathways and nearby neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the fountain fell into disrepair and, with no functional water line or pump, simply became a low spot that filled each year with rainwater and remained wet until late Spring. A number of invasive weeds quickly colonized the Lake, making the area look messy and unkempt.

This past June, after a concerted fundraising effort and a generous grant from the Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM), the Historic Eastside Neighborhood Association (HESNA) and a determined band of volunteers completed the first steps in transforming Prospect Park’s Luna Lake from a weedy no-man’s land to an eye-catching, native plants rain garden. A rain garden is can be defined as a depression in the earth that is planted with perennials, shrubs and trees that help to absorb rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs, driveways, walkways, and lawn areas, thereby filtering and reducing the amount of water that reaches our streams and lakes.

Rachel Blistein, a HESNA Board Member and landscape architect who is managing the design and construction, described the many benefits that the project will bring to the community: “Aside from the obvious improvement in appearance, the new landscaping will help to filter storm water runoff and improve wildlife biodiversity while providing an educational resource for the community and the students at Adams Elementary”. City Council member and HESNA President, Brian Robb echoed Ms. Blistein’s sentiments and added that the Luna Lake Restoration could help to increase the visibility of the park, an important historic landmark, and to leverage additional community support for future improvements. “The Luna Lake project enhances the park and increases its usefulness to the community by adding an educational and environmental feature that will be unique in the City of Ypsilanti,” Mr. Robb stated.

During the June workday, volunteers spent an entire day clearing brush, moving stones, installing weed barrier fabric and distributing 50 CY of mulch. The site is now ready for the next phase of construction, which will include the planting of almost 1,000 perennials and 60 trees and shrubs. The planting is set for Saturday October 4th from 9am to 4pm with a rain date scheduled for the following Saturday, October 11th.

With such an ambitious schedule, the HESNA group is hoping for a good showing of volunteers to help out in whatever way they can – shoveling, planting, supervising or just providing support and encouragement. Due to sharp increases in pricing, they are also hoping for a last minute round of donations to help with the purchase of plant material. If you are interested in volunteering or in donating funds or plants for the project, please contact Rachel Blistein at or 734.485.3990.

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