MARQUETTE - It seems the winter weather has finally bowed down to the next season (knock on wood), which means residents and businesses alike are getting themselves in full spring mode. From gardening and lawn care to interior and exterior home improvements, the famous "Spring clean-up" is upon us.
Spring has always been thought of as a time of renewal, a time to welcome sunny days and warmer temperatures. Although spring is a refreshing time of year, cleaning, raking, planting and the like all come with the territory. While residents prepare for hard work ahead, local businesses are also rolling up their sleeves, ready to handle all that comes with the season.
One Marquette business is currently preparing for its busiest month of the year: May. Meister's Greenhouse, which offers a variety of plant-life and gardening tools to choose from, is prepping for a full season ahead as residents come in looking for those perfect garden accents to satisfy their green thumb. "Most people coming in just want a breath of spring," said Eric Meister, owner of Meister's Greenhouse. He said recently there has been a high demand for herbs and potted plants that can Iater be transferred to outdoor gardens. He added that he has seen many locals browsing and getting a head start as they wait for temperatures to increase.
Melinda Thill, an employee at Meister’s Greenhouse in Harvey, plants herbs Wednesday to get ready for the gardening season. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Hoover's Tree Service in Marquette, which removes tree limbs and stumps and also trims trees and shrubs, is currently experiencing a high volume of calls. "Quite often we get calls about tree roots, as they can cause problems with people's septic systems," said Ray Hoover, owner of Hoover's Tree Service. His business also does landscape removal, which is one of their top 10 services. Hoover said that prepping soil for clients, so that they may do their own landscaping or hire a professional business, is also part of the job. Although the inconsistent weather these past few weeks has played a large role in their work, Hoover said, "now with May around the corner, we can take comfort that spring is here."
When it comes to the spring clean-up checklist, one that is often at the top of the list is landscaping. As lawns recoup from a long winter under a blanket of snow, landscapers are stacked with projects. This can include removing leftover winter sediment debris and de-thatching yards and aerating lawns, which allows water and air to penetrate the ground. While the outcome of landscaping is often a work of art, the steps taken to get there can often be demanding.
"One of our biggest challenges is time. Organizing and finding out the customer's expectations before starting the work, and then implementing plans that fit," said Mark Fuller, owner of Fuller's Outdoor Maintenance of Marquette. He said this is by far the busiest time of year for his business. Fuller added that, "early spring has been a blessing and a burden," with unpredictable weather forecasts.
Local residents and businesses aren't the only ones in full spring-swing. Volunteer organizations have been doing their part for the past two weeks for the 34th Annual Spring Clean-up, organized by the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee.
Nearly 45 service, family and club groups have been stopping by Heritage Motors of Marquette each year at this time to pick up city bags and clean various areas around the city. The clean-up ends on May 5 however, groups and individuals are encouraged to do their part year round. "The clean-up reflects the fact that we have a lot of pride in our city," said Jill Lamere, co-chair for the annual spring clean-up committee.
She said Marquette has gained notoriety over the years not just on a local basis, but on a national one as well, which creates more awareness throughout the community. The biggest challenge they face each year, Lamere said, is the number of cigarette butts discarded on road sides and in recreational areas, which end up in sewer systems and ultimately on our local beaches and in Lake Superior.
"Something as small as disposing cigarette butts correctly can make such a difference ... in addition, if you're ever using the recreational trails, keep a plastic bag on you and if you see trash, pick it up. It's that simple," Lamere said.
Yes, spring is a time of renewal. Out with the old and in with the new. Whether that be new flower-beds or a new deck or just extra loads of bagged trash ready to be hauled away, spring is an opportunity for local communities to all be a part of continuing the Upper Peninsula's reputation for being a favorite place to visit, a clean place to visit.
Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 228-2500, extension 240