Local News

Port Huron announces 10 Yard-of-the-Year winners for 2021

By Jim Bloch

Nine residents and a business have made Port Huron more beautiful in 2021.

The city’s Beautification Commission announced the winners of its annual Yard of the Year contest on Sept. 10. Three days later at the regular meeting of the city council, the residential winners were presented with wooden yellow tulips and the commercial winner received a wall plaque.

Stefanie Ramales chaired the Yard-of-the-Year program on behalf of the nine-member commission. The committee received 40 nominations.

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The commission recognized three residents from each of the city’s three districts, north, central and south. 

In the north district, the winners were Paul and LuAnn Carpo, 2929 Omar Street; Robert and Sandra Funk, 848 Lakeview Avenue; and Sondra Slingerland, 2937 Elmwood Street.

Scott and Karen Harris, 2830 Military Street, were one of three Yard-of-the-Year winners in Port Huron’s south district. Note the wooden yellow tulip to the left side of the plantings, which each first-time residential winner received.

In the central district, the winners were Michael and Melanie Belleman, 1912 Union Street; Tracy Cole, 1331 20th Street; and Mark Reynolds,1533 Court Street.

In the south district, the winners were Scott and Karen Harris, 2830 Military Street; Stephen and Catherine Grattan, 2223 Griswold Street; and Kim Rogan, 1726 Seventh Street.

The commercial winner was the Jowett Funeral Home, 1634 Lapeer Avenue, in the central district.

“They have won many times,” said Ramales, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on the city’s website.

Seven of the nine residential winners won for the first time.

“That was kind of amazing,” said Ramales.

The commission accomplishes a lot with a little.

“The Beautification Commission’s mission is to enhance and maintain the natural beauty of the city of Port Huron and to create and foster citizen pride by developing programs, projects and annual events,” said beautification chair Laura Luttrell. “The city annually appropriates $3,300 to assist the commission with purchasing flowers, sponsoring the Yard-of-the-Year contest and the Tree Recognition Program.”

The commission, now in its 36th year, has held the contest for the last 33 years. It has given 637 awards to date.

The commission currently maintains flower planting at 13 locations, many with multiple beds, around the city.

The tree program allows residents to plant a tree on city property in memory of a loved one or in recognition of a special individual.

Ramales echoed Luttrell’s plea for additional volunteers to help perform the commission’s work. No special gardening knowledge or expertise is required. Volunteers do not have to attend meetings nor do they have to reside in Port Huron. Don’t worry about your hands: The city provides gardening gloves to all participants. To get involved, call Ramales at 810-987-5062.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com. 

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