FCA Community: Motor Citizens Keep Detroit Waterways Beautiful by Land and Sea

Aug 5, 2019 3:00 PM ET

Even with the threat of precipitation for the second straight year for FCA’s annual volunteer cleanup of Belle Isle in Detroit, FCA Design Engineer Brad Jackson and dozens of his colleagues were ready to invest some “sweat equity” for a good cause. 

The lifelong visitor of Belle Isle Park joined his colleagues to remove trash, plastic and debris from Belle Isle’s waterways and grounds as part of the “Keep Belle Isle Beautiful” anti-litter campaign.

“It shows we are committed to the city, its people and the environment,” said Jackson, who returned despite getting rained on during last year’s event. “(Belle Isle) got pretty bad at one point and now it’s coming back. I want to keep it where it’s a nice island. Anytime I can help, I like to help.”

Nearly 150 employees collected 830 pounds of trash from across the island during a warm, humid morning of volunteer work as part of the Motor Citizens program at FCA. This program offers salaried employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico 18 hours of paid time off to volunteer their time, energy and expertise in the communities where they live and work. Many of these volunteers have gone above and beyond. 

The cleanup efforts on Belle Isle included collecting 131 pounds of trash from the Scott Fountain Lagoon and 101 pounds from Lake Muskoday.

“FCA has brought out an amazing number of volunteers. It is our largest single, corporate volunteer group on the island,” said Genevieve Nowak, director of volunteer services for the Belle Isle Conservancy. “We are just really excited about the support from FCA. It helps us to really keep Belle Isle beautiful and reduce the amount of litter that is both at Belle Isle Park, but also in our waterways.”

Removing trash from Belle Isle is the latest effort in FCA’s ongoing commitment to the city of Detroit that includes building a new assembly plant within the city limits, establishing a comprehensive internship program for recent graduates from Southeastern High School and hosting events with members of the community.

“As part of the do-anything, go-anywhere type crew we are, we like to get outdoors. We like to be part of the community,” said Mike Schoemann, an FCA Interior Integration Engineer.  “Being outdoors with the community, on the water and helping cleanup is just a natural fit for us.”

To learn more about the Belle Isle Conservancy, visit www.belleisleconservancy.org.

About FCA Community Stories:

FCA Community explores the efforts of FCA US employees who see a need beyond the walls of their work sites and devote energy outside their daily job to be a source of comfort and a force for change.