The annual Light Up the City campaign kicked off Wednesday, June 1 with a celebration on Saginaw’s Ojibway Island.
Hundreds of people came out to enjoy an evening of music, food and community. Residents, public safety officials and businesses all gathered together in an effort to make Saginaw a better place to live.
The celebration was the beginning of an eight week initiative for Saginaw residents to get out and walk the streets of their neighborhoods, encouraging people to work together and make stronger connections with other members of their community.
Saginaw Mayor Dennis Browning says the event is a way for people to get out and meet other people.
“We have kind of a neutral place here on Ojibway Island, so we’re bringing all these different communities together.”
The walks also encourage residents to turn their porch lights on. Michigan State Police Trooper William Smith says adding light to a neighborhood helps deter crime.
“If you’ve got a burnt out light bulb, that criminal’s going to think, ‘Well, maybe nobody’s home, maybe they don’t take care of their house…’ So maybe they ought to break into that house. Turn that light bulb on, turn that light in your house on when you go to bed at night, and that makes that criminal think maybe they shouldn’t go into that house.”
Scheduled walks are divided between the city’s four quadrants. Hospitality will be provided before each walk at designated meeting locations from 5:30 to 6:30 P.M. Walks will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. with teams of volunteers walking neighborhoods and handing out energy efficient light bulbs. Residents are encouraged to turn their porch lights on to provide safety during the walks.
Consumers, along with law enforcement agencies, has helped organize the program since the beginning. It’s Light Up the City’s premiere sponsor.
Consumers Senior Vice President and General Counsel Cathy Reynolds says the company wants to make neighborhoods not only safer but more energy efficient. She says the energy efficient light bulbs are one way Consumers promotes environmental sustainability.
“We really want to help our environment and we’re changing over to have a more sustainable energy fleet, so we’ve got a lot of renewable energy. The light bulbs are part of those types of programs we offer in communities to help reduce the use of electricity and save our customers money.”
The scheduled Light Up the City dates are as follows:
- June 1 Kickoff event at Ojibway Island
- June 8 Walk in quadrant one: Houghton Elementary School
- June 15 Walk in quadrant two: Thompson Middle School
- June 22 Walk in quadrant three: UAW Local 699
- June 29 Walk in quadrant four: Covenant HealthCare
- July 6 Walk in quadrant one: St. Mary’s of Michigan
- July 13 Walk in quadrant two: First Presbyterian Church
- July 20 Walk in quadrant three: Saginaw Flea Market
- July 27 Walk in quadrant four: Saginaw Career Complex
- Aug. 3 Community celebration at Ojibway Island