Two Upcoming Friends’ Events Support Health and Enjoyment of the Shiawassee River along Memorial Healthcare’s Riverbank

May 12, 2016, Owosso, MI - The Friends of the Shiawassee River (Friends) are thrilled to announce two upcoming events which highlight the river, its connection to the health and enjoyment of the people who live here, and the ecological importance of this local treasure to the community. The public is invited to participate in both of these events.

Adopt-A-River Sign Unveiling scheduled for Monday, May 16th at 2 pm

King Street Woods Planting Day scheduled for Saturday, May 21st at 9 am

The Dr. John and Thora MacGregor Trust, honoring the memory of the local couple, and Memorial Healthcare are the two newest sponsors of the Friends’ Adopt-A-River initiative. This initiative supports the Friends’ efforts to clean and monitor stretches of the watershed. A sign celebrating these sponsorships will be unveiled on Monday, May 16th at 2 pm, north of Memorial’s outside entrance to the cafeteria. Other Adopt-A-River sponsors include NCG Cinema (near the Cinema) and the Owosso Rotary (at Harmon Patridge Park).

Then, on Saturday, May 21st, the public is welcomed and encouraged to join Memorial Healthcare staff and volunteers, Friends of the River, and interns from the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum for this day of planting and education about native plants and ecological restoration.  Not only will this be a family-friendly, fun day, but participants will actually create a woodland garden on the grounds of the hospital! 

Dr. John and Thora MacGregor and Memorial Healthcare

Adopt-A-River Sign Unveiling

Monday, May 16th at 2:00 pm

Memorial Healthcare Main Campus - North of Memorial’s Outside Entrance to the Cafeteria

(Look for the Friends’ signs)

"If anyone knew Dr. John MacGregor, they know the passion he had for everything he did," said Steve Gill, representative for the Dr. John and Thora MacGregor Trust. "He cared deeply about the people and the community we live in. He did things because it was the right things to do. We should remember and honor people like Mac. He would be pleased to know he is still able to give back to the Owosso he loved by helping to sponsor this Shiawassee River program.” 

“This is an exciting opportunity for Memorial to partner with the Friends of the Shiawassee River with the intent of building a stronger connection with this wonderful piece of natural beauty.  We are indeed fortunate to sit right on the bank of the Shiawassee River and I believe this opportunity should be and can be further explored to integrate this natural asset into the healing environment that we are dedicated to furthering,” said Brian Long, President and CEO of Memorial Healthcare.

Businesses can become an Adopt-A-River sponsor for a commitment of $2,000 for two years ($4,000 total).  Non-profit organizations or service clubs can become a sponsor for $1,000 for two years ($2,000 total) with a commitment to help maintain their stretch. 


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King Street Woods Planting Day

Saturday, May 21st at 9:00 am

Memorial Healthcare Main Campus – West of the Emergency Department Entrance

The public is encouraged to join Memorial Healthcare staff and volunteers, Friends of the River, and interns from the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum for this day of planting and education about native plants and ecological restoration.  Not only will this be a family-friendly, fun day, but participants will actually create a woodland garden on the grounds of the hospital!

And the creation of the garden is actually just a part of Memorial Healthcare’s plans. Nature truly has a healing effect for all of us. Studies have shown that patients with a view of natural areas heal faster than those without such a view.

“It is our hope that we can offer to our patients, employees, and medical staff a place offering a healing environment, which is peaceful and tranquil in nature yet easily assessable.  The health care environment can be stressful and at times even overwhelming, however by providing an assessable park like setting, we hope to provide something of a refuge of sorts for both patients and care givers as well,” adds Long.

“On behalf of the Friends of the Shiawassee board and membership, I want to thank the Dr. John and Thora MacGregor Trust, Memorial Healthcare staff and volunteers, intern John Deruiter, and soon-to-be intern Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell for their support and stewardship efforts,” said Lauri Elbing, the Friends ‘ Executive Director. “By working together to make this a lovely place for all of us to enjoy, we actually help strengthen the riverbanks against erosion, filter out non-point pollution from the river, and provide habitat for insects, birds, and other wildlife. We also appreciate the long-range care and recognition that Memorial Healthcare is giving to the Shiawassee River.”

For more information about the Friends of the Shiawassee River, the Adopt-A-River project, or the King Street Woods Planting Day, contact the Friends’ Executive Director Lauri Elbing at (989) 723-9062 or info@shiawasseeriver.org - or visit shiawasseeriver.org.

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