EAST LANSING, Mich. – On Tuesday, April 14, the Michigan Recreation & Park Association (MRPA) hosted its annual 2015 Community Service Awards at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.
This year, awards were given out to 29 groups, organizations and individuals for their ongoing and tireless commitment to parks and recreation programs/services in their communities.
East Lansing resident Mike Vasievich was among those honored with a MRPA Community Service Award. For several years, Vasievich has led the City of East Lansing’s Arbor Day tree planting, educating local students about the importance of urban forestry and helping to plant numerous trees in the community. Five years ago, his passion provided the impetus for the implementation of the City’s highly successful Environmental Stewardship Program. This program has brought together approximately 200 unique volunteers each year to remove invasive plant species in East Lansing’s parks over the course of approximately 20 volunteer work days each year. Vasievich attends the vast majority of the work days, using his own equipment and vehicle to cut and haul buckthorn and sharing his extensive knowledge of urban forestry with the other community volunteers.
“Mike Vasievich is one of those volunteers that parks and recreation professionals dream about. He’s passionate, enthusiastic, committed and willing to work tirelessly to better the community in which he lives,” said East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts Assistant Director Wendy Wilmers Longpre. “East Lansing would be far less beautiful without his influence.”