Over 100 Denso employees to help the Rouge River environment

Over 100 Denso employees to help the Rouge River environment

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Rouge River in Southfield Rouge River in Southfield
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

A working weekend is in store for employees of an auto supplier based in Southfield. A big group from Denso will head to the banks of the Rouge River on Saturday to help the environment.

More than 100 employees will be on the banks of the river as part of the annual Rouge Rescue project.

"Associates get wet, dirty, muddy. They bring their families," said Melissa Smith.

She helped coordinate the effort with the City of Southfield and Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy.

The workers remove log jams, which are trees and branches that fall across the river, to keep the water flowing and prevent erosion. They'll also pull more than 4,000 pounds of weeds, garlic mustard and dame's rocket, which are invasive species.

"They will prevent native plants from growing, so they start taking over the entire space," Smith said.

Denso has been part of the project for the last 17 years. The City of Southfield has actually been doing it for 43 years, even though most Southfield residents are not aware of it.

"It brings the city, it brings the residents, it brings companies together for a common goal," said Jeff Spence with the City of Southfield.

"It's always rewarding when people come out of the river or their work zones and they're dirty, tired, but very happy to have done what they did," Smith said.

This year, volunteers will also decorate bat, owl and bluebird houses for Denso's property off Telegraph Road, and they'll plant a native garden. They say environmental stewardship is a core component of the Japanese company's culture, and it benefits the entire community.

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