SOUTH HAVEN — A nonprofit group’s efforts to make South Haven High School’s exterior appearance more appealing is ready to begin its first project.

Over the past several months South Haven Project CURB raised more than $10,000 to undertake the most ambitious of 11 improvements included in the high school’s landscape master plan, which was unveiled last fall.

The project entails the creation of a sound reduction berm on the east side of the school that faces LaGrange Street. The 300-foot long berm will consist of 12 deciduous trees, five evergreens and three types of shrubs.

DeBest Inc., a landscaping firm located in the South Haven area, designed the berm and will begin earth work later on this month and plans to complete the project in the spring.

South Haven Project CURB (community uplifting, revitalizing and beautifying) chose to tackle the berm because of the project location’s visibility and immediate impact to the school’s curb appeal, according to Susan Loafman, publicist for the organization.

School officials are excited for the first landscaping project to occur at the high school, which recently underwent $28 million worth of interior building improvements.

“This project will make an enormous impact on the visual appearance of the high school property and will help create an inspiring and inviting environment for our students, the community and visitors to the district,” District Superintendent Kevin Schooley said.

The berm project is the result of collaboration between South Haven Public Schools, Project CURB, deBest Inc. and Armintrout West Michigan Farm with sponsorship from local businesses Apple Insurance, BeachwalkProperties, Beyer Construction, HardtInsurance, Jensen’s Excavating, Meijer, South Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau, Timken and Walmart, whose in-kind and/or financial donations will support the project.

“We are so moved by the generosity and support from our local businesses and are excited for our community and Southwest Michigan to see the results of a collective community effort,” said Roby Henrickson, of Project CURB.

Project CURB, which formed a year ago, is now continuing fundraising efforts for the next round of high school beautification projects, targeted for fall execution. The group is actively applying for grants and will resume sponsorship solicitation to raise funds. The majority of remaining projects in the high school landscape master plan are estimated to cost between $3,000-$8,000 each. For those interested in partnering with Project CURB, sponsorship details can be found online at sh Additionally, donations can be made online at shproject or mailed to P.O. Box 131 South Haven, MI 49090.