sh school landscaping photo

South Haven High School junior Zack Emenhiser stands next to the sculpture he created as part of a $10,000 project to beautify and upgrade the south side entrance to the high school.

Despite COVID challenges, South Haven Project CURB has completed another beautification project at South Haven High School. The south entrance of the high school is the location of the most recent work.

The entrance serves as a second main entrance to the building, providing access to athletic events and other extracurricular activities at the school. Hundreds of spectators and visitors utilize the south entrance to the building, which for years was quite plain and somewhat unattractive.

The $10,000 landscaping project, which was recently completed, has provided the school with a welcoming makeover, according to Suzanne Loafman, of Project CURB. “It will dually serve as a student gathering area and outdoor classroom space, which has become more important during the time of COVID where there has been increased benefit to fresh air, space and utilizing outdoors as much as possible,” she said.

South Haven Project CURB is a 501c3 non-profit parent and community led organization whose mission is to orchestrate, sponsor and execute annual outdoor beautification projects at each school within the SHPS district. The group was established in 2019 and has since sponsored four landscape projects at district buildings

The group’s latest project has been a collaboration with South Haven Public Schools, deBest Inc, Armintrout West Michigan Farm and South Haven High School students with sponsorship from local donors Kiwanis of South Haven, Rotary Club of South Haven, Walmart, Meijer and grants from the Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation and its Youth Advisory Committee.

“Though COVID prevented the level of student participation originally planned, the group was able to partner with student Zack Emenhiser, a junior on the robotics team, to lead the creation of a welded steel sculpture to serve as the centerpiece of the project.”

The sculpture was designed to match the letters “SH” which are part of the school’s mascot. Emenhiser worked with other students, as allowed, to design and build the art, which was installed and unveiled this past Monday at a dedication ceremony for the landscaping project.

“Zack was a sophomore at South Haven High School when he finished this project while he was dual enrolled at LMC in the middle of school closures and the pandemic,” said Kristy Jenks, high school office secretary. “This bright and eager student is now taking advantage of our middle college program and is also enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing classes at Van Buren Technology Center. In addition he is a youth mentor for Baseline robotics and team member for South Haven High School’s Ramageddon robotics team.”

Emenhiser’s sculpture draws attention to the south entrance beautification project, which includes ledgestone seating around the perimeter of the southwest section of the school building, wrapped to a larger, multi-level ledgestone structure with native shrubs, flowers and plants in hues of purple and gold to represent the district school colors. Boxwoods, pines and perennials surround the adjacent wall to provide visual appeal.

SH Project CURB continues fundraising efforts for the next round of projects, targeted for fall 2021 execution. The group is applying for grants and will resume sponsorship solicitation to raise funds. For those interested in partnering with Project CURB, sponsorship details can be found online at shprojectcurb.org/sponsorship. Additionally, donations can be made online at shprojectcurb.org or mailed to P.O. Box 131 South Haven, MI 49090.

South Haven Project CURB is a 501c3 non-profit parent and community led organization whose mission is to orchestrate, sponsor and execute annual outdoor beautification projects at each school within the SHPS district. The group was established in 2019 and has since sponsored four landscape projects at district buildings. Visit www.sh projectcurb.org to learn more.