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Huge Student-led Mural Planned at South Haven High School

By | Posted April 11, 2022 | 



South Haven Center for the Arts and Project CURB are collaborating with South Haven Public Schools to commission a 1,375 square foot mural to be painted on screening walls located at the south entrance of South Haven High School. SHHS students will have an opportunity to participate in the project from design concept to execution as they will provide creative input, select the final design, and have painting opportunities.

To guide creative direction regarding design elements, themes, and color schemes, surveys were distributed to all high school students. The results were tabulated and delivered to local professional artist Kayla Ridley, for design creation. Two designs will be presented to the students for voting in mid-April. Ridley and student volunteers will begin work when the weather permits. “The mural project will allow all high school students to be a part of a legacy project. We hope it will help create a deeper connection between the students, the school, and the community as it will collectively represent every student at South Haven High School”, says Robyn Henrickson, co-founder of Project CURB.

The mural will sit across from Project CURB’s 2020 beautification project featuring a welded sculpture created by South Haven High School student Zachary Emmenhiser which has become a signature backdrop for students. “We are excited to orchestrate a project that provides all students an opportunity to make a long-lasting impact and hope it serves as a pride piece for them for years to come,” says Kevin Dee, Director of Non-Instructional Services for South Haven Public Schools.

The art project is partly funded by a grant awarded by the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, South Haven Wal-Mart and Whiteford Wealth Management. Project CURB is currently fundraising for the remaining funds. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Those interested in sponsoring or donating to the project can contact Project CURB by email, or by visiting the website

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South Haven group takes on beautification project at high school

Project CURB, a community-driven beautification group in South Haven, plans to landscape the area around South Haven High School’s marquee.

SOUTH HAVEN — The marquee at the entrance to South Haven High School will get a new look this fall when a community-driven beautification group takes on the task of sprucing up the grounds around the large sign.


South Haven Project CURB – which stands for Community Uplifting, Revitalizing and Beautifying – will landscape the area around the marquee, located near the entrance to the high school at Elkenburg and LaGrange streets.

“We’re hopeful to have it started by mid-October,” said Suzanne Loafman, co-founder of Project CURB. “The beautification effort will focus on the northeast lawn of the high school surrounding the electronic marquee, a central focal point of the school and the South Haven community.”


The $4,800 improvement project is a collaboration involving Project CURB, South Haven Public Schools and deBest Inc., landscaping company with grants from the Van Buren Conservation District, Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation and the foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee.

“The design, developed by deBest Inc., will fit the established aesthetics and complement the two other projects on campus,” Loafman said.


Project CURB’s two previous undertakings included the beautification of the outdoor gathering area at the rear entrance to the high school and the landscaped sound reduction berm overlooking LaGrange Street.

The beautification around the marquee will feature plantings that reflect the school colors of purple and gold.

“The landscaping will include 13 Golden Mop False Cypress, five purple Weigela, 13 Russian Sage, one Doublefire Viburnum, five Karl Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass, four, 4- to 5-foot Ledgestone cropping and one Maple Autumn Blaze tree,” Loafman said.


Once the project begins in October, it should take less than a week to be completed.

The marquee beautification project marks the fourth landscaping project South Haven Project CURB has undertaken on school grounds in the South Haven Public School district since forming in 2019.

Student participation

The group not only wants to attract community financial support for its landscaping projects, it also wants student involvement as well, and is doing more to encourage just that.


“We have always hoped to have students involved in the work we are doing because this is their space, and we want to create an environment that appeals to them and that they can be proud of,” said Robyn Henrickson, another co-founder of Project CURB. “COVID-19 put a strain on the level of student participation, but we have been able to work individually and with small groups to execute projects.”

One of those projects involved the creation of a sculpture to the rear entrance of the outdoor gathering space at the high school. The metal sculpture was created by South Haven High School student Zack Emenhiser.

Students have helped in other ways as well.


“The South Haven Rocket Senior football team has volunteered to weed the sports entrance area, which is a great help,” Henrickson said.

In addition a South Haven youth travel baseball team helped clean the high school courtyard several years ago, while a group of adults affiliated with LifeBridge Church helped spruce up the grounds at Baseline Middle School and other school buildings.

Project CURB recently worked with the South Haven Center for the Arts and SHPS to submit a grant that will fund more student-led art projects like Emenhiser’s sculpture.


“We’ve had such a tremendous response from the community regarding Zack’s project. We would love to allow more students to be a part of this effort,” said Kevin Dee, director of Non-Instructional Services for South Haven Public Schools.

Student groups interested in adopting a project can contact South Haven Project CURB by emailing

For those interested in partnering with Project CURB, sponsorship details can be found online at Donations can be made online at or mailed to P.O. Box 131, South Haven, MI 49090.



$10,000 landscaping project completed at South Haven 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 Additionally, donations can be made online at 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 to learn more.


300 foot berm project complete at South Haven High School

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. May 7 , 2020–Within days of landscaping work reopening in Michigan, the300 foot berm project, temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, has been completed at South Haven High School. The massive 300-foot berm sits prominently on the east side of the school facing LaGrange street, a main artery leading into the city of South Haven, and provides the property with an impactful visual makeover. “The berm is a welcomed addition to our recently renovated high school and reflects our school community well”, says Ryan Williams, SHHS Principal.  We are very proud of what we offer at SHPS. A beautiful campus is another item to add to the list”. 

This winter, SouthHaven Project CURB raisedover $10,000 to construct theproject.The sound reduction berm is comprised of 1,000 cubic yards of dirt, 12 deciduous trees, five evergreen trees and three types of shrubs. deBest, Incdesigned and installed the project. Thisis the first of 11 projects planned for the high school.

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

SHProject CURB continues fundraisingfor the next round of projects, targeted for fall execution. The group is actively applying for grants and will resume sponsorship solicitation to raise funds. “We understand the impact COVID-19 has had on our community and are sensitive to priorityshifts. Though we remain committed to our work, we are making adjustments to our fundraising efforts” says Robyn Henrickson, co-Founder of Project CURB. The majority of remaining projects in the high school landscape master plan are estimated to cost between $3,000-$8,000 each. Forthose interested in partnering with Project CURB, sponsorship details can be found online at Additionally, donations can be made online at shprojectcurb.orgor mailed to P.O. Box 131 South Haven, MI 49090.

SouthHaven 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 three landscape projects at Lincoln Elementary as well as multiple campus clean-ups. Visit to learn more.



Project CURB poised to beautify SHHS exterior

Berm project on east side of school kicks off effort

By HP Staff

February 11, 2020

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 Suzanne 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 Robyn Henrickson, of Project CURB.

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Project CURB eyes South Haven High School improvements

By BECKY KARK - For The Herald-Palladium 
​Oct 22, 2019

SOUTH HAVEN — Earlier this year a new organization dedicated to making outdoor aesthetic improvements at South Haven schools made landscaping improvements to the entrance of Lincoln Elementary School and the school’s main outdoor sign.

Now, South Haven Project CURB (community uplifting, revitalizing and beautifying) is turning its attention to a much more ambitious project – improving the curb appeal all the way around South Haven High School.

The organization’s plans for the high school got the approval of South Haven Board of Education members earlier this month, allowing it to proceed with efforts to fine-tune its proposal and begin fundraising efforts.

The conceptual plan, developed in partnership with South Haven Public Schools and DeBest Inc. landscaping company, targets 11 areas around the building to enhance with landscaping, new signage and more Ram mascot statues. Plans also call for creation of a student art garden, a student gathering area, new trees, space for student event banners, a sound-reduction earth berm facing LaGrange Street, plus an additional welcome sign at the rear entrance of the building.

“We wanted to develop a comprehensive property plan and get it approved so that anyone at any time could quickly and easily take on a project to implement or sponsor,” said Kevin Dee, director of non-instructional services for the district.

Now that the property plan is complete, the group is working with acting high school principal Ryan Williamson to identify teachers, staff, student groups and school and community organizations that may be able to add more life to the plan or assist with implementing the projects.

“We are going to take the plan to those who can add insight into how to maximize use of proposed spaces and to groups that may be interested or able to help execute projects,” Williams said. “Being involved with a project on this scale creates a sense of ownership and pride and can provide great learning opportunities and experiences for our students, especially those in our art, engineering, design and vocational studies departments.”

In the meantime, South Haven Project CURB will launch efforts to raise money for the spring projects, according to Suzanne Sutherland Loafman, co-founder of Project CURB.

“We are motivated by the recent collaborative efforts we’ve seen in the community and are confident we will get the support we need to complete a few projects this spring,” she said. “This is a plan that will benefit the entire community as we all benefit from our schools’ success. Our goal is to make this a communitywide initiative, involving students, staff and the community as much as possible.”

Project CURB was formed following $36 million worth of improvements made to district buildings – notably the high school – several years ago.

For more information on how to donate or to learn more about Project CURB, visit, or email

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LifeBridge partners with SH Project CURB for Serve SoHa

October 2019

Lifebridge Church will deploy a team of 25-35 to assist Project CURB with landscape maintenance projects at Maple Grove, Lincoln, Baseline and SH High School. Lifebridge’s Serve SoHa is an effort to accomplish mission work on a local level. 


Serve SoHa will take place Sunday, September 22 at noon.The team at Maple Grove will clear the overgrowth and debris on the trail at the property. The Lincoln team will edge around the building, pull weeds and clear debris. The Baseline team will tackle the retention pond overgrowth, a project that would cost the district over $6,000 to contract. Lastly, the high school team will edge around the building, weed, clear debris in addition to painting projects at the baseball and softball fields. 


Group adding CURB appeal to district facilities

More volunteers, donations sought

Becky Kark

April 2019

SOUTH HAVEN — When South Haven Public Schools completed $36.7 million worth of improvements to school buildings last year, a group of citizens thought the project wouldn’t be complete without some icing on the cake, so to speak.

They have started South Haven Project CURB (Community Uplifting, Revitalizing and Beautifying our schools), an organization dedicated to creating and maintaining outdoor aesthetics of the school buildings.

“In the last five years our schools have undergone major transportations,” said Project CURB co-founder Robyn Henrickson, referring to the bond issue that voters approved to fund district renovations. “Our students are now more equipped for success than ever before as the district has launched competitive curriculum, acquired the latest technology, created superior learning environments and expanded honors and AP classes, academically talented programs, career ready pathways and duel enrollment classes. We want to help keep this momentum going. What better way to broadcast these achievements than to have our schools beam on the outside as much as they shine on the inside?”

District officials and staff agreed and met with the group to determine what types of beautification projects to pursue.

Project CURB’s first project will take shape this spring at Lincoln Elementary School, where landscaping will be added to the entrance of the building and the school’s main outdoor sign.

“Coastal Outdoor Living partnered with Project CURB and came up with the designs and will install the landscaping,” Henrickson said.

The Lincoln project will be paid for by Henrickson, her husband, Kyle, and Suzanne and Nick Loafman, the founders of Project CURB.

They and other members of the newly formed non-profit organization hope the Lincoln School project will generate more financial backing from the community.

“We have been working with South Haven Public Schools and already reached out to South Haven Area Recreation Authority and other community groups that have similar goals to collaborate,” Henrickson said. “We are actively seeking parents or community members who would like to get involved.”

Project CURB hopes to complete two beautification projects each year, in addition to organizing school campus cleanups and maintenance events.

“We’d like to target the high school for our next project and are planning to begin coordinating with staff there soon,” Henrickson said.

Donations to Project CURB can be mailed to South Haven Project CURB P.O. Box 131 South Haven, MI 49090. For more information, visit the Facebook site, SHprojectCURB or send an email to

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