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 www.shprojectcurb.org, or email
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LifeBridge partners with SH Project CURB for Serve SoHa
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
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