Announcing Our New Status as a Nonprofit Organization

The Beautification Council of Southeastern Michigan (BCSEM) is pleased to announce that our organization, a Michigan non-profit corporation, has now been granted 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exempt Status by the IRS, effective September 19, 2023.


The Black Swallowtail Butterfly Could Be Our First State Insect

Michigan is one of two states without a official state insect. This could change.  House Bill 4159 was introduced by Rep. Julie Brixie in 2016 that would make the black swallowtail butterfly (papilio polyxenes) our state insect.  It is common across North America
and can be found in fields, parks, wetlands, and backyards. It is identified by its black three to four inch diameter wingspan with yellow blue, and orange markings. The pipetail swallowtail is quite similar with hind wings that are a vibrant blue.


The black swallowtail lives in Michigan full time and is the only species that can be found throughout the state. It overwinters here in Michigan with a chrysalis that resembles a dried brown leaf. It also is a pollinator that help grow many plants native to Michigan. When planting gardens, consider host plants; dill, parsley, Queen Anne lace, carrot celery, common rue, fennel, and others as a source of food for the caterpillars once the eggs hatch. Be sure to include sources of like the nectar of thistles, clover, phlox, asters, butterfly bush, chives, sweet william, purple coneflower, zinnias, milkweed and other nectar producingflowers for the adults to feed upon.


Currently in Lansing, the bill was voted on with a split approval, passing 67-42. The bill has not passed the Senate. In May Rep.
Brenda Carter introduced House Bill 4590 to make the Monarch the state butterfly. The discussion continues. publicinterest


Yardeners Fall Plant Exchange

Sat, Sept 16 9-11

The Yardeners of St. Clair Shores

In the parking lot behind the library



Fall Fairy Garden Workshop. (Ages 6-10)

Sun, Oct 1. 10-12

Northville Art House

215 W Cady, Northville

Tickets @


Fall Garden Clean Up – 10 Step How-to  Garden Clean Up 
Sat, Oct 14. 10-11 
Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market 

33113 Grand River, Farmington 

 Tollgate Fall Plant Sale

Sat, Sept 16. 9-12

MSU Tollgate Farm

28115 Meadowbrook, Novi

Contact Roy Prentice


Wicked Plants

Sat, Oct 14

Dundee, at the Flower Market


Growing Herbs

Tues, Oct 31

Bloomfield Hills by Master Gardeners of Oakland City

Herb Society of America, Southern Michigan Unit



This year has demonstrated itself to be a very good year for your Beautification Council of Southeastern Michigan. In spite of the many challenges we all have faced, your organization has continued to grow and engage the communities of southeastern Michigan. BCSEM has been approved and registered as a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation by the State of Michigan! BCSEM is now in the process of filing for formal Federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. I hope to have some very good news to share with you in the near future regarding our application for federal tax-exempt status.

As you know, BCSEM celebrated its 60th Anniversary this past June 15th at the historic Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. This was a fantastic meeting, and was very well-attended. I don’t own a boat, but I like to meet people who do, so this venue was perfect! Barry Burton, City of Detroit Landscape Architect, gave a wonderful presentation on beautification activities in Detroit over the years. We had numerous BCSEM benefactors who helped underwrite the cost of this event, and their names were published in the Meeting Program. Thank you all again for your generosity!

There were a number of Special Presentations to mark this 60th Anniversary Celebration. Seventeen communities were recognized for having representatives present at the first BCSEM Organizational Meeting, held in the Veterans Memorial Building in Detroit on November 22, 1963! In addition, there were 18 communities recognized for being Continuous Paid BCSEM members for 60
years! They were eachpresented with a Certificate of Recognition. A listing of these communities is included with this Newsletter. We are all indebted to all of these communities for their collective efforts and determination to make Southeastern Michigan beautiful.
A highlight of this meeting was the awarding of the 2023 BCS\EM President’s Award to Jerald D. Stone, for being a BCSEM Charter Member and Officer in 1963, serving as Charter Treasurer from 1963 to 2012, being BCSEM President in 2012 and 2013, and currently being a Member of the BCSEM Board of Directors! That was a very special moment for all of us! Thank you for your
service and dedication to BCSEM, Jerry!

We are all looking forward to the September 21st Fall Quarterly Meeting hosted by the City of Trenton at the fabulous Chateau on the River, located inside Elizabeth Park. We will be presenting the 2023 BCSEM Individual Service Award to Mr. Joseph Claycomb, of St. Clair Shores. Mr. Claycomb’s many years of service to his community, and his recent lead involvement in the restoration and revitalization of the City Park at Blossom Health, including designing and construction of the much-loved $10 million dollar Blossom Health Activity Pier project, are but a few of the highlevel projects that make us proud to recognize him as our benchmark  Beautification Volunteer for 2023! There are also some fantastic speakers lined up. Don’t miss this one!

Thank you all for your continued support of your nonprofit organization! Take care and be safe!