While Welcoming Week was officially celebrated for 10 days this month, Sept. 9-18, we celebrate it all year long in Oakland County. Welcoming Oakland is an official county member of the Welcoming America network that brings together communities to reaffirm the importance of promoting inclusivity and celebrating the vast array of cultures that make our neighborhoods and towns so vibrant and exciting.
The theme of this year’s Welcoming Week celebration was #WhereWeBelong. All individuals throughout the county should understand that there is a place for them here.
In the last year or so, that’s been especially true for people fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Through the Uniting for Ukraine initiative, more than 630 Oakland County residents have stepped up to sponsor and financially support families who have left Ukraine because of the war.
But Welcoming Week is about more than just helping resettle refugees. There are services, people, and organizations across Oakland County that are helping newcomers when they arrive in the state.
The millage funds new service to key areas, including major employment centers, health care campuses and local colleges and universities.
The millage will expand reservation-based service – flexible transportation for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans who need to make essential trips, such as doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping.
The millage will expand app-based service – on-demand transportation open to the general public, using small vehicles.
Funds from the millage will support transit services that specifically benefit Oakland County residents and businesses.
Local service details will be developed collaboratively with members of the public, community organizations, transit providers, local governments and county leadership.
Every autumn we sense the excitement of the beginning of a new season. Autumn is the time for nature-embracing explorations into the natural world as nights cool, fantastic forest fungi appear, and mosquito-free trails beckon. I know the time of autumn draws near as energized Eastern gray squirrels gather acorns felled by strong winds. That time is now.
The pet adoption center has plenty of cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies who are looking for their forever home. Those interested in adopting a pet or learning more about available pets are invited to schedule an appointment by calling 248-858-1070. The center takes appointments Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
All adopted animals will be spayed or neutered, heartworm or feline leukemia tested, microchipped, and given age appropriate vaccinations prior to leaving the shelter. You must be over 18 years old to adopt an animal from the shelter and a valid ID is required. All fees must be paid in full before an animal can leave the shelter. If you rent your living space, approval from a landlord is required.
I’m often asked how I select Wilder Side of Oakland County nature topics. I’m easily distracted, that’s how. Being distracted as I hike is a very good thing for me. Distractions often lead to noting aspects of nature’s way that I was not searching for as the countdown to autumn accelerates. Distractions increase when I hike with my trail companion. An extra set of eyes notes wonders of nature I might just pass by. “Did you see that?” I’m asked. My answer is often no, and that means it is time for me to stop, observe, discover, and learn.