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Archive | June, 2019

Get to know Michigan state parks through the eyes of storytellers

Telling stories around the campfire is a time-honored tradition. Often, those stories contain playful anecdotes and deeply personal memories.


As part of the Michigan state parks centennial, the DNR is hosting storytelling events where you’ll hear seasoned storytellers share their personal park tales. At a recent event in Lansing, Alexis Horton, the DNR’s diversity, equity and inclusion officer, engaged the crowd with her memories of introducing a group of students who’d never camped before to the fun and camaraderie of s’mores and time outdoors at Waterloo Recreation Area. (See a transcript of her story here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/AroundCampfireAlexisHorton_658666_7.pdf)

Just this past weekend, the DNR hosted a campfire storytelling event in Interlochen, with three more coming up July 20 at Van Riper State Park (Champion), Aug. 17 at Belle Isle (Detroit) and Sept. 21 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Middleville). These events are more than just listening to spoken stories; they’re a way for people to connect with treasured experiences.

Learn more about the centennial Campfire Storytelling Project at Michigan.gov/StateParks100. Questions? Contact Maia Turek, 989-225-8573.

Upcoming storytelling events:

Saturday, July 20 at Van Riper State Park in Champion

Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Belle Isle Park in Detroit

Saturday, Sept. 21 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area in Middleville

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments Off on Get to know Michigan state parks through the eyes of storytellers

Native plants

RBy Ranger Steve Mueller

National Wild Ones native plant organization president Janice Hand wrote, “Consider that as a Wild One, you are not only enjoying the good feelings that comes from helping the world’s environment, but you also know that you are doing your part to leave a better world for the next generations. In turn for that satisfaction, I think Wild Ones members get more years of life added.” Consider joining Wild Ones – River City Chapter.

She added information from studies that indicate spending time tending native plantings in gardens lowers blood pressure, heart rate, stress and strengthens the immunity system. These are not new ideas and researchers have been looking for physical evidence to support healthy life styles for decades. 

In my case, with the on-going challenge of non-curable terminal cancer (multiple myeloma), oncologists have told me no more gardening because my weak immune system does not protect me from soil fungus. Wild Ones tend Ody Brooks garden. Living deliberately is a personal effort and I continue outdoor activities.

New myeloma cancer treatment advances have extended life to an average of 7 to 8 years. I have lost friends to this cancer in years 7, 8, and 10. I am in year 22 since diagnosis. I think extended time outdoors is medicine contributing to my continued survival. I planned to be on the long end of survival since first diagnosis.

Two bone marrow transplants and the most recent five years in a clinical trial has slowed the cancer activity. Treatments are temporary and the clinical trial is no longer effective. A new treatment has begun that will hopefully reduce cancer activity. I am struggling with adjustment to the new chemo and spend too much time sleeping, weak, tiring fast, short of breath and need to greatly limit activity working in the sanctuary. 

You and I have another health aid mentioned by Janice. Studies show being outdoors improves physical well-being and adds 2.81 years to life, improves short-term memory adding 1.26 years, and doing things to improve the world for wild things adds 1.75 years to our life. We can and should stay active outdoors.

I continually encourage spending time outdoors enjoying nature niche exploration. My work outside is significantly more limited than last year and I am moving slower. It is frustrating but I keep heading outside. When diagnosed at age 47, the oncologist said there is no way to predict if I will survive less than a year or have extended time. I will turn 69 this summer and strive to reach age 75 with reasonable functional health. 

Wild Ones promotes native plantings to reduce water use, store carbon in trees and perennials, and to provide habitat for life tiny and large. Wild Ones promotes reducing the United States’ 40-million acres of lawn and its resultant pollution, pesticides, herbicides and wasted water. It is tough because groomed lawns are beautiful.

My efforts and newspaper columns might help others live healthier chemical free lives that support mammals, birds, insects, and plants if readers so choose. I was pleased to see a piece next to my column in one of the papers a few weeks ago about the importance of planting native plants. In the 1980’s and 90’s, I was commissioned to coordinate an extended tree planting over ten years. The funders gave 100,000 ten-foot trees to 5th graders over the ten years in Kent County. 

Norway Maples were one of the trees and my objections fell on deaf ears. Norway maples are a non-native species that does not support native insects and birds. I requested native species given. I was told “a tree is a tree.” More recently Doug Tallamy’s popular book “Bringing Nature Home” discusses the number of insects and associated life that are supported when native species are planted in our yards. Change the world locally.

Doug Tallamy has met with me twice and requested I provide him plant lists for Michigan to aid him in the effort to maintain Michigan’s biodiversity. The “Big Idea” is reduce lawn size and plant native species for a healthy future to sustain the good life for wildlife, ourselves and society. Live deliberately with a small lawn.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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How to get to heaven


A teacher was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

She asked them, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?”

“No!” the children answered.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?”

Again, the answer was, “No!”

Now she was smiling. Hey, they’re getting it, she thought! “Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?” she asked.

Again, they all answered, “No!”

She was just bursting with pride for them. “Well,” she continued, “then how can I get into Heaven?”

A five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”

Posted in Joke of the WeekComments Off on How to get to heaven

Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

theTable at The Springs Church

June 27, July 4,11,18,25: Meals are served every Thursday fom 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Springs Church on the corner of Oak and Grant. All are welcome to theTable to enjoy this meal that is being shared with us! #tfn

Celebrate Recovery

June 27, July 4,11,18,25: City Impact, 288 N. Main St. will be holding meetings every Thursday to Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, habbits or hangups of any kind. 6-6:30 pm – Meet & Greet, 6:30-8pm Celebrate Recovery. For more information call 616-843-2438. #tfn

Cedar Springs Youth Football

July 27: Cedar Springs Youth Football Registration Info: Registration Deadlines – Rocket Football 7/27/19. Pre-Season Rocket Camp will be held on 7/27/19. Please visit our website for more details and to get your player(s) registered…Go Red Hawks! http://www.cedarspringsyouthfootball.com. #23-26b

Parade of Lights in Sand Lake

June 28: Come support your local fire and police departments during the Parade of Lights on Friday, June 28th at dusk on Lake Street in Sand Lake. #26

Patriotic Hymn Sing

June 30: The Churches of Sand Lake invite you to a Patriotic Hymn Sing on Sunday, June 30th at 6:00 pm on the main street stage, downtown Sand Lake. Bring your lawn chairs and raise your voice to Bless America. #26p

Traditional Country and Gospel Band

June 30: The Sand Lake Village Churches present the Traditional Country, and Gospel Band on Sunday, June 30th from 7:00-9:00 pm on the main street stage, downtown Sand Lake. Enjoy easy listening and toe tapping music with a southern country flare. Bring your lawn chairs. #26p

Red, White & Blue Book Sale

July 1-6: The Friends of the Library is hosting a book sale. Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Located in the Library program room at the Nelson Twp./Sand Lake KDL Branch. Monday, July 1, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Tuesday, July 2, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday, July 3, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday, July 5, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday, July 6, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. #26

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

July 2,9,16,23,30: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #26

Quilt & Crafts at the Cedar Springs Library 

July 3,10,17,24,31: Bring your fiber-based projects and work along with your friends. Lots of fun! Everyone welcome! Every Wednesday from 10am-6pm at the Cedar Springs Library, 107 N. Main St. #26

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Sand Lake: 150th Fourth of July celebration


By Judy Reed

Sand Lake is getting ready to host its 150th Fourth of July celebration, and they chose new royalty Sunday evening at their pageant at the Sand Lake VFW Hall.

The title of Little Miss Firecracker went to Tayla Hamilton.
Courtesy Photo

The 2019-2020 Miss Sand Lake Queen is Alexandra Walkwitz, and her court members are Chloe Coar and Nikkita Coar. The Jr. Miss Sand Lake Queen is Stephanie Pierce, and her court members are Morgan Williams and Madelyn Ringler. The title of Little Miss Firecracker went to Tayla Hamilton.

This group of Sand Lake royalty will be in the parade, along with 22 former queens, all there to celebrate 150 years. One of the queens is from 1969—50 years ago.

The celebration kicks off on Friday, June 28, with a parade of lights at 9 p.m. to honor area firefighters, police, and other emergency responders. On Sunday, July 30, is the Sand Lake classic car and antique tractor show. The Midway opens July 3 and stays open through July 6. Other events include the Sand Lake Rodeo, the Grand Parade on July 4 with fireworks finishing off the night, and kiddies day on Saturday, July 6. See below for a complete schedule of events. 

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Celebrating summer


Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack gets dunked on a chilly Saturday during the Red Flannel Festival dunk tank and yard games. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

There’s been a flurry of activity in downtown Cedar Springs since the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Summer Celebrations event kicked off last Saturday, June 15, with sidewalk sales, a Red Flannel dunk tank and yard games, the annual Rotary cow plop, and more. Sunday there was worship in the Heart of Cedar Springs, and Monday was super busy with the kickoff of the Cedar Springs Library summer reading program and all of its individual events, and City Impact Community Dinner. Tuesday was the first of two family fun nights in the heart of Cedar Springs, with a group of princesses, bounce houses and food trucks, and Wednesday was the second night, with music and food trucks. 

Kids enjoyed meeting their favorite Royal princesses Tuesday night. Photo by M. Kleyn.
Royal princesses graced Cedar Springs with their presence Tuesday during one of two family fun nights. Courtesy photo.

“We had an awesome time at the CSACoC Family Fun Nights,” said Perry Hopkins, of the Chamber. “Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for making the event happen.” 

There is more fun coming up Thursday, including the farmers market at Cedar Springs Brewing Company from 3-7 p.m.; a Drive 4UR Community fundraiser on Thursday, June 20, from noon to 8 p.m. (next to the farmer’s market), where Vanderhyde Ford will donate $20 toward a natural playground in the Heart of Cedar Springs for every Ford you test drive; a concert in Morley Park at 7 p.m. put on by Parks and Recreation; Jeep night and live music at the CS Brewing Company from 6-8 p.m. Some of the events on Friday and Saturday include unveiling of the new Heart of Cedar Springs sign at 5:30 p.m. Friday; a concert in the Heart of Cedar Springs on Friday from 6-8 p.m.; a sidewalk chalk event at the library on Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; and on Sunday, summer worship in the Heart of Cedar Springs from 5-7 p.m. with live music, snacks and family activities. For a more detailed listing of events, pick up last week’s Post, or check out the brochure on their facebook page by searching Cedar Springs Community Summer Celebrations.


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Summer reading kicks off


Rufus works some Minecraft magic on one of the attendees at the library’s summer reading program. 

By Judy Reed

Summer can finally begin now that school’s out and the Cedar Springs Public Library’s summer reading program, a Universe of Stories, officially kicked off Monday.

Activities were planned throughout the day to keep kids and families entertained after they filled out their registrations for this year’s program. According to Librarian Donna Clark, they had 1,147 registrations by the end of the day.

Kids enjoyed petting the animals at the summer reading program. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids enjoyed free popcorn, ice cream, a petting zoo, a 13-year-old ventriloquist, and Rufus, the man on stilts who amazed everyone with his agility. Author David Stricklen was also there promoting the library’s book club meeting with his new book. 

To download a complete listing of events happening during the summer reading program, visit their website at http://cedarspringslibrary.org/news/2019-summer-reading-program/.

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Band director to be inducted into the ASBDA


From Gregory VanStrien, of the ASBDA

Cedar Springs Band Director Adam Borst. Courtesy photo.

This summer Cedar Springs Band Director Adam Borst will be officially inducted to the American School Band Directors Association or ASBDA. 

ASBDA is an honorary and research organization dedicated to the promotion of the American School Band. Members of ASBDA will nominate outstanding educators that have demonstrated consistent excellence in their field. Mr. Borst was nominated by four Michigan ASBDA members to be considered for membership. The next part of the process was to have every ASBDA member vote on the candidates, and Mr. Borst was unanimously accepted. The final process involved ratification of his membership at the national level.  

Mr. Borst will now join a distinguished group of educators who will continue the work of research and promotion of school music throughout the state. Cedar Springs Public Schools is fortunate to have such an outstanding and nationally recognized educator on their staff.

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City Hall Corner


By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Smoke-free outdoor public places

Since 1965, the United States’ Congress has required that all cigarette packs carry a health warning following the Surgeon General’s 1964 landmark report, which linked smoking cigarettes with dangerous health effects, including lung cancer and heart disease. Subsequent studies have indicated that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Among non-smokers, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20−30 percent, increases their risk of developing heart disease by 25–30 percent and causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year.  Furthermore, cigarette butts are the most common form of litter, an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are thrown away every year worldwide. Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic that persists in the environment.  Estimates state they take up to 10-15 years to break down.

With those facts in mind, the City Council passed Ordinance 197, which prohibits smoking in public parks, in City buildings or within 15 feet of the entranceway of a City building. The primary focus of the law was to create and allow park users to enjoy a smoke-free atmosphere and to keep children playing at the park safe from the negative health effects caused by second hand smoke. In passing this ordinance into law, the City Council took note of the numerous cigarette butts that were littered onto the ground in the City’s parks and how volunteers and City staff were forced to pick them up several times throughout the year. The City Council also believes that persons using important City services such as voting, the library or speaking with the police should be able to do so without walking through a cloud of secondhand smoke.

The City law specifically prohibits the smoking of tobacco, marijuana, vaping or any illegal substance in public parks, in City buildings or within 15 feet of the entranceway of a City building (except in designated areas) and authorizes a civil fine ticket against any persons violating the law. The parks covered by this law include Morley Park, Riggle Park, North Park, Legacy Park, White Pine Trail Staging Area, Veterans Memorial Park and the Heart of Cedar Springs, which surrounds the library and amphitheater. Of course, the City doesn’t want to issue tickets of any kind and would prefer that people just not smoke in the parks.  

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Colleen Pierson wins Sweet Adeline of the Year award


Colleen Pierson receiving her award.

The Grand Rapids Chapter of Sweet Adelines recently presented the Sweet Adeline of the Year Award to Rockford resident, Colleen Pierson. The singing group is composed of 60 women who sing four-part harmony in acapella style.

The award is given to a member who exemplifies the ideal qualities shown through leadership, successes, progress and dedication.

“To be nominated was extraordinary, to win was a dream come true. I felt like I won an Academy Award,” Pierson exclaimed.  

Master Director Denise Van Dyken was happy for Pierson. “Colleen brings so much enthusiasm, talent and humor to our group. It is a well-deserved honor,” she said.

The Grand Rapids Chapter of Sweet Adelines are Regional Champions and will compete on the International Stage in New Orleans in September.  They perform at community events, concerts, competitions, charity functions and sing the National Anthem at sporting games.

“The only thing better than singing, is more singing,” joked Pierson. “One of my best life decisions was getting involved with this talented group of women.” 

The group is always looking for new members who love to sing and perform. They practice every Monday night. For more information, please visit https://www.grsa.net.


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Free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges through September


LANSING, Mich. – Is quitting smoking on your to-do list this summer? The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) can help with free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges through Sept. 30.

The offer is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers® campaign featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases and secondhand smoke exposure. Up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges are available to Michigan residents who call the Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“CDC’s Tips campaign reminds people of the harmful effects of smoking and connects them with important resources like the Michigan Tobacco Quitline,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “As a physician and public health professional, I know all too well the terrible toll of smoking. MDHHS is committed to helping Michiganders quit tobacco products and reduce their risk of tobacco-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.”

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. It kills about 480,000 Americans each year. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, at least 30 more people suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. Nearly 68 percent of smokers say they want to quit. Tobacco users interested in quitting are urged to call 800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or to visit Cdc.gov/tips for free help quitting and to view the personal stories from the campaign.

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based service providing free telephone and online coaching and text messaging. More than 140,000 Michigan residents have used the Quitline or the online coaching program to help them in their journey towards a tobacco-free life.

The Quitline offers English, Arabic and Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as interpretive services for a wide variety of languages. For more information, call 800-QUIT-NOW or visit Michigan.gov/tobacco.

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Sand Lake 4th of July Celebration

Celebrating 150 years!

2019 Sand Lake 4th of July  Schedule of events

Friday, June 28th  

Sand Lake Parade of Lights: Come support your local fire and police departments. starts at dusk Lake Street

Sunday, June 30th

Registration for Classic Car/ Antique Tractor Show: 8 am Corner of Lake St & 4th St.

Classic Car & Antique Tractor Show: 9 am – 2 pm Corner of Lake St & 4th St.

Mini Tractor Pull:  1 pm Water Tower

Wednesday, July 3rd

Decorate Your Bike and Celebrate the Fourth of July:Bring your bike to the Library and decorate it for the 4th of July! We will have many patriotic decorations on hand to help you festoon your bike!10 am – noon Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Library “Red, White, & Blue” Book Sale: 10 am – 7 pm Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Bingo at VFW – Smoke Free: 2 pm – 9 pm VFW Hall

Carnival Midway Opens: 5 pm Salisbury Park

Sand Lake Rodeo – Tickets at the Gate: 7 pm Water Tower

MUSIC: Moonshot:  8 pm – 11 pm Lake Street Stage

Thursday, July 4th

Grand Parade Registration:Registration fee $15, after June 29th $20. Call or text Stacy at 231-414-7654 to register.  11 am corner of Oak St. & 7th St.

Carnival Midway Open: Noon Salisbury Park

Grand Parade:  Starts 1:30 Lake Street

Bingo at VFW – Smoke Free: 2 pm – 9 pm VFW Hall

Demolition Derby: Gates open 3 pm | Pre-sale tickets start at 2 pm.  |Racing start at 6pm Water Tower

Music: Main Street:  7:30 pm -10:30 pm Lake Street Stage

Fireworks: 10:30pm

Friday, July 5th

Library “Red, White, & Blue” Book Sale:Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Located in the Library program room. Sponsored by Friends of the Library. 10 am – 5 pm Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Carnival Midway Open: 5 pm Salisbury Park

Music: Borderline Band: 7:30 pm -10:30 pm Lake Street Stage

Saturday, July 6th

Kiddie’s Day • “Celebrating 150 Years”

Library “Red, White, & Blue” Book Sale:Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Sponsored by Friends of the Library.10 am – 2 pm Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Teen Zone: Escape Room:Teen only fun at the library! Test your skills in our escape room.10 am – 4 pm Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Kiddie Day Parade:Registration at 11 am. Games and fun stuff to do after the Parade.11:30 am Lake St. & 6th St.

Carnival Midway Open: 1 pm Salisbury Park

Greased Pig Contest: 3 pm Water Tower

MUSIC: Whiskey Bizzness: 7:30 pm -10:30 pm Lake Street Stage

Please note: 

• No sale of knives with blades more than 3” long is not permitted

• No airsoft guns allowed at Carnival or events

• No dogs allowed in Midway

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