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The Post travels to South Dakota

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The Post recently took a trip to South Dakota with Katie and Daniel Porter, and Brandon and Sara Donaldson, of Pierson, Michigan, and Camilla and Glen Thornburg of Dover, Delaware. “While there we stayed in the scenic Custer State Park, visited Crazy Horse Memorial, and Mount Rushmore, along with many other things,” said Katie. While in Custer State Park, she said they saw a lot of wildlife, including buffalo, deer, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs, and donkeys.

It sounds like you all had a great time! Thanks for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Solon Fire holds badge pinning, service awards ceremony

 

Lt. Chris Paige promoted to Deputy Chief

The above photo shows the promotion of Chris Paige to Deputy Chief as the 4 bugle collar brass is pinned on his uniform by his father, Mike Paige.

The above photo shows the promotion of Chris Paige to Deputy Chief as the 4 bugle collar brass is pinned on his uniform by his father, Mike Paige.

The Solon Township Fire Department held a badge pinning and service awards ceremony at a special meeting of the Solon Township Board on June 29.

“This ceremony was an opportunity to recognize the efforts of the 21 men and women of Solon Fire Department who serve the community with integrity and pride,” explained Chief Jeff Drake. “The Mission of SFD is to protect lives, property and the environment with courage, dedication and excellent service.”

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the promotion of Lt. Chris Paige to Deputy Chief. According to Chief Drake’s recommendation letter, Lt. Paige is a 20-year veteran of the fire service. He is a 10-year member of SFD, serving as Lieutenant for the last 5 years, and full time since January 2015.  “Lt. Paige has shown leadership ability in his current position. He will consistently and routinely manage and implement the Incident Management System of an emergency scene efficiently. He is by far the single member who has demonstrated the desire, commitment, and dedication to help execute the success of SFD,” wrote Drake.

Seven new recruits recently completed the MFFTC FF I & II exam. From L to R: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson. Not pictured: Brian Stevens.

Seven new recruits recently completed the MFFTC FF I & II exam. From L to R: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson. Not pictured: Brian Stevens.

Seven new recruits also received their department badges at the ceremony: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson and Brian Stevens.

These badges were earned by successfully completing the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council Fire Fighter I & II curriculum at the Plainfield Fire Department Academy from September 2015 to April 2016. The course included 268 hours of instruction and required a twice weekly attendance. “This group represents a dedicated and motivated group of individuals capable and prepared to serve the community in their public safety role with courage, dedication, and integrity,” commented Chief Drake.

Service Awards were given to (from L to R): Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years. Not Pictured: Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

Service Awards were given to (from L to R): Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years. Not Pictured: Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

Several members were recognized and received service awards for their time served at SFD. Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years, Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, and Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

These members represent the veteran side of the department. “These members will fulfill  the role as mentor and brother to the new recruits with knowledge and wisdom,  and instill the FD tradition of service with integrity and pride,” said Chief Drake.

Congratulations to all of you! We appreciate the work you do!

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Red Hawk wrestlers experience competition camp

Red Hawk Varsity wrestlers attended a competitin camp in Iowa, and are shown wearing their Wrestling for A Cause shirt, supporting their friend Brison Ricker, a Cedar Springs high school student who is currently battling an inoperable brain tumor.

Red Hawk Varsity wrestlers attended a competitin camp in Iowa, and are shown wearing their Wrestling for A Cause shirt, supporting their friend Brison Ricker, a Cedar Springs high school student who is currently battling an inoperable brain tumor.

Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestlers recently traveled to the University of Iowa to attend a four-day Competition Camp.

Each wrestler got 10-12 matches with other high school and collegiate wrestlers around the same weight. Iowa Head Coach and three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tom Brands, and his staff, observed the matches live to give instant feedback on what the wrestlers did well and skill sets that needed improvement. Technique sessions were available to give them the opportunity to break up into groups and learn and apply the advice given to them. They were pushed to improve on all aspects of their wrestling.

Every wrestler wants to be a state champion, a national champion, an Olympic champion. “I would like to see these wrestlers take what they learn at camp and apply it to their upcoming 2016-2017 season,” said head coach Nick Emery. “This will help our wrestlers attain their personal goals and will set them apart from other teams. Wrestling for a cause bigger than yourself gives you twice the strength as wrestling for your own glory.” #Greater than yourself. Wrestling is a physically and mentally tough sport. If you are interested in joining a program that focuses on individual achievement while competing in a team environment, please contact Head Coach Nick Emery through their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cedar.springs.wrestling/

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Help plant trees in high-need national forests

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Forests across America are a prized natural resource, and anyone can help plant trees in these vital areas by joining the Arbor Day Foundation this month.

Through the Replanting Our National Forests campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation will honor each new member who joins in July by planting 10 trees in forests that have been devastated by wildfires, insects, and disease.

The cost for joining the Arbor Day Foundation is a $10 donation.

America’s national forests face enormous challenges, including unprecedented wildfires that have left a backlog of more than 1 million acres in need of replanting. The Foundation has worked with the United States Forest Service for more than 25 years to plant trees in high-need forests.

Our national forests provide habitat for wildlife, keep the air clean, and help ensure safe drinking water for more than 180 million Americans.

“Keeping our forests healthy is vital to the health of people and the entire planet,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “By planting trees in our national forests, we will preserve precious natural resources and the benefits they provide for generations to come.”

To join the Arbor Day Foundation and help plant trees in our national forests, send a $10 membership contribution to Replanting Our National Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410 or visit https://www.arborday.org/programs/replanting/

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Living landscapes bring surprising health benefits

Studies show that green spaces and landscaping contribute to health, happiness and intellect.

Studies show that green spaces and landscaping contribute to health, happiness and intellect.

(NAPS)—There’s a good—and surprising—reason you may pine for greenery. Living landscapes are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle that Americans enjoy but the benefits go beyond the barbecue and backyard baseball. Green spaces are necessary for your health.

“The advantages of grass and landscaping surpass the usual physical benefits that result from outdoor activity,” explained Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or who are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier and smarter.”

Researchers have studied the effect of nature on human well-being for years, but recent studies found a more direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of access to nature and managed landscapes.

Here’s a look at a few:

  • Getting dirty is actually good for you, according to Dr. Christopher Lowery, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.
  • Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health. Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved. The study also showed that people relocating to a more developed area suffered a drop in mental health.
  • Green spaces can make you healthier, too. People who live within a half mile of green space (such as parks, public gardens and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of 15 diseases by Dutch researchers—including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines. A 2015 study found that people living on streets with more trees had a boost in heart and metabolic health.
  • Living landscapes can even reduce attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children.
  • Spending time around plants also improves concentration and memory in adults. Research shows that being around plants helps you concentrate better at home and at work. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, believes that spending time in gardens can improve attention span and memory performance by as much as 20 percent.
  • Gardening is great for the body and the soul. People who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes, a measure of body fat, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.
  • Nature walks (or runs) are great for your brain and stress levels. A National Institutes of Health study found that adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after going on a nature walk. A Stanford University study found that walking in nature, rather than in a concrete-oriented, urban environment, resulted in decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and produced cognitive benefits, such as increased working memory performance.
  • Living landscapes help you heal faster. Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more austere environments.
  • You might even be a nicer person when you spend time in nature, as it enhances social interactions, value for community and close relationships. A systematic research review concluded that “the balance of evidence indicates conclusively that knowing and experiencing nature makes us generally happier, healthier people.”

All these benefits reinforce the importance of maintaining yards, parks and other community green spaces. Trees, shrubs, grass and flowering plants are integral to human health. Not only do they provide a place for kids and pets to play, they directly contribute to mental and physical well-being.

Learn More

For tips on maintaining a living landscape, even in drought conditions, go to www.opei.org/stewardship.

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Library groundbreaking next Saturday, July 9

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Years of plans and dreams are finally coming true—Cedar Springs is really going to have a new, much needed library building! The Library Board chose the contractor at their June 27 meeting, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. near the Cedar Springs Fire Station, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street. Everyone is invited. See the ad on page 11 and watch the Library website and Facebook Page for activities being planned for this event.

You may have read in The Post or The Bugle that over 900 people of all ages have signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program. This growth, along with the significantly increased use of the Library in general, has taken place in spite of not having adequate room. Your Library Staff is persistent regardless of the obstacles.

The current library building has only 2,016 square feet. The new library will have 10,016 square feet, a well-deserved treat to the citizens of Cedar Springs and surrounding communities.

Library Director Donna Clark is excited about what this groundbreaking means for Cedar Springs. “I have the distinct privilege of being the Library Director of our community library at this historic moment of groundbreaking, but I do not stand alone,” she said. “I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the early 1800s to this present day, by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers, and enthusiastic people of vision and hope. I celebrate with you who have served your local library as library employees and board members, and with our great City, who is walking this journey with us. I love it that we are building a whole City block of beauty and culture for future generations.”

There are new developments every week because the Library Board and several committees are meeting regularly to accept the bids of contractors and subcontractors, to choose materials, and to keep up with all of the details that require timely attention. “One of the most significant contributions of time during the past two years has come from Duane McIntyre, who will continue to serve as the Project Construction Manager at no charge. This represents a huge savings to the donors and citizens of our communities,” said Community Building Development Team Chair Kurt Mabie. “Many others have also contributed hundreds of hours to reach this milestone so that this dream could come true. Thank you to everyone! These gifts of time are extraordinarily meaningful and are greatly appreciated.”

A finance committee, made up of a good mix of local, respected professionals, is keeping track of the donations that are being made to the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and the Cedar Springs Public Library. Donations for the new building and its contents are still very much needed and greatly appreciated.

This new library building is just one facility planned for the Heart of Cedar Springs, thanks to the CBDT and the Cedar Springs City Council and Planning Commission. They have all brought their influence to bear on raising funds and negotiating with governmental entities, as well as making sure the right people are available to support the many needs of such a large undertaking. Kent County is a wonderful place to live, thanks to a history of good leadership and smart planning. What is happening in Cedar Springs fits perfectly into the scheme of friendly, up-and-coming communities throughout Kent County. The value of these projects to the residents and businesses of Cedar Springs, and to all of northern Kent County, cannot be overestimated.

The Heart of Cedar Springs will include the following projects that are critical to the continued growth of Cedar Springs.

A library, designed and developed as a place to gather, a place where educational opportunities can be extended, a place where a community can meet, grow and learn together.

An amphitheater where outdoor plays, musicals, movies, concerts and more will fill the summer days and evenings for residents, as well as a place of respite for White Pine Trail and North Country Trail enthusiasts.

Rain Gardens and a Sculpture are a part of the continual beautification of Cedar Creek and its historic flowing spring, which will provide multiple opportunities for several school districts to collaborate with science experiments, and participate in research that can benefit Michigan water way protection and development. The new library will be a great source and meeting place for these classes.

A Boardwalk and Bridges along the Creek, initially running from Main Street to the White Pine Trail but eventually spanning through to Riggle Park and 17 Mile Road to be enjoyed by walkers, nature enthusiasts, and fishermen.

A Community Center that can be used as a FEMA crisis center, as well as provide a beautiful venue for wedding and retirement receptions, and many other community and personal celebrations and gatherings.

A Recreation and Fitness Center where the Parks and Recreation Department, various other recreational and fitness organizations, schools, and individual residents can focus on health and wellness as a community.

All of north Kent County will benefit and appreciate these facilities and open spaces. The value they bring to the Cedar Springs Community will be a legacy for years to come. Please get involved now to be part of this legacy.

Tax deductible donations can be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to treasurer, Sue Mabie, 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319.

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Green team upgrades rain gardens

This group of students did some upgrading on the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week.

This group of students did some upgrading on the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week.

N-Green-team1A Green team of high school students working with Trout Unlimited did some work upgrading the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week (located at Fifth and Cherry Streets).

This group of students is spending the summer learning about the Rogue River and creative ways to manage its major pollutant—stormwater runoff—with green infrastructure. During their four weeks, the students will be working on public and private lands to install and maintain rain gardens, bioswales, and other native landscaping techniques in Rockford, Cedar Springs, and Sparta.

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Christmas in July brings family fun, savings

See the Mane St. band at a free concert at the site of the future amphitheater on July 9.

See the Mane St. band at a free concert at the site of the future amphitheater on July 9.

The Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Community Building Development Team to bring some exciting family events to this year’s Christmas in July sidewalk sales event, including a free movie in the park, the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library, and a free concert at the site where the new amphitheater will be built.

Christmas in July is an annual Chamber of Commerce event, which takes place the weekend of the second Saturday of July. The weekend starts with a free movie in Morley Park, concessions, and other activities Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. This year’s movie will be the Christmas movie Elf. Some businesses in downtown Cedar Springs will have Christmas in July sidewalk sales on Saturday July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Then at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, will be the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets, near the Fire Station. Everyone is encouraged to attend and celebrate this milestone.

The Community Building Development Team is also hosting a free concert performed by the band Mane Street, on July 9, from 6-10 p.m., at the site of the future amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs. This is the lot where Cedar Springs began in the 1850’s, and is also in the same area where the new library is being built. There currently is a flowing well on the site, featuring one of the springs that Cedar Springs is named for. The address for the concert is 37 W. Maple Street, and is just west of the Fire Station and north of the White Pine Trail staging area. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be ready to hear some good music!

For details on the weekend and to see the ads download the link below:

ChristmasInJuly-sf.pdf

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The Post travels to Tucson

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The Post recently traveled to Tucson, Arizona with Darlene (Towns) Wirtz, of Ionia, to visit her sister Jean (Towns) Peterson. Jean and Darlene are graduates of Cedar Springs High School, and both were Red Flannel Queens. Darlene, pictured on the left, was RF Queen in 1949, and Jean, on the right, was the 1948 RF Queen.

Thank you, Darlene and Jean, for including us in your visit!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Residents run and walk for life

 

LifeRun top runners

LifeRun top runners

Alpha Family Center raises $18,000 towards expenses

Walkers and runners hit the pavement on Saturday, June 18, to help support Alpha Family Center, in their annual LifeWalk event.

“It was a great day to celebrate life,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway.

“This year’s theme was ‘I’m a prayer warrior for Life,’ which relays the message that we find power through prayer as we walk for the unborn babies.”

The day began with 18 runners taking part in Alpha’s 3rd annual LifeRun. The Springs Youth Pastor Chris Anton awarded the trophies and medals to the top runners. LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. A crowd of over 174 walkers followed behind the LifeWalk banner for the two-mile walk through downtown Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for our community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. This year the walk once again included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center to help emphasize life is precious at all stages. The walkers returned to the park for a time of refreshments and door prizes, as well as awarding prizes to this year’s winners of our coloring contest, and the top walkers.

A report was also given on the total amount raised this year, which was over $18,000. LifeWalk covers a major portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as they assist over 150 families per year, and give away over 11,000 baby and maternity items per year. Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, and support for abuse, miscarriages, and post-abortion and sexual integrity classes. Alpha also hopes to begin a men’s group this fall to help equip and encourage men to actively engage with their families.

LifeWalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the over 58,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.

Alpha offers a special thank you to the local communities for their ongoing support of Alpha over the years.

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