web analytics

Archive | Featured

New manufacturing facility coming to Cedar Springs

J-Star‘s new facility will manufacture linear motion and lifting systems for the office furniture industry.

J-Star Motion Corp. adding 122 jobs; investing $4.9m in manufacturing facility

On Wednesday, August 30, The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), announced a local Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Chinese furniture component manufacturer Jiecang Linear Motion Technology Co., Ltd. The company, operating in the United States as J-Star Motion Corporation, will establish a new manufacturing facility at an existing location in Cedar Springs, Michigan. The company intends to hire 122 employees and invest $4.9 million.

The company recently opened office and warehouse facilities at 83 South Main Street, Kent City, and with a new available site, is adding manufacturing operations at 500 West Street, in Cedar Springs (in what was the Wolverine building). The company will inhabit the north side of the building. Display Pack is located on the south side.

The new facility will support J-Star’s American business growth, which centers on making linear motion and lifting systems for the office furniture industry.

The MEDC is supporting the expansion effort with the approval of a $738,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“Securing this new Chinese Foreign Direct Investment is significant for our region,” said Birgit Klohs, President & CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “The investment reaffirms that West Michigan is a global destination for international investment and business expansion.”

J-Star has maintained a small presence in the country since 2014 when it opened warehouse and administrative offices in Southern California, which is still serves as its American headquarters.

Parent company Jiecang Linear Motion Technology Co., Ltd was established in 2000 in Xinchang, China as an original equipment manufacturer of linear actuators and lifting columns. Due to the company’s high standards, its products quickly became globally respected for use in medical and home care equipment. With an annual production capacity of 600,000 actuators – lifting columns and 200,000 control boxes, Jiecang has become a leading supplier for companies around the world.

The company had considered expanding closer to its California base, but The Right Place was able to build a business case and convince J-Star leaders that the region’s historically-significant furniture manufacturing roots were worth exploring.

“West Michigan was identified as an excellent location due to the proximity to many of the leading office furniture manufacturers and the skilled manufacturing talent available in this area,” said Michael Fedrigo, General Manager, J-Star Motion Corporation. “The support available through The Right Place and the MEDC was a significant factor in their final site selection.”

J-Star is in the process of building its team and hopes to begin local production by mid-2018.

The Right Place, Inc., is a regional nonprofit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity, and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Michigan DNR wildfire fighters help battle western blazes

Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildland firefighters are on the scene in Montana to help with fires around the state. Michigan personnel on loan in Montana include two three-man engine crews and an incident management team. Photo by Michigan DNR firefighter Cory Mallory.

Helicopters fly over a burning hillside in Montana recently as firefighters work to control a grass fire. Two Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildland fire engines staffed by two three-man crews as well as an incident management team are in Montana now helping with fire suppression efforts. Photo by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Surrounded by smoke, constantly watching the wind and trying to tamp down fast-moving flames, Michigan Department of Natural Resources firefighters using two specially equipped fire trucks have been helping battle grass and forest wildfires in Montana since mid-July.

They may do what firefighters call “black lining”—purposely burning a strip of grass to deprive an approaching wildfire of fuel and stop it in its tracks.

Or they may “wet line”—dousing combustible materials in the path of a fire to keep a blaze from spreading.

Or they might, during a breather from work, do what any of us would: whip out cell phones to shoot a quick video as a low-flying tanker plane releases a belly full of water over a hot spot of burning trees, brush or grass.

“Statistically, it’s the grasses that are the most dangerous. They move fast and burn quick,” said Ben Osterland, who led one of two three-man teams that drove the Michigan fire engines to Montana.

Fires have consumed more than half a million acres across Montana so far this season, and Michigan wildland firefighters are playing critical roles in helping put them out. The engines remain in Montana and a third set of crews rotated into the fire zone this week.

In mid-July, Osterland and Cory Mallory each led an engine team, driving the massive, four-wheel-drive vehicles from Michigan to Montana on a 20-hour trek at speeds that maxed out around 64 miles per hour to work long days and live under sometimes primitive conditions.

“Montana absolutely loved our people and they love our trucks,” said Lee Osterland, who also worked on an incident management team in Montana this summer. “It’s a really good opportunity to help another state out.” Michigan firefighters also are serving in Oregon and Washington state now and spent time in Arizona and British Columbia earlier this summer.

The four-wheel-drive fire vehicles are equipped with brush guards and a winch. They carry 800 gallons of water as well as a pump and two reels of hose.

When laying a wet line, the driver may drive slowly along while another firefighter walks alongside, spraying water, and the passenger sprays water from nozzles controlled from inside the cab. Then they set a fire between the wet line and the advancing fire.

“You burn the fuel in front of the fire, so you are essentially fighting fire with fire,” Mallory said.

Firefighters might stay in hotels if the blaze is close to a big-enough city, but they often camp near the site or even sleep in their trucks.

“Where I was, we slept in the dirt,” Ben Osterland said. “We were in tents every night. Some nights, we were on the night shift and we would sleep during the day, when it was the hottest.”

For several days in a row, his crew ate only prepackaged military meals; they also went 10 long days without a shower. But living conditions weren’t the hardest part, he said.

“We were away from cell phone service and you could go days without talking to anyone back home,” he said.

“At the same time, you meet a lot of great people when you’re out there. I’ve created a lot of friendships from those trips. I have met a lot of great people.”

Mallory also says the hardship is worth it, especially when you’re talking to a rancher whose cattle might go hungry if the fire spreads.

“You know you’re making a difference,” he said.

As they work in other states, Michigan firefighters gain valuable experience and earn additional certifications. For example, Mallory started his firefighting career as a key man – a temporary, on-call firefighter – during the Upper Peninsula’s Duck Lake Fire in 2012. Since then, he has worked fires in Georgia and Missouri as well and earned certifications to become a crew leader.

“I was a little nervous when I first got out there, I didn’t know what to expect,” Mallory said of being a crew leader. “But when you work with a team you can trust, it gives you peace of mind.”

The Department of Natural Resources is fully reimbursed for all costs associated with sending firefighters on out-of-state blazes. Learn more about DNR firefighting efforts at michigan.gov/firemanagement.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Facts and myths about germs at school

(c) Syda Productions/stock.Adobe.com

(StatePoint) Everybody seems to have an opinion about germs — what causes them, where they’re located, how to avoid them — especially when it comes to children.

Experts say that American children miss 22 million days of school annually due to colds, flu and other infections.

“Avoiding germs at schools isn’t as simple as just washing your hands in the bathroom or sneezing into your sleeve,” says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona. “Germs are on everything kids touch in the classroom, as well as around the hallways, cafeteria and playground.”

With this in mind, it is important to separate facts from myths about germs in schools.

• Fact: Desks Are Among the Most Germ-Prone Items. It’s true! Students spend most of the day at their desks — sneezes, coughs and all — and, in some schools, they often switch classrooms and share desks with others. At the end of the day, students bring home that cocktail of germs to their families.

• Myth: Any Hand Sanitizer Will Do. According to research from the University of Colorado at Boulder, people carry an average of 3,200 bacteria on their hands. While most hand sanitizers are 99.9 percent effective at killing germs, some only last for a few minutes or until the application dries on the skin. Therefore, parents should consider applying hand sanitizers for their children that last throughout the day, such as Zoono’s GermFree24, which is proven to last for 24 hours on skin and is available as both a foam and a spray.

• Fact: Germs Can Affect Kids Outside the Classroom. Germs in schools aren’t just isolated to classrooms. They are everywhere, including cafeteria trays, playground jungle gyms and sports equipment. In fact, the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found 63 percent of gym equipment is contaminated with rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. Reminding children to wash their hands before and after using these items (and wiping them down) will go a long way toward preventing sickness.

• Myth: Sticking Things in Your Mouth is Child’s Play. Sure, curiosity might drive preschoolers to stick items in their mouths that don’t belong. However, older students who nervously chew on pen caps, especially ones they borrow from classmates, or on their own fingernails during tough tests, are susceptible to picking up the germs that are traversing through school.

• Fact: Backpacks Carry More Than Just Books. Backpacks go everywhere — to classrooms, inside lockers, in the cafeteria, in locker rooms — and collect various germs throughout the day. Periodically clean backpacks inside and out. And make sure lunches and other food items, as well as gym clothes, are packed in separate bags to avoid cross-contamination of germs.

• Myth: Sharing is Always Caring. Just about every school supply — from pens and pencils to headphones to sport jerseys — can be a vehicle for harmful bacteria. Make sure children are armed with their own items, including mechanical pencils to avoid using the classroom’s pencil sharpener, and avoid sharing their supplies with classmates.

When it comes to germs, separating myths from facts can help you have a happier, healthier school year.

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments (0)

It’s time for football!

Thursday, August 24, marks the first game of the 2017 season for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, and you don’t want to miss it! They face off against Zeeland West, at Red Hawk Stadium at 7 p.m.

Last year the Red Hawks moved into the OK White conference after the OK Bronze was dissolved, and went 3-3 in conference, 4-5 overall. They will face some tough competitors in the OK White, including Lowell, Forest Hills Central, Forest Hills Northern,  and Greenville.

Their first three games are home, and the first two are non-conference games. They will face Zeeland West tonight (Thursday, August 25), Battle Creek Lakeview on Thursday, August 31, and Greenville on Friday, August 8. All games are at 7 p.m.

Come on out and cheer on your Cedar Springs Red Hawks and see the brand new turf on the playing field!

Posted in Featured, News, SportsComments (0)

Two injured in Solon crash

 

A crash involving an SUV hauling a boat and passenger car sent two people to the hospital Sunday. Photo by Bernie Hale.

According to police, a car driven by a 29-year-old Cedar Springs man was traveling north on Olin Lakes and went through the stop sign at 17 Mile Road, where he struck an eastbound SUV driven by a 67-year-old Cedar Springs man. The SUV, which was hauling a trailer with a boat, rolled and ended up against the fence of a pasture. The boat also ended up alongside the fence.

The SUV held two passengers in addition to the driver: a 30-year-old male and a 66-year-old female.

According to Solon Deputy Chief Chris Paige, two people in the SUV were transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

Names of those involved in the crash have not been released.

Assisting MSP and Solon at the scene was Algoma Fire and Rescue, Rockford Ambulance, and the Kent County Sheriff Dept.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Bank robber sentenced to 151 months in federal prison 

This was the scene after bank robber Edward Ray Lucas crashed his car into another vehicle after a bank robbery in Sand Lake on August 18, 2016.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced on Thursday, August 17, that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Lucas to 151 months in federal prison, and also ordered Lucas to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and pay a special assessment of $100.

On August 18, 2016, Edward Lucas robbed the Independent Bank of Sand Lake, Michigan. Lucas handed a manila envelope to a teller with these words on it: “This is a Robbery. 100s, 50s, 20s. No die packs.” The teller gave Lucas $5,550, and he fled in a silver Chevy Impala.

A detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle were given to dispatchers. His description was relayed to all police units in the northern part of Kent County as well as to Montcalm County dispatch. Twenty minutes later, a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs. A Kent County Sheriff deputy was able to see the driver, who also matched the description that had been broadcasted. The vehicle then ramped onto southbound US-131 as the deputy followed. Once a second deputy caught up to the first, they made a traffic stop, but the suspect then sped away, continuing south on US-131. Police said the vehicle reached speeds up to 90 mph before slowing down and exiting on Post Dr. The suspect vehicle turned onto Post Drive heading toward Belmont.

A very short time later the suspect’s vehicle appeared to cross into oncoming traffic, side swiping a Jeep Liberty before hitting a second vehicle head on. The suspect’s vehicle then left the roadway and rolled two or three times before coming to a rest.

As deputies approached the suspect’s vehicle, the engine compartment burst into flames. Deputies were able to pull the suspect from the vehicle and use an extinguisher to extinguish the fire. They also found the demand note and $5,550 in cash in the vehicle.

A Michigan State Police Sergeant, who saw the crash, said that it looked like the suspect appeared to deliberately stray across the centerline to crash into the other vehicle.

Two individuals from the vehicle that was hit head on were treated at the scene and released. One person from the Jeep Liberty was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was transported with much more severe injuries to Butterworth Hospital, where it was determined that he broke his leg, injured his neck, and suffered a severe contusion to his chest.

Judge Maloney noted that Lucas seriously risked the lives of others in fleeing from the robbery. Judge Maloney also noted Lucas had a high risk of returning to bank robbery someday, given that he had two prior bank robbery convictions in Michigan state courts. He was previously convicted of committing two bank robberies in 1999.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly investigated Lucas’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Davin M. Reust prosecuted it.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

The Post travels to Cozumel, Mexico

 

Kim Umphrey, Mike Umphrey, Karsen Dingman, Hailey Vinton, Kade Dingman, Spencer Bray, Cameron Umphrey, Jacob Hooker, Myla Umphrey and Kristi Couchie went on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. While there, they enjoyed paddle boarding, snorkeling, shopping and taking in the amazing culture Mexico has to offer.

It sounds like you had a great trip! Thanks so much 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!

Posted in Featured, News, The Post TravelsComments (0)

CBDT to seek matching grant for amphitheatre

The Community Building Development Team held a concert last weekend to celebrate the next phase of the “Heart of Cedar Springs” and to update residents on the status of the project.

Now that the library has been completed, they will be working on the amphitheatre, towards the back of the city’s property on W. Maple Street. According to the CBDT, approximately $50,000 is needed to complete the stage portion of the amphitheatre by fall. Efforts have begun to secure a matching $50,000 grant to  make residents’ dollars more valuable to this effort. Watch for more details in the Post, or you can go to their website www.cscommunitycenter.org to donate if you wish.

CBDT plans for the “Heart of Cedar Springs”

The CBDT held their Grand Gala in the spring, which raised $39,000. They said that a grand total of $2.5 million, which includes money, land, services and products, has been donated over the last three years from the community toward building the “Heart of Cedar Springs” projects.

Some of their accomplishments include:

  • Additional land was purchased by the CBDT and donated to the City, enlarging the public park area known as the “Heart of Cedar Springs” located on the north west corner of Main & Maple Streets along with other land.
  • Tests and permits were acquired from the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, and other state and local agencies.
  • A detailed long-term site plan was created for the “Heart of Cedar Springs” area.
  • Success in routing the North Country Trail (longest walking trail in the United States) through Cedar Springs with efforts nearing completion to name Cedar Springs a North Country Trail Town.
  • A state-of-the-art $ 1.8 million Cedar Springs Community Library was built and is paid in full.
  • A beautifully custom-designed metal sculpture was placed along Cedar Creek which will be surrounded by a rain garden and learning station of the plants and vegetation.
  • A new bridge linking the properties on the north and south sides of Cedar Creek was built to replicate the original Carmody Bridge from the 1800s.
  • A clock tower was built and erected which will eventually include a memorial for Veterans.
  • Preliminary designs for an amphitheatre, community building, and walking trails have been completed.

If you’d like to be  more involved, or just keep up on what is happening, you can attend one of their meetings. The CBDT meets in the new library on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. There will not be a meeting in December.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

KCHD urges caution as bat and human interactions increase in August 

This bat was captured on August 17, 2017 in Kent County.

This bat was captured on August 17, 2017 in Kent County.

In the past several days the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has started to receive reports from people who have had contact with bats indoors. While these types of encounters are not uncommon in August, any direct contact with a bat represents a potential exposure to rabies.

It is critically important to capture the bat for testing if there is reason to believe a person may have been bitten or scratched by a bat. Do not release a bat if you find it in the room of a sleeping person, an unattended child, someone who is mentally impaired or an intoxicated individual as they may have been bitten without their knowledge.

A captured bat in Kent County will be sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for testing. If the bat tests negative for rabies, then no treatment is required. However, if a bat tests positive, or if the bat is not available for testing then the exposed person should receive the post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies.

To safely capture a bat, experts recommend that you wear leather gloves to avoid being bit. Place a box or a coffee can over the bat and then slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside. Secure it with a piece of tape and contact the Kent County Health Department at 616-632-7200 during regular business hours. If you know that you have been bitten or scratched by the bat and the exposure has occurred outside of normal business hours, seek medical attention but keep the bat.

While relatively rare in the United States, human cases of rabies are almost always associated with bats.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is invariably fatal once symptoms appear.

“Bat encounters rise every year during late August and early September,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer at KCHD. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to be able to perform tests on these animals. Unless you are certain that no one has been bitten by a bat you find in your home, please do not let it go.”

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Monitoring Michigan’s migrating monarchs

A monarch butterfly spreads its wings at Peninsula Point in Delta County. Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

By Casey Warner, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

In a quiet, out-of-the-way corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, down a narrow, winding, one-lane road, lies a unique spot whose significance you might not guess from its secluded surroundings.

Peninsula Point lighthouse, at the end of the Stonington Peninsula in Delta County, offers spectacular views of Lake Michigan, a scenic place to enjoy a walk along the beach or a picnic, and excellent birdwatching, with more than 200 species of birds recorded there.

Then there’s the maritime history – the lighthouse, which was built in 1865 and once guided ships carrying iron ore and other products, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

But what Peninsula Point is most known – and visited – for is its connection to the monarch butterfly.

“Just as the Peninsula Point lighthouse guided ships on Lake Michigan, the Stonington Peninsula guides monarch butterflies as they begin their 1,900-mile migration south to their wintering grounds in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico,” reads a sign that greets visitors. “In the fall, thousands of monarchs can be seen here, waiting for favorable conditions before they cross Lake Michigan.”

While the chance to catch the majestic sight of multitudes of monarchs boosts tourism by drawing flocks of visitors to the area, the site is even more important for its contribution to monarch butterfly research and conservation.

“Peninsula Point is one of only a very few places in North America where monarchs can be viewed migrating in great numbers,” says the sign at the lighthouse, part of Hiawatha National Forest and owned by the U.S. Forest Service. “Because it is so unique, the Forest Service, together with Wildlife Unlimited of Delta County and many volunteers, have been conducting research since 1994, making it the oldest data set on the monarch in North America.”

Ivan Brown, left, and his son, Jonnie, 6, of Ripon, Wisconsin, check the undersides of milkweed leaves for monarch butterfly eggs Wednesday at Peninsula Point in Delta County. Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Run exclusively by volunteers, the Monarch Research Project at Peninsula Point includes migration census monitoring, during which volunteers also tag butterflies as part of the national Monarch Watch Program. An annual monarch migration census is conducted in only one other location in the U.S., Cape May, New Jersey.

Monarch research at Peninsula Point also includes participation in the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, coordinated by the University of Minnesota. The protocol developed at Peninsula Point, one of the project’s first sites, has been used at other locations across North America.

“The Monarch Project on the Stonington Peninsula began in 1994, when a Forest Service volunteer noticed that there were a lot of monarch butterflies passing through Peninsula Point during later August and the month of September,” said Sue Jamison, who coordinates the work of the volunteers who collect data on monarch larva and eggs at Peninsula Point for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.

“Each year we try to have volunteers check daily during those weeks to look for increased numbers of monarchs congregating at the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula.”

The project is currently without a volunteer coordinator for the fall migration census and tagging – according to Janet Ekstrum, Forest Service wildlife biologist for Hiawatha National Forest, Rapid River Ranger District – and may not have the capacity to do regularly scheduled migration monitoring this year.

In previous years, as many as 21 monarchs tagged at Peninsula Point have been recovered in El Rosario, Mexico, almost 2,000 miles from the Stonington Peninsula.

Monarchs are unique in that they are the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration, similar to birds, because they can’t survive cold winters in northern climates.

“Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when it is time to travel south for the winter,” according to the U.S. Forest Service website. “Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home.”

The eastern population of North America’s monarchs goes south to the same 11 to 12 mountain areas in Mexico from October to late March.

“Monarchs traveling south congregate on peninsulas. The shape of the peninsula funnels the migrating butterflies,” says the Forest Service website. “At its tip, the monarchs find the shortest distance across open water. They congregate along the shore to wait for a gentle breeze to help them across.”

Wind also plays a role in the volunteers’ monitoring efforts.

“We check the winds, as monarchs do not like to fly over water so they will leave with a north wind to fly over to Door County, Wisconsin,” said Jamison. “Peninsula Point is the southernmost point for monarchs in our area to fly over Lake Michigan.”

The Monarch Research Project at Peninsula Point, which depends on financial support from local organizations like Wildlife Unlimited of Delta County and the work of volunteers, collects data that is sent to various universities and has resulted in several research publications.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Janet Ekstrum at jekstrum@fs.fed.us or 906-474-6442, ext. 140.

“It’s a neat thing to do if you’re retired and all you do is golf,” said Rosie Spindler, who has volunteered to monitor larva at Peninsula Point for the past five years. She became interested in monarch conservation after a trip to visit butterfly preserves in Mexico where monarchs winter.

For those who don’t live in the central U.P., there are other opportunities for citizen scientists to get involved in studying monarchs – learn more at https://monarchjointventure.org. Michigan residents also can help inform conservation decisions in the state by reporting monarch sightings at https://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/.

The eastern population of monarch butterflies has declined by 80 percent over the last 20 years due mainly to habitat loss.

And this year’s measurement of the eastern monarch overwintering population in Mexico showed a 27 percent decrease compared to last year, likely due to an extreme winter storm.

Efforts to restore and maintain monarch habitat can help monarchs rebound and reverse the population decline.

“Because of the tremendous migration they make, monarchs need a variety of habitats,” said Dan Kennedy, endangered species coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “In the summer, they lay their eggs on milkweed because that’s the only plant their caterpillars will eat.

“Monarchs also need habitat to overwinter in, not to mention habitat where they can stop and refuel along the way. They are very active insects and require a wide variety of flowering plants to provide the food they need to survive and make their long journey.”

Grasslands, vitally important to many species, including monarchs and other pollinators, have become increasingly rare.

“Making sure pollinators have habitat that supports milkweed and other native, flowering plants is important to preserving these key species,” said Kennedy.

Through several habitat enhancement projects, the DNR – along with many partners, organizations and volunteers – is working to increase habitat for monarchs and other pollinators in Michigan.

“Because of the critical role these insects play in the ecosystem, as well as people’s lives, it is up to us to help keep these pollinator populations abundant and healthy,” Kennedy said.

For example, in southern Michigan, the DNR is working to restore and enhance grassland and pollinator habitat at the Shiawassee River State Game Area in Saginaw County and in Barry County’s Barry State Game Area.

In addition to the DNR’s efforts, many other organizations are supporting projects to improve pollinator habitat in Michigan. In June, TransCanada partnered with the Save Our Monarchs Foundation and many volunteers to plant 6,000 native wildflowers around TransCanada’s Woolfolk Gas Plant in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Currently, 4,000 acres already are being utilized as pollinator habitat. As part of their Pollinator Pathway Initiative, the organizations will continue their plan to seed an additional 7,000 acres across other TransCanada rights-of-way with native wildflowers this fall.

“Our existing assets align remarkably well with the monarch migratory route between Mexico and Canada,” said Brad Stermer, environmental specialist, operations and engineering for TransCanada. “Through our environmental partnership with Save Our Monarchs we have an opportunity to play a larger role in directly supporting pollinator health over the long term.”

Even for those who don’t have a large amount of land, there are ways to create habitat that helps pollinators. More information about creating habitat for monarchs and other pollinators is available on the Monarch Joint Venture page at https://monarchjointventure.org.

Other helpful resources include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s steps for building a pollinator garden at https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/pollinatorpages/yourhelp.html and the Michigan State University Extension’s Pollinators & Pollination page at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/pollinators_and_pollination, which also offers information on gardening for pollinators.

Find out more about what ways to help pollinators in Michigan by visiting mi.gov/wildlife and clicking on the Monarchs in Michigan box.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)