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Tag Archive | "Cedar Creek"

Wetland restoration construction underway 


Local high schoolers worked on the wetland’s construction project and planted over 600 native wetland plants to further enhance the wetland’s capacity to filter polluted runoff.

Trout Unlimited and local partners recently began construction of two wetland restorations in downtown Cedar Springs. Wetlands provide vital, valuable services such as filtering pollution from stormwater runoff, providing fish and wildlife habitat, and controlling floodwaters. The wetland restoration sites, though both small, are a high priority for water quality improvement due to their proximity to Cedar Creek and their location in urban downtown Cedar Springs. Cedar Creek is one of the coldest tributaries to the Rogue River and supports healthy populations of brook, brown, and rainbow trout, but is at risk due to the continued development of the watershed and wetland loss. 

SouthPeat Environmental LLC and Dean’s Excavating completed construction on the first wetland restoration near the Cedar Springs Library. Trout Unlimited’s Green Team of local high schoolers also worked on the project and planted over 600 native wetland plants to further enhance the wetland’s capacity to filter polluted runoff. The second wetland, just upstream, is due to be completed by the fall. The Department of Environmental Quality awarded Trout Unlimited over $200,000 of grant funding for this urban wetland restoration initiative in the Rogue River watershed. The City of Cedar Springs and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team has contributed $22,000 to this project.  

These wetlands will not only improve water quality of Cedar Creek and the Rogue River but also provide the Cedar Springs community many opportunities to experience nature through enjoying the birds and butterflies, observing the blooms of native flowers throughout the seasons, and hearing the songs of spring peepers and other wildlife. 

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Library celebrates one-year anniversary


The Cedar Springs Library one year after opening. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The patio off of the library community room. Post photo by J. Reed.

The new Cedar Springs Public Library just celebrated one year of being in their new building, and what a year it’s been!

The library, which is designed to resemble a train depot, is a star attraction in the heart of Cedar Springs. The new building is beautiful, spacious, modern, and comfortable. And it sits right in the forefront of a parcel containing lush green grass, a flowing well, a decorative sculpture, a foot bridge, and Cedar Creek rushing by.

The new 10,016 square-foot building was built with donated funds, products, and services from the community and local businesses. The additional 8,000 square feet has allowed for much greater areas for reading, special events, and small group gatherings.

Last summer the library was able to hold many of their summer reading programs on site, both indoors and outside, something they had a hard time doing before.

As a matter of fact, the number of people registering for library cards, and those visiting, has doubled, and in some cases tripled. From April 2016 to April 2017, the library issued 337 library cards; from April 2017 to April 2018, they issued 956! During the summer reading program months of June and July, the old library had 5,469 patrons visit in 2016, but had 15,356 in 2017!

The new library includes separate areas for children, teens, and adults; 12 computer stations that are consistently being used by kids after school, as well as teens and adults; four stations for children’s computers; a cozy reading or meeting area with fireplace and chairs; three small group rooms for tutoring or studying, which has also been constantly in use; and a classroom with white board and screen. 

Another draw has been the community room, which holds up to 75 people with the tables and chairs, and 100 without. “This has been bringing in income and is being rented a lot,” noted Library Director Donna Clark. “It’s a really great resource for area families.”

A complete kitchen opens up into the community room. People can walk out of the community room to a patio with a beautiful view of the creek and other amenities of the parcel, which will  also include an amphitheatre in the near future.

Clark said they plan to celebrate their one-year anniversary with a big party on June 11, in conjunction with the big community summer celebration and their summer reading program kickoff from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“The entire Heart of Cedar Springs will be buzzing with fun activities, games, animals (no, not the kids!), the City, the Fire Dept., the Chamber, local organizations—everyone is getting in on celebrating all that is wonderful in Cedar Springs!” said Clark. 

“I want to personally thank all of you for the part you played, and still play, in the success of our new library; and for being forward-thinking to the amphitheater and other projects. The Library is just one example of what we can do as a team. Every day that we can work and serve our community in this new, spacious building is a blessing, and it all happened in our CBDT (Community Building Development Team) meetings with Kurt Mabie’s reminders to look up and say, ‘What’s best for Cedar Springs?’  That was our guiding star…and still is.  On the ground there are things to complain about, but that’s why we look up!

 “I’ve often said that God could have given us a new Library building years ago, but now, after years of the process of working together, we have a community library! Thank you all for helping our community get to this special day! You are all invited to come to the Heart of CS on June 11 to celebrate!” 

 

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Earth Day clean up


 

Rose Powell helped clean up on Earth Day. Courtesy photo.

Denny Benham helped stack brush and limbs during Earth Day clean up. Courtesy photo.

On Saturday, April 21 from 9 am to noon, about 20 volunteers, as young as 1 year old, gathered to clean up the park area off Pine St and along Cedar Creek behind the library. Brush was cleared and put in a pile for the Cedar Springs Fired Department to burn at a later date. Logs were hauled out and cut up as well as debris put in garbage bags. It was a beautiful sunny day for community volunteers being led by the Community Building Development Team to participate in a local Earth Day cleanup. 

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Flooding across West Michigan


 

 

Cedar Creek has flooded behind the Cedar Springs Library. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek rises; roads closed due to standing water

By Judy Reed

Rain and ice melt caused swollen creeks and rivers across West Michigan to begin to overflow their banks this week, as well as cause pooling of water in low lying areas.

Cedar Creek in Cedar Springs flooded behind the fire station and library Tuesday, and the creek was full at Veteran’s Park (at Oak and Main). There was standing water north of the park and in North Park. It was also high at Fifth and Cherry Streets. Water did flow over the road for a time at the intersection of Main and Pine Street. Many roads in the outlying areas were closed due to water over the road.

The Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) is updating information on road closures regularly on its website (www.kentcountyroads.net/alert) as well as social media accounts. “KCRC crews continue to investigate standing water and flooded areas and are placing barricades and flashers where necessary. We are assessing roads and are closing/opening them as conditions warrant. Motorists are asked to slow down and heed warnings and closures,” said Steve Warren, Managing Director of the Road Commission. “Today, our crews will continue clearing catch basins, cleaning spillways, repairing washouts and patching potholes. In these conditions, heavy grading equipment would worsen conditions on gravel roads. Therefore, crews will grade gravel roads when dryer conditions allow.”

Cedar Creek at Veterans Park, at Oak and Main Street, on Feb. 20, 10 a.m. Post photo by J. Reed.

Other parts of the county are seeing a lot of standing water as well. Kent County Emergency Management said that they, along with numerous agencies, continue to monitor and respond to flooding emergencies being seen throughout the area. They noted that floodwaters are having a dramatic impact on transit and housing. The waters will likely continue to rise through Saturday, causing many additional concerns for businesses and residents.

“The Sheriff’s Office and I are working closely with the National Weather Service, State and County agencies, the City of Grand Rapids, other impacted communities, as well as American Red Cross and Salvation Army,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Our primary goal is the safety and well-being of our residents and first responders. While the levels are not expected to be as high as they were in 2013, we still need to be as diligent in our response.”

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for a multitude of counties, including Kent County until 1 p.m. Thursday. The rain stopped early Wednesday.

“Our Emergency Operations staff will continue monitor the situation throughout the week,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Water just at the bottom of the bridge over Cedar Creek at Main and Oak Street, at 10 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2018. Post photo by J. Reed.

If you have water in your home/basement, it could be contaminated with E coli. Handle items that come in contact with flood waters with care, either by disposing of wet items or when possible, cleaning wet items with a disinfectant. 

Stewart says there are a few items to keep in mind regarding flooding:

*Turn around, don’t drown. Just two feet of floodwaters can sweep away a car. If you see flood water in the road, or barricades/signs posted on roads, for your safety and that of first responders, please turn around and take a different route. 

*Do not try to walk or swim through flood waters. River and creek waters can move fast and carry debris that can be dangerous. Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock people off their feet. 

*Keep pets away from flood waters.

*Prepare in advance. If you live in an area prone to flooding, make sure personal identification items (i.e. passports and birth certificates) are protected. Back up computer files and keep them in a safe place or store them in a cloud-based service. 

*Stay tuned to alerts via TV, radio or weather apps for your phone. 

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Hard work brings beauty to library grounds


 

by Donna Clark and Sue Wolfe

The asphalt being poured on the walking trail at the Library.

Volunteers continue to work hard to complete the projects around the library and surrounding park areas, which includes the flowers around the stainless steel structure and the native grasses in the rain garden on the south. Naturalists Tom Mabie and Perry Hopkins took oversight of these two projects, gathering most of the native grasses and plants from the area around Cedar Creek, and then babying them to be sure they survived.

From the first days of May to the Grand Opening of the new Library, many good folks from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and beyond came together to put in the shrubs, trees, stones and lawn around the Library. An underground watering system on timers has been key in aiding in the growth and stability of the healthy plants and lawn. The system was provided by Dan McIntyre and his company, Splash, and then installed at no extra cost to the Library. Several free visits have been made as adjustments or replacements to sprinklers have been needed.

City Councilor Dan Clark has put in a lot of hours tending to the library grounds.

Councilman Dan Clark has spent many evenings and weekends around the Library and walking path in the surrounding park areas off Main and Pine Streets, hand-mowing the lawn,  edging, checking on the sprinklers, making sure the timers are set right, and cleaning around the new asphalt and placing sod to prevent any washouts. Clark is doing the finishing touches that take a lot of time but really pull things together for a neat and crisp appearance. Also spending many hours toward cleaning up the grounds, trimming bushes, and sweeping sidewalks has been donated by Andy Dipiazza.  The public grounds are really beautiful!

Along the new path you can now see the (36) 10”x8” brass plates inset into the retaining wall blocks. Thanks to Don Snow and his team at CS Tool Engineering, Inc., the plates and engraving are finished, and at no cost to the Library. Thanks to Dale Larson, owner of Northwest Kent Mechanical and his team, 36 plates were installed with great care and precision on September 27 and 28. 

An example of one of the many bricks available to purchase.

The 129 bricks that have sold this past year have arrived and will be installed very soon. With the help of our new DPW Director, David Ducat and his team, and any other volunteers needed, the plan is to install them at the entrance of the new Library. According to Duane McIntyre, foreman of the project, we have 410 places for bricks, depending on the sizes purchased. The sizes offered are the 4×8 for $50 or the 8×8 for $100. On the 4×8 there can be 3 lines of 21 characters, including spaces between words and for the 8×8, 6 lines. These will make wonderful holiday presents! In fact a long-time community person with lots of family and grandchildren recently said she was going to purchase 21 bricks for her family Christmas presents.  

Mayor Gerry Hall and Councilman Perry Hopkins have been assembling the 10 benches purchased through the CBDT. The nameplates will again be engraved under the direction of Don Snow. Memorial and honorary brass plates will be installed on these benches, also. McIntyre and Hopkins will oversee the installing of the benches on various cement slabs around the library and surrounding park area. 

You perhaps noticed the four six foot benches around the clock tower and the sidewalk at the east side of the Library, ready for Red Flannel visitors.  They were in constant use and a very attractive and useful addition to our festivities!

Director Donna Clark was on hand at the library on Red Flannel Day offering tours and information about the vision our community has embraced called, the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” The entire property, going even beyond the edge of Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail, will be a park-like area, developed and supported through a base constituency of over 100 volunteers and donors, the Community Building Development Team.  

The next project is building an amphitheater along where the White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek meet west of the park property.  A new fundraising campaign has begun. The City of Cedar Springs and the CBDT will work together on submitting an application for a Economic Development Grant for a $50,000 match within the next few weeks. Watch for details soon on how you can get involved. 

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Walking path paved at library


 

The walking path behind the library was paved with asphalt last week. It’s between Cedar Creek and the North side of the library. The bricks and blocks will also soon be installed on the retaining wall. If you haven’t been over to the new Cedar Springs Community Library to see how the landscaping and grounds are coming together, you should take a walk around and see what a beautiful place it is!

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Community cleans up on Earth Day


 Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

In honor of National Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, the City of Cedar Springs and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) volunteers took to cleaning up the newly acquired city property running north along Cedar Creek and intersecting with the White Pine and North Country Trails, just west of Main Street in downtown Cedar Springs. Approximately 28 community members came together to cut down brush and dead trees, haul away the lumber, clean out creek waters, and pick up debris in the area.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Perry Hopkins, City Councilor and CBDT Board Member, along with Tom Mabie, CBDT member, and other community members were careful to protect and keep flowers, bushes, plants, and trees that are environmentally important to maintaining proper creek temperatures for the trout, as well as providing an enjoyable year-round variety of natural blooming and therapeutic vegetation. The Hopkins and Mabie duo are teaming up with the Cedar Springs Garden Club and Trout Unlimited in creating natural rain gardens and learning stations along the creek beds. Other city councilors participating in the Earth Day cleanup included Rose Powell and Gerry Hall.

John Ensley, CBDT, organized the Earth Day cleanup and has secured the donated marble stone from Doreen and Dan Welch, Welch Tile and Stone, which will be eventually installed along the walking path.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

“The goal is to open up the new downtown park areas known as the Heart of Cedar Springs. We got a lot accomplished today thanks to the many dedicated volunteers. We still have some work ahead of us but it’s coming along nicely,” explained Ensley.

Julie Wheeler, CBDT Board Member, organized various other community organizations who also began their Cedar Springs Earth Day cleanup along the primary roadsides within the city limits and other sections of the White Pine Trail as part of the Earth Day efforts.  The groups have until May 1 to complete their section of the roads.

“This is another example of folks coming together for our community. We had volunteers out there on a sunny Saturday willing to do some hard physical labor,“ shared Kurt Mabie, CBDT President. “We hope to continue the cleanup this summer along with constructing a new amphitheatre, walking path, and veteran’s memorial by fall as needed funds become available.”

Garett Tunison, Ground Control Aerial LLC, did a second drone fly-over to show the area progress since his first video done prior to the construction of the library. The video will be added to the CBDT website.

The CBDT meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in their new regular meeting location of the Community Library gathering room. All are invited. More information is available on the website of CSCommunityCenter.org, the Facebook page of Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or by calling Sue Wolfe at 696-2246.

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Tuesday Talks: Trout in Cedar Creek


OUT-Tuesday-Talk-Brook-TroutThe Rogue River Watershed Partners present:

Tuesday Talks: Trout in Cedar Creek

Learn about the fascinating results of GVSU student Justin Wegner’s brook trout movement study on Cedar Creek. He will be at Cedar Springs Brewing Company on March 28, 6-7 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

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Trout Unlimited, partners receive $8 million grant for habitat restoration


Trout Unlimited and partners at the Natural Resources Conservation Service working on wetland restoration.

Trout Unlimited and partners at the Natural Resources Conservation Service working on wetland restoration.

Trout Unlimited (TU) and partners have received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The $8 million federal grant will promote conservation efforts in the Lower Grand River Watershed. In the Rogue River, as part of TU’s Home Rivers Initiative, approximately $2 million will support conservation agreements and help agricultural landowners to implement best practices to address water quality concerns.

Trout Unlimited will work with partners including the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kent Conservation District, the Rogue River Watershed Partners, local municipalities, and schools to restore wetlands, reconnect floodplains, install buffer strips, and implement other erosion control practices to reduce sedimentation in the local waterways.

“This 5-year grant is regionally important as there are partners implementing restoration practices all throughout the Lower Grand River Watershed, including in downtown Grand Rapids as part of the river revitalization project,” said a statement from Trout Unlimited. “For that project to be successful, it is necessary to protect and restore upstream communities and watersheds such as the Rogue River, as it is a significant coldwater tributary to the Grand. Trout Unlimited is pleased to be a part of such a momentous project and excited to expand their efforts in the Rogue River watershed.”

Trout Unlimited has also been working with area schools and other volunteers on projects for Cedar Creek, right here in Cedar Springs. Cedar Creek is part of the Rogue River watershed.

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Time for winter fun


n-winter-fun-passage

It’s that time of year again, when kids of all ages love to play in the snow. It might be building a snowman, having a snowball fight, making snow angels, building a fort, going sledding, or just plain eating it! In this photo, Autumn Passage, 7, and her sister Meadow, 3, are playing in their backyard with the beautiful Cedar Creek glistening in the background. The photo was submitted by their mom, Stephanie Passage.

If you have winter photos you’d like us to consider for publication, email them to news@cedarspringspost.com with “winter fun” in the subject line. We publish them as space allows, and do not guarantee publication.

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