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Tag Archive | "Cedar Creek"

Local non-profit looks to improve area


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By Judy Reed

 

There are a lot of plans in the works for the corner of Main and Maple Streets and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) hopes to be a big part of it.

In addition to the new Cedar Springs Library, on the northwest corner, and the brewery on the southwest corner, the CBDT hopes to build an ampitheatre on the city’s property (the old foundry property) to the west of where the library will be. The team was at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting last Thursday, October 9, to pitch the project.

“The Community Building Development Team is a group of people who want to make the community better,” explained CBDT trustee Tom Holloway, and Pastor at Solon Center Wesleyan Church. “We believe this fits with the prior library board’s plans in 2007 of having both a library and ampitheatre.”

Holloway asked the City Council to let the group build the ampitheatre—and they would do it for free. “All we ask is for the city to maintain it,” he said, “and pay the utilities.”

He explained that they hope to develop the whole area—on both the east and west side of the trail. They are currently buying the Johnson lumberyard property to that end. Besides the ampitheatre, they are working towards helping to restore wetlands, and install walking bridges, to give kids a place to fish. On the lumberyard property, they hope to build a community center and recreation center. Other plans include a boardwalk along Cedar Creek, rain gardens, skate park, spash pad and playground equipment, campground, and fish hatchery.

They have already been working on rain gardens along Cedar Creek with Trout Unlimited, and other groups, and recently voted to take advantage of a matching 3 to 1 grant opportunity. They voted unanimously to pledge  $20,000 towards Trout Unlimited’s Department of Environmental Quality 319 Grant Proposal, which will restore and enhance wetlands in downtown Cedar Springs and elsewhere in the Rogue River watershed, if funded. The project will look to develop future conservation projects in the Rogue River watershed, including other wetland restoration projects, buffer strip plantings, and other efforts directed at improving the health of the Rogue. According to the CBDT, the grant could be worth $300,000 to $400,000 to the community.

The group’s mission is to retain the small-town character of Cedar Springs, incorporate natural features, link neighborhoods and people, enhance characteristics that already define our community, and make it easy for families, youth, senior citizens, organizations, and all community members to gather, celebrate and serve each other.

With that in mind, they’ve adopted a railroad theme for their group, since two railroads ran through the community in its early days. They have chosen an old photo for their logo. In it you can see Lute Fullington’s carriage. His livery service transported people from the trains to hotels, businesses, and homes in our area.

The Cedar Springs City Council heard the CBDT’s presentation, but no agreement has yet been made on whether they will allow the ampitheatre to be built there. Holloway said that after the library is built, they would try to match it in design.

Members of the CBDT are Kurt Mabie, President; Tom Mabie, Vice President; Betty Truesdale, Treasurer; Carolee Cole, Secretary; and Sue Wolfe, Dale Larson, Sally Howland, Nick Andres and Tom Holloway, trustees.

The public is invited to attend their meetings the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Amish Furniture Store, 141 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs.

 

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Annual cleanup beautifies creek and trail


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A cleanup crew with bags of debris they picked up during the Cedar Creek and White Pine Trail cleanup last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Craig Owens.

The Logo for this year created by Lily Fulkerson, a student at Creative Technologies Academy. Photo courtesy of Craig Owens.

The Logo for this year created by Lily Fulkerson, a student at Creative Technologies Academy. Photo courtesy of Craig Owens.

It was a warm, sunshiny day last Saturday, April 26, for the annual Cedar Creek and White Pine Trail Clean up. The event takes place every year in Cedar Springs the Saturday after Earth Day.

About 30-40 people were split into groups and cleaned up assigned areas along Northland Drive, 17 Mile along the creek, Main Street, and other areas. Besides bags of trash being picked up, the e-waste trailer was set up behind City Hall and manned by the Cedar Springs Rotary. The police department also auctioned off bicycles.

Volunteers received a special t-shirt, with the winning logo created by Lily Fulkerson, a 7th grade student at Creative Technologies Academy. She also won the logo contest last  year.

 

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Trout Unlimited receives funds to restore Cedar Creek


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Cedar Creek will benefit this summer from restoration activities funded through a federal grant by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to Nichol DeMol, with Trout Unlimited, Cedar Creek, which is a tributary of the Rogue River running through downtown Cedar Springs and emptying into the Rogue River near 12 Mile and Friske Road, is important to the overall health of the Rogue River. This tributary is a significant source of cold groundwater to the river. This groundwater provides stable coldwater rearing for juvenile trout and summer shelter for adult trout when the Rogue River gets warm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the importance of this stream, and has awarded Trout Unlimited over $27,000 for restoration activities as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project.  This funding is provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the National Fish Habitat Partnership-Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership.

In collaboration with the City of Cedar Springs and private landowners, Trout Unlimited will plant trees and other native plants on stream banks, provide localized cattle access, fence out cattle along a portion of the creek, and construct in stream habitat structures. 

The on-the-ground restoration is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014. Volunteers will be needed to assist with this work. If you would like to volunteer or want to know more about the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org.

 

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Cedar Creek cleanup this weekend


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It’s time again for the annual Cedar Creek Cleanup/Earth Day Celebration in Cedar Springs.
The 6th Annual Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 27, from10:00 a.m. until noon. The city will give away commemorative t-shirts to the first 50 participants who register for this event. The participants will meet at the Fire Barn at W. Maple and Main on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to receive their clean-up assignments and shirts. Pizza will be available at noon for all participants.
An e-waste collection trailer, staffed by Cedar Springs Rotarians, will also be available behind City Hall, for anyone wishing to dispose of electronic waste.
Registration forms are available on the City of Cedar Springs website at http://www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Pre-registration is not mandatory to participate in the cleanup. However, it will allow them to assign clean-up locations ahead of time as well as purchase trash bags and pizza.
There is no city/police auction this year. The drug take-back bin will also not be open Saturday.
Please call 696-1330 with any questions.

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Plan now for Cedar Creek cleanup


N-Earth-Day-Cedar-Creek-cleIt’s time again for the annual Cedar Creek Cleanup/Earth Day Celebration in Cedar Springs.

The 6th Annual Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 27, from10:00 a.m. until noon. The city will give away commemorative t-shirts to the first 50 participants who register for this event. The participants will meet at the Fire Barn at W. Maple and Main on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to receive their clean-up assignments and shirts. Pizza will be available at noon for all participants.

An e-waste collection trailer, staffed by Cedar Springs Rotarians, will also be available behind City Hall, for anyone wishing to dispose of electronic waste.

Registration forms are available on the City of Cedar Springs website at http://www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Pre-registration is not mandatory to participate in the cleanup. However, it will allow them to assign clean-up locations ahead of time as well as purchase trash bags and pizza.

Please call Rich Pajak at 696-1330 or email adminasst@cityofcedarsprings.org with any questions.

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Help clean up Cedar Creek this Saturday


Grab your friends and family and make a difference this Saturday by helping to clean up Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

It’s that time of year again—time to get out and clean up Cedar Creek and the surrounding area!

The City of Cedar Springs will be holding their fifth annual Earth Day cleanup on Saturday, April 28. The day starts at 8 a.m. with E-waste collection behind Cedar Springs City Hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. This will be staffed by the Cedar Springs Rotary.

Then meet at 10 a.m. at the trail staging area on W. Maple Street (west off Main) to clean up Cedar Creek. Volunteers report to the staging area to receive their t-shirts and clean-up assignments. The first 100 registered get a free shirt. New this year is a limited number of trash picks and waders for volunteers to borrow.

There will be a city surplus auction at 1 p.m. to auction off surplus city equipment, along with a container to collect expired or unused prescription drugs (see article on page ??). No liquid or syringes accepted.

Visit the city’s website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org to download a registration form for the cleanup. Registration is not mandatory to participate, but it does help the city to pre-assign clean-up locations, and plan for the purchase of trash bags and t-shirts. Please return the form to City Hall (66 S. Main St., PO Box 310,Cedar Springs, MI  49319 Attn: Chris Burns. You may also fax the form to 616.696.0202.  Please call City Hall at 616.696.1330 X 104 with any questions.

Cedar Creek is one of our greatest assets. Our town, the second village in Kent County, was established along that creek and named for both the springs that flowed from it and the Cedar trees that bordered it. It supports wildlife and flora, and is a key component of the future plans of this city. Our city will only be as beautiful as we make it.

 

 

 

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City to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up creek


 

This shows how trash can mar the beauty of Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

It’s that time of year again—time to get out and clean up Cedar Creek and the surrounding area!

The City of Cedar Springs will be holding their fifth annual Earth Day cleanup on Saturday, April 28. The day starts at 8 a.m. with E-waste collection behind Cedar Springs city hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. This will be staffed by the Cedar Springs Rotary.

Then meet at 10 a.m. at the trail staging area on W. Maple Street (west off Main) to clean up Cedar Creek. Volunteers report to the staging area to receive their t-shirts and clean-up assignments. The first 100 registered get a free shirt. New this year is a limited number of trash picks and waders for volunteers to borrow.

There will be a city surplus auction at 1 p.m. Visit the city’s website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org for a list of items, and to download a registration form for the cleanup. Registration is not mandatory to participate, but it does help the city to pre-assign clean-up locations, and plan for the purchase of trash bags and t-shirts.

Cedar Creek is one of our greatest assets. Our town, the second village in Kent County, was established along that creek and named for both the springs that flowed from it and the Cedar trees that bordered it. It supports wildlife and flora, and is a key component of the future plans of this city. Our city will only be as beautiful as we make it.

 

 

 

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Car rolls into Cedar Creek


This rolled backward into Cedar Creek Monday afternoon. Post photo by J. Reed.

Police say a driver was not at fault when her car rolled across the street and into a creek Monday.

Police were called about 3:45 p.m. Monday on a report of a car in Cedar Creek at Veterans Park, in Cedar Springs.

According to Officer Chad Potts, a car rolled backwards out of a driveway, across Oak Street, through Veterans Park, and into Cedar Creek.

Police said the driver engaged the emergency brake after pulling into the driveway and going into the house, but it may have had a malfunction. No one was in the car when it rolled, and no one was at the park, so no one was injured. The car rolled between a tree and a light pole in the park before coming to rest in the creek. The car sustained some damage to the driver side when it scraped against the pole, and the park grounds sustained some damage when the car was pulled out of the creek by the towing company. The dirt in the park was replaced.

Officer Potts said that once they reset the fuel gauge, the car started right back up.

The driver was not cited.

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Volunteers clean up Cedar Creek


By Judy Reed


One group of volunteers ready to go to work on Cedar Creek.

Volunteers spread out over the area Tuesday to clean up debris from Cedar Creek.

The clean up was made possible due to a grant from the Great Lakes Commission to the city of Cedar Springs. The grant enabled the city to purchase waders, picks, and trash bags to perform the annual cleanup, which was mandated to take place in August.

Volunteers arrived at the White Pine Trail staging area at the end of W. Maple Street, and were divided into six groups. Each group was responsible for a certain area of the creek. They cleaned from the end of E. Oak Street and west along the creek to 17 Mile Road.

Those cleaning found all sorts of debris, including fast food cups and waste, glass and plastic bottles, Styrofoam, a large piece of varnished wood and more.

The cleanup fits in with an effort by Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, who recently began work on a project along Cedar Creek to improve the stream bank and flow of the water through the City of Cedar Springs to restore trout habitat.

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Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative


Thanks to Josh Zuiderveen from Streamworks, LLC, the City of Cedar Springs received a grant to restore trout habitat in Cedar Creek. Josh is working with City DPW workers to rebuild the banks and create habitat in Veteran’s Memorial Park and also between Main Street and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail.

By Tom Noreen and Judy Reed

Many a Cedar Springs resident remembers fishing along the banks of Cedar Creek for brook trout, and telling stories of the one that got away. Thanks to a grant the city received to restore trout habitat by rebuilding the bank along Cedar Creek, those memories (and stories) will stay alive for years to come. And it’s all part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative.

In an effort to protect the watershed, Nichol DeMol, Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, is working with local governments to review master plans and ordinances. She is also partnering with the local Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited organization, Rogue River Watershed Council, the West Michigan Land Conservancy, and other groups.

“Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited recently began work on a project along Cedar Creek, which will improve the stream bank and flow of the water through the City of Cedar Springs,” explained De Mol.

She and other volunteers have been gathering data to assess which areas need restoration and reconnection since last fall. They are collecting temperature data, looking at turbidity (clarity), and insect populations. Sampling aquatic insect larva provides a good look at the quality of the water, as some are very sensitive to thermal stress. She is also checking every bridge and culvert of tributary streams within the watershed to ensure fish can navigate through them.

Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative, which began in October 2010, is one of twelve such projects in the US and the only one in Michigan. DeMol said they chose the Rogue because of its location just north of Michigan’s second largest metropolitan area and because it is a coldwater watershed supporting trout populations throughout its drainage. She said, “This project will work over the next several years to address the impacts of urbanization on the river. The emphasis of the work will be to focus on restoration actions, working with local governments, and educating citizens.”
Even though the headwaters of the Rogue River lie in what was Rice Lake, which is now the muck fields east of Grant, 77 percent of the Rogue River watershed lies in Kent County. Its tributaries include Cedar Creek, Little Cedar Creek, White Creek, and Duke Creek in the northern park of the county. It drains a total of 262 square miles.

The Rogue River is home to steelhead, rainbow, and browns below the dam in Rockford. Above the dam you can find brown and rainbow. In the coldwater tributaries such as Cedar Creek you can find brook trout.

Trout need cold water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and prefer water closer to 60 degrees F. From De Mol’s data, during the summer months the Rogue’s temperature rises to the high 60’s while tributaries, like Cedar Creek, stay cooler. Cedar Creek’s average temperature is slightly less than 60 degrees F in the summer months. The warmest section of Cedar Creek is the portion that flows through the City of Cedar Springs. This is why unrestricted access from the Rogue to the tributaries is critical; fish must be able to move into the cold water as the river warms up.

Key factors that degrade the quality of the water are thermal stress and sediment. While 50 percent of the watershed drains agricultural land, the major sources of stress are from urban areas. As farmland has been converted to subdivisions and shopping areas, water has less chance to soak into the ground. This runoff carries with it both sediments and nutrients from lawn fertilizers and enters the streams at a higher temperature. When rain and snow melt are able to soak into the ground, sediments and pollutants are removed and the temperature is lowered. Retention and detention ponds that collect runoff also help reduce this problem, as do rain gardens for homes. Farmers help by leaving buffer strips around fields that act as a filter and slow down the runoff so it can soak into the ground.

Community outreach is one of De Mol’s projects for sustaining the watershed. She said that since these projects were started, all have been successful for both the community and the river. She is willing to speak to community groups, service clubs, and schools.

She also coordinated a Rogue River Cleanup on a three-mile section below the Rockford dam this spring and is hoping to collaborate with other communities, like Cedar Springs, when they conduct their annual Earth Day cleanup of Cedar Creek. Cedar Springs also recently received a grant for waders and trash picks to clean up the area.

DeMol is looking for volunteers to help with the monitoring. Training is minimal. If you live on or near the Rogue or one of its tributaries and are interested in collecting data at a specific location contact her at the email or phone number listed below. The next large monitoring effort will take place on October 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The link up location will be at the Algoma Township Hall.

For more information or on how to volunteer please contact Nichol DeMol via telephone at 231-557-6362, email at ndemol@tu.org.

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