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Tag Archive | "Cedar Creek"

CTA students found what’s bugging us in Cedar Creek


Nichol DeMull, of Trout Unlimited, instructs a CTA student on how to search for insects in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

Nichol DeMull, of Trout Unlimited, instructs a CTA student on how to search for insects in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Stream monitoring done by Creative Technologies students this week show that Cedar Creek has excellent water quality, according to Nichol DeMull, of Trout Unlimited.

CTA biology and conservation students and teachers Jim Fredenberg and Trisha Rose teamed up with Trout Unlimited this week to do stream monitoring in Cedar Creek, at Riggle Park. According to DeMull, Fredenberg contacted her about possibly participating in the activity, since the school is nearby. DeMull and Jamie Vaughn did a presentation to the students on Monday, April 18, and the students donned waders and gloves Tuesday, April 19, to collect bugs from Cedar Creek and identify them. Some students waded through the Creek to scoop up the bugs, other students helped empty the nets, and others sorted through them. They identified and counted them, and recorded what they saw on a data sheet put together by the Michigan Clean Water Corps.

Students identify and count bugs found in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

Students identify and count bugs found in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

According to DeMull, bugs are the evidence of stream quality. “The students found a large diversity of insects in Cedar Creek. In the cleanest rivers, lakes, and ponds you’ll find the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates,” she explained. “In polluted waters, only a few species of stream insects can survive. Some of the insects they found included caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies. These insects are sensitive to pollution and can only survive in clean water.”

She said the students identified the kinds of insects, whether they were rare or common in the stream, and used a formula to come up with the Stream Quality Score.

CTA students teamed up in several groups to monitor bugs in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

CTA students teamed up in several groups to monitor bugs in Cedar Creek. Photo by J. Reed.

DeMull said that we can assume that the excellent stream quality extends to a certain degree in both directions from Riggle Park. “We have another monitoring location at the mouth of Cedar Creek that we have been monitoring for about 5 years now. It also has an excellent stream quality score based on the stream insects found there,” she said.

DeMull explained that there are other things outside of the water that can also affect stream quality. “Cedar Creek has the cold groundwater and stream habitats to support a diversity of insects, but the land use around the stream has a lot to do with the kinds of insects you will find at a site. As an example, if we sample in a location where all of the trees are cut down and there is no shade (warming up the water) or if there is a lot of erosion on the banks (covering up the gravel with sand) the stream quality score might be lower.”

She said that they will continue to work with Creative Technologies Academy to work on Cedar Creek. “Something that Trout Unlimited is certainly interested in is having community members become stewards of their home waters,” said DeMull.

Trout Unlimited is still looking for volunteers to help with another stream monitoring event coming up on Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St. in Rockford. Volunteers will be assigned to a monitoring group with a team leader.  Each group will collect and identify insects from different stream sites in the Rogue River and Bear Creek watersheds. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

What will you need?  Please RSVP to Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org if you would like to attend.  Lunch will be provided for all volunteers. Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions.

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CBDT cleans up land along Cedar Creek


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N-CBDT-cleanup2Throughout the week of April 11 through 16, you might have noticed that things were changing on the north side of Cedar Creek at Main Street. Undergrowth and dead trees were removed, opening up the view of Cedar Creek. Earlier this year there was an old gray house standing on the site (157 N. Main) that was torn down, paving the way for the beautification of the area.

Over the past few years, the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) has come together to promote the City of Cedar Springs and to help implement items in the Master plan that have been around for many years. With members in the community, the City Council, and assistance from HRC, the “Heart of the City” is beating strong again. Items such as the new Library, and Amphitheater are in stages of design and “soon to be” construction, with other projects being prepared, such as a pathway, boardwalk, and pedestrian bridges along Cedar Creek (to be called the “Fishing Line”); a Veterans Clock Tower; a community center; and a recreational center.

These exciting projects led to the effort put forth by the many volunteers to clean-up the properties where these new projects are planned to be constructed. On Saturday, April 16, women from the Aquinas College women’s hockey team, several employees of Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. (HRC), as well as many members of the Cedar Springs Community, joined forces to drag the brush, logs, and trash into piles that will be disposed of, leaving a lovely area for residents of the Cedar Springs community to enjoy.

John Ensley, with HRC, the engineering firm that the CBDT has hired to accomplish the engineering needs of the amphitheater, as well as the site plans for the entire area, was the chairperson for the cleanup effort. John shared, “Like most people involved with the CBDT, I grew up in this community. When the opportunity came about to help improve the area, I decided it was time to give some more back. Once you are involved, and able to see all that is happening, the atmosphere becomes intoxicating and you just want to do more. There are some great things happening in Cedar Springs, and the best part is that it doesn’t come from just one person. The community is making the decisions on what they want and how to build their own community.”

Clearing was also completed on land recently purchased from the Sommers that runs along Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail through to Pine Street. This land will provide a walking trail/boardwalk along Cedar Creek between Main St. and the White Pine Trail.  The planned boardwalk and pathway will eventually continue from North Park where it will tie into 17 Mile Road, linking the north end of the historic downtown area with the 131 corridor businesses.

More information about the progress on the CBDT projects can be found at www.cscommunitycenter.org or on the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cedar-Springs-Community-Building-Development-Team-353617661444365/

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Empty house catches fire, later torn down


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The house at 157 N. Main, just north of Cedar Creek (on the west side of the street) was the site of fire on January 13. Post photo by J. Reed.

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

By Judy Reed

A house that was scheduled to be demolished was the site of a structure fire on Wednesday, January 13.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in about 8:28 p.m. on a structure fire at 157 N. Main, which is just north of Cedar Creek. When they arrived, flames were seen on the second story. Fraser said they cut in around the chimney on the south side to go in and stop the fire, which burned through the wall and floor.

The building, which was purchased by the Community Building Development Team in October, was scheduled to be torn down, and all utilities had been turned off.

 A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

“We can rule out natural gas or electric as being a cause,” remarked Fraser.

Both Fraser and CBDT president Kurt Mabie said that there was evidence that people had been in the building over the last couple of weeks. “We secured it but they still got back in,” said Mabie.

A K9 searched the premises but found no traces of accelerant, and the Fire Marshal deemed the fire suspicious but undetermined. If you have any information about the recent fire, they are now offering up to a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of anyone on arson-related charges. You can call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6015 or Arson Control at 1-800-44-ARSON (27766).

The house was torn down on Tuesday, January 19. Mabie said they weren’t originally looking to purchase the house, but when it was offered, he thought it would be a good deal for the people of the community. The property is just north of Cedar Creek, and runs back to the White Pine Trail, to other property the team purchased on Pine Street. Mabie said they have no immediate plans for the property, but it will enhance the beauty and park-like atmosphere they are creating along Cedar Creek, which will eventually have a boardwalk and bridge, along with a new library just south of the Creek, an ampitheatre west of the library, and a Community building on the old Johnson Lumber property across the White Pine Trail.

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CBDT purchases 157 N. Main


The home at 157 N. Main belonged to Christine Stone. She sold it to the Community Building Development Team to support their beautification plan for that area of the city.

The home at 157 N. Main belonged to Christine Stone. She sold it to the Community Building Development Team to support their beautification plan for that area of the city.

The Community Building Development Team (CBDT) recently purchased another piece of property that they hope will beautify what some are calling the “heart of Cedar Springs.”
The property, at 157 N. Main Street, borders the north side of Cedar Creek at Main St. It is just north of where the new library will be built (at Main and Maple Streets). The house that has sat there for many years will be razed by local excavator, Rob Rowland of Rowland Excavating, in the next few months.

According to the CBDT, the property was purchased when the owner, Christine Stone, reached out to the CBDT Board and offered the property for less than its value, in an effort to support the further development and beautification of Cedar Springs. They said that making this property part of the adjoining land that will soon house the Library, Amphitheater, Rain Gardens, Boardwalk and Community Building will add to the visibility and beauty of Cedar Creek to visitors and locals, and expand the parks area available for relaxing and enjoying our beautiful city.

This is the latest in a series of initiatives by the CBDT to retain the small-town character of Cedar Springs, incorporate natural features and enhance characteristics that already define our community. They are assisting in the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial and family/community events.

The CBDT is a non-profit 501c3 organization comprised of community volunteers. “The group is seeking all members of the community to ‘Jump on Board’ and help to shape the future,” said Kurt Mabie, CBDT President. “The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room of Hilltop School at 6 pm. All are welcome!”

More information can be found at www.cscommunitycenter.org or like Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team on Facebook.

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Tagged brook trout released in Cedar Creek


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N-Trout-tagging2Brook trout released into Cedar Creek last week will help researchers understand more about the fish and their relationship with our cold water creek.

This summer, the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative in Michigan partnered up with a professor and his graduate students from Grand Valley State University to study brook trout movement in the watershed. Dr. Mark Luttenton, Biology Graduate Program Coordinator, and his students, Justin Wegner and Graeme Zaparzynski, set out to evaluate the response of brook trout to a range of water temperature regimes, specifically summer water temperatures that surpass the temperature for maximum growth (13° C) and upper thermal preference (16° C). They also sought to understand the extent to which brook trout moderate internal body temperatures behaviorally by seeking coldwater refuge and how it relates to diet and fish bioenergetics.

To do so, they implanted 10 brook trout with a temperature sensitive radio transmitter. The transmitter will allow them to track their movements using telemetry and communicate core body temperatures throughout the summer. Every other day, the researchers will locate each fish and collect water temperature data to inform their findings.

Trout Unlimited suggested Cedar Creek in Cedar Springs for the study and facilitated a partnership with the local chapter Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team, whom helped fund the project. On June 23rd, the research team along with excited community members gathered at Cedar Creek near 15 Mile to watch the surgical implantation of the radio transmitter and subsequent release of the tagged brook trout.

The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative will use this data to prioritize restoration efforts in the watershed to focus on key trout habitat in the coldwater creek, particularly where groundwater inputs have been identified by the GVSU students

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City looking for volunteers for spring clean up


 

By Judy Reed

The annual Cedar Creek cleanup is returning this year but in a different format.

The cleanup, which normally takes place on a Saturday near Earth Day, was put on the back burner earlier this year, due to the vacancy of the administrative assistant position, according to City Manager Thad Taylor. Rich Pajak, the former admin assistant, used to handle the clean up, but he is now retired.

The Post, not wanting to see the project fall by the wayside, contacted the Community Building Development Team, to see if it was something they would consider. Carolee Cole, of the CBDT, spoke with Julie Wheeler, of Independent Bank, and the two of them met with City Manager Thad Taylor on Monday to work out some details.

“We are going to do this and very willing to partner with these organizations,” said Taylor. “The City just couldn’t do it on its own.”

Taylor said that they are looking for community organizations or groups, and individuals that would be responsible for cleaning up certain areas of town. “We have identified approximately nine areas we can put people in,” explained Taylor. “And if we need to, we can find more.”

And since Saturdays didn’t seem to work out well, this year’s cleanup will cover a period of five days—May 11-15.  “This gives more flexibility to the group to get it done,” explained Taylor.

He said the city would have some equipment, including garbage bags, a limited number of brightly colored shoulder bags, grippers, and safety vests for volunteers.

Taylor is also checking to see if they can get an e-waste trailer, as they have done in the past.

Any groups or individuals who would like to volunteer should contact Taylor at 696-1330, extension 104.

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Cedar Creek selected for trout study


Cedar Creek, shown here with high water in 2013, has been chosen for a trout study. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek, shown here with high water in 2013, has been chosen for a trout study. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek, one of Cedar Springs’ greatest natural resources, will benefit from a $60,000 research project.

A new partnership between National Trout Unlimited, Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team (CBDT), South Peat Environmental, and researchers and students from Grand Valley State (GVSU) has been formed to better understand and improve Cedar Creek as a cold water resource. This $60,000 research project is being funded by the above organizations. Dr. Mark Luttendon, Professor and Biology Graduate Program Coordinator at GVSU and Joshua Zuiderveen, Owner of South Peat Environmental recently outlined their project at the CBDT meeting and gained the organization’s support.

Mark Luttendon, of GVSU (left), and Josh Zuideveen, of South Peat Environmental (right) outlined their trout project to the Community Building Development Team.

Mark Luttendon, of GVSU (left), and Josh Zuideveen, of South Peat Environmental (right) outlined their trout project to the Community Building Development Team.

The partnership will combine forces to evaluate current conditions in Cedar Creek, and using that information, implement projects that will enhance the resource. The general plan is to let the fish show us where they prefer to be, then members of the partnership will try to figure out why. To do this, a group of Grand Valley State graduate students will surgically implant small radio transmitters into ten brook trout. The transmitters allow the students to locate a fish to within 1 square yard of its exact location. The transmitters will also be equipped with a tiny temperature sensor, allowing the team to determine the internal body temperature of a fish at any given moment. The hope is that the fish will show the research team where water temperatures are the best for brook trout.

From this information, managers can develop plans to build habitat within the stream that will enhance conditions for trout living in Cedar Creek. Knowing where the best water conditions are within Cedar Creek will also help managers to protect those areas in the future. The project will happen in conjunction with Schrems Trout Unlimited’s Kent County Brook Trout Project, a grant and municipally funded endeavor that improves conditions for trout, including brook trout, in several Kent County streams including Cedar Creek.

The project is slated to begin in May 2015 and run approximately five months. The general public is invited to participate and observe the transmitter implantation process. More details will be released later this spring.

“This is another wonderful partnership that has been created in support of the CBDT’s vision of enhancing the community’s natural resources,” said Kurt Mabie, President of CBDT.

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CBDT begins cleanup on new property


Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

The Community Building Development Team, a local non-profit looking to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs, began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land.

The clean up along the White Pine Trail and storage area that previously belonged to Tony Johnson, located at the west end of Maple Street, began on a cold and windy January 10, when a bunch of supermen from the area got to work. Nick Andres, Kurt Mabie, and Dave Ringler, from the Community Building Development Team, pulled the event together. The West Michigan Hawks, a semi-pro football team in the Minor League Football Alliance league and based in Cedar Springs, brought 10 of their finest guys to help out. Several other men from the community came along for a total of nearly 20 guys wielding chain saws and basic brawn to cut down trees and brush.

Everyone got started at 9:00 a.m. and had made a huge dent by 11:30 a.m. Dave Ringler and Rose Powell opened the Brewery and former Red Flannel Festival offices for a warm place to eat and Little Caesar’s Pizza of Cedar Springs donated enough pizza to feed everyone.  Dave provided beer (of course!) and Rose provided hot chocolate. There was also pop and coffee for all the workers.

CS Manufacturing recently purchased the property from the Tony Johnson Estate and plans to donate a portion to the CBDT. Permission from the appropriate organizations had been granted to the CBDT for a clean-up prior to Saturday’s work.

There will be lots of other opportunities to work together as a community to plant rain gardens and stream buffers, clear land, clean up Cedar Creek and much more. You, too, can join the team of volunteers working under the name of Community Building Development Team and help to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs. The team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the board room on the 3rd floor of Hilltop School at 6 pm. Facebook fans can also “Like” the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or check out the website at CSCommunityCenter.org to get information as it becomes available.

 

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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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