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Tag Archive | "Cedar Creek"

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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The Chores


The Armstrong family home was located on Algoma Avenue, just north of 14 Mile Road. Cedar Creek flows through the farm. Photo courtesy of the Algoma Township Historical Society.

By Eloise Armstrong Covey
Courtesy of the Algoma Historical Society

Eloise Armstrong Covey died in June at the age of 90. She was a longtime resident of Algoma Township and often shared her memories and stories of her childhood with The Post. We are reprinting a story here that ran in the Algoma Township Historical Society newsletter.

When I was a little girl we lived on a 120-acre farm that my parents, Milton and Minnie Armstrong, owned on what is now Algoma Avenue and 14 Mile Road. Helping with the chores was a required thing with all farm kids, and after we came home from school, we changed from our school clothes to our work clothes, as there was plenty of work to be done. We usually had about eight or ten head of milking cows plus calves, horses, pigs and chickens.

The cows were pastured in the woods, about an eighth mile from the barn and where Cedar Creek ran through it. We would have to go down the stump fence-lined lane, find the cows and drive them up the lane to the barn. Sometimes they were ornery and ran across the creek and we would have to wade across and drive them back. I learned to milk cows when I was very young. The calves nursed from their mothers for a while and then they had to be taught to drink from a pail. We would put some warm milk in the pail and dip our fingers in the milk and then put our fingers in the calves’ mouth and then we slowly lowered our hand into the pail until they learned to drink from the pail.

In the winter, the fence lane would fill with snowdrifts between the stumps but we still had to drive the cows to the creek for water until the lane filled completely with snow and the creek froze. Then we had to pump water by the hand pump and carry it to the barn for the animals to drink after the path to the barn was shoveled. Chickens and pigs also had to be cared for and wood chopped and carried in for the kitchen stove and the living room stove.

In the evening, we studied by kerosene lamps and went to bed by 9:00 p.m. Chores had to be done in the morning before we changed to school clothes for another day at school.

We did not have electricity for many years. My parents got electricity when I was about 18 years old.

How well I remember the cold, snowy, shoveled path to the “out house” and the Sears & Roebuck Catalog for toilet paper.

Food had to be carried to the basement in summer to keep it as cool as possible. Vegetables and fruits were kept there for winter use.

I’m glad I experienced those years. We were happy and pretty healthy. God bless us. I’m glad for the “good old days” but more for the conveniences of today!

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Community cleanup gets wash down


The weather was not kind to the 30 people who showed up to for the annual Cedar Creek clean-up in Cedar Springs, Saturday, April 16.
According to City Manager Christine Burns, all the groups that signed up showed up, except one that said they would do some picking up at a later date. It was the least amount of volunteers they have had for the cleanup, but it didn’t dampen her spirits.
“Even in the rain we put a pretty good dent in it,” said Burns, who explained that they had an hour of cleanup before the rain started at 11:15 a.m. “It really stung,” she said.
She noted they had a good showing for the E-waste, with a container that was half full.
Burns noted that all costs associated with the event were defrayed through sponsorships, except the cost of the trash bags. Choice One Bank covered the cost of the t-shirts for volunteers and Independent Bank covered the pizza party afterward.  @Home Computers sponsored the E-waste portion of the cleanup. “We couldn’t do this without all of them,” she said.
Whether this event will return next year is up in the air due to possible budget cuts.

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Cedar Creek cleanup this weekend


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 fourth annual Earth Day cleanup this Saturday, April 16. 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.
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!
After the cleanup, there will be a pizza party at noon the American Legion for the clean up crews, with awards for winners of the logo and photography contests.
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.
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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Earth Day cleanup 2011


Last year’s cleanup included tree plantings at Veteran’s Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Do you have any old junk computers and monitors lying around?  Would you like to see Cedar Creek clean again? Want a good deal on surplus goods?  What do all of these have in common? They are all part of Cedar Springs’ 4th annual Earth Day 2011 celebration!

The city will hold their Earth Day celebration on April 16, starting 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.

Residents will 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. You don’t have to pre-register to work, but the first 100 registered get a free shirt!

After the cleanup, there will be a pizza party at noon the American Legion for the clean up crews, with awards for winners of the logo and photography contests.

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.

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