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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team"

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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$200,000 grant will help restore wetlands


 

The 50-acre conservation easement will protect lakes and emergent wetlands in the watershed from development. Nelson Lake, just off Division, and east of Sparta, is one of the lakes in the conservation easement. Photo Credit: Pete DeBoer

The 50-acre conservation easement will protect lakes and emergent wetlands in the watershed from development. Nelson Lake, just off Division, and east of Sparta, is one of the lakes in the conservation easement. Photo Credit: Pete DeBoer

Cedar Springs and Sparta to benefit

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently announced more than $4.3 million in grants to protect Michigan lakes and streams from pollution, and a group working on projects in Cedar Springs and Sparta received a portion of it.

Trout Unlimited received $239,449 to restore wetlands, and to protect a 50-acre property with a permanent conservation easement in the Rogue River watershed, as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project. The City of Cedar Springs and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team has contributed $22,000 to this project. Additional project partners include the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, SouthPeat Environmental LLC, the Rogue River Watershed Partners, and the Kent County Drain Commissioner Office.

Specific wetland activities include restoring approximately 5 acres of wetlands in the Cedar Springs and Sparta area. Two wetlands will be restored in Cedar Springs, both on City of Cedar Springs property. One is a half acre by the fire barn, where the new library will built (between the firebarn and Cedar Creek) and two acres at North Park, just east off of Main Street (between Oak Street and Cedar Springs Mobile Estates).

Two wetlands will also be restored in the Sparta area—one acre on the corner of M37 and Main St, and 1.5 acres off of Phelps, on private property.

Once restored, these sites will play a huge role in reducing sediment in Cedar and Nash Creeks and helping to stabilize water temperature by controlling stormwater runoff.  In addition, identification and prioritization of historically lost wetlands will be done and potential wetland restoration areas in the entire watershed will be quantified for future projects.

A second portion of the project is the completion of a conservation easement, permanently protecting approximately 50 acres in the watershed. The 50-acre conservation easement is located just east of Sparta, off of Division, on private property.

This property is directly adjacent to 124 acres of permanently protected land. The area just outside of the property is experiencing development pressure. The conservation easement will eliminate all development in this area, as well as provide buffer zones to the waterways and wetland areas.

These grants will help restore impaired waters and protect high-quality waters by reducing nonpoint sources of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants. Nonpoint source pollution is runoff that picks up both natural and human contaminants as it moves across the ground and eventually deposits it into waterways.

This two year project will begin in October 2016 and will be part of the current Trout Unlimited Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project. This project is a multi-year collaborative watershed restoration project. Local foundations, businesses and other donors have contributed funds towards the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project. The City of Cedar Springs and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team has contributed $22,000 to this project. Additional project partners include the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, SouthPeat Environmental LLC, the Rogue River Watershed Partners, and the Kent County Drain Commissioner Office.

A Trout Unlimited Project Manager and Project Coordinator work to improve existing river conditions through restoration actions, work with local governments to improve municipal planning, and increase capacity to help ensure advocates for long-term protection of the Rogue.

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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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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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