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Tag Archive | "Donna Clark"

MacGregor donates flag to library


(L to R) Carolyn Davis of Rotary, Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack, Library Director Donna Clark, Senator Peter MacGregor, and Louise King and Tony Owens, both of the Cedar Springs Library Board. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

In early July, Senator Peter MacGregor donated a State of Michigan flag to the Cedar Springs Library. On Wednesday, August 29, he donated another flag to the library—this one with the Cedar Springs Public Library’s logo on it.

When he was here previously, he had asked what the third flag pole was for, and Library Director Donna Clark explained that they’d like to get a flag with their logo on it. MacGregor said he could do it. “We had to complete the set,” he said.

“I was glad to do it,” he added. “If you need anything, all you need to do is ask,” he told Clark.

The flag was personally donated by MacGregor and his team. No taxpayer dollars went into the purchase.

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Summer reading ends with a splash


Bounce houses and water slides were a big hit at the summer reading celebration last week. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids loved the sno cones supplied by the Green family at the summer reading celebration. Photo by Donna Clark.

By Judy Reed

Last Thursday, August 2, was a great day for the celebration that ended this year’s summer reading program for the Cedar Springs Library.

Over 1300 people turned out for the event, which was held in Morley Park, from 1-3 p.m. Included in the celebration was a lot of fun stuff for kids to do—bounce houses, water slides, carnival games by the Green family, a petting zoo with Animal Junction and Double K Farms, the Kent County Sheriff mounted police, face painting, and more. 

There were long lines for sno cones supplied by the Green family, and Mayor Gerald Hall and his wife, Amy, popped 12 pounds of popcorn! Lots of great prizes were also given away at the event.

Librarian Donna Clark and her staff sure know how to put on a great party. Hope to see you all there next year!

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Saving Our History


By Lois Allen

History is unfolding every week. Here in Cedar Springs news is not covered by CNN or other national news agencies, but by a local journalist on the beat.

Thanks to Nancy Nielsen and Donna Clark along with hubby Daniel Clark, Cedar Springs history is much closer to lasting forever in print. The hard cover editions of The Post for 2016 and 2017— all 104 issues, will be bound and donated to the Cedar Springs Historical Society. These local residents will go down in history as contributors to our local heritage, it’s people and it’s growth.

A hundred years from now, our children’s, children’s, children will be able to read all about it. While electronic archives are subject to glitches and even crashes, we can be assured that the hard cover, hard copies will stand the test of time… and technology. These books are a permanent “back-up” that will never go out of style.

Currently, we are just a few dollars shy of making it happen. Our total to date is at $325. The cost of the books for the two years to be bound into hard cover is $500. Only $175 left to raise.

Take a place in history of Cedar Springs, i.e. in The Cedar Springs Post. You may send any amount to help us reach our financial goal.

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Summer reading program kicks off


By Judy Reed

The 2018 Summer Reading program at the Cedar Springs Library kicked off a weeklong summer celebration of events this past Monday.

This year’s reading program theme is “Libraries Rock” and it certainly did. According to Library Director Donna Clark, 1,550 people came through the library Monday, with 823 signups on that day alone. With 367 pre-signups, that means 1,190 people have signed up to be part of the reading program so far. 

“We had incredible crowds,” remarked Clark.

The Red Flannel Court was on hand to pass out “Happy Birthday” stickers in celebration of the Library’s first birthday, with 450 given out. Kelly’s Restaurant bought 900 ice cream cups to last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but they ran out at 3 p.m. Mayor Gerald Hall and his wife, Amy, passed out popcorn in the morning and again in the late afternoon.

Kids also could get a balloon hat; pet animals from Double K Farms; enjoy a magic show; see the Cedar Springs Fire trucks; play carnival games; take part in a rubber duck race; and more.

It’s not too late to sign up for the summer reading program. Just head over to the library, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets, or call 616-1910 for more info.

For more info on the Summer Celebration week, visit the “Cedar Springs Community Summer Celebrations” page on Facebook, or check out last week’s story and ad in our e-edition at http://www.cedarspringspost.com/pdf/ThePOST2318.pdf.

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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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Top story of 2017: Library grand opening


The new Cedar Springs Community Library was a dream that finally became reality in 2017. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

This is one of the library’s newest visitors, who seems to be enjoying reading and returning books. Courtesy photo.

A lot of things happened in Cedar Springs in 2017, but one that will be remembered and treasured for generations to come was the building and grand opening of the new Cedar Springs Community Library, located in the heart of Cedar Springs, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets.

The project, which was many years in the making, became a reality on May 13, with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony. The library, which is designed to resemble a train depot, is now a main attraction in the heart of Cedar Springs. 

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 (the former library was 2,000 square feet) allows for much greater areas for reading, special events, and small group gatherings.

The new library is beautiful, spacious, modern, and comfortable. It includes separate areas for children, teens, and adults; 12 computer stations; four stations for children’s computers; a cozy reading or meeting area with fireplace and chairs; three small group rooms for tutoring or studying; and a classroom with white board and screen. 

Another draw is the community room, which holds up to 75 people with the tables and chairs, and 100 without. A complete kitchen opens up into the community room. People can walk out of the community room to a patio, which is facing the creek. 

The Community Building Development Team partnered with the City, Solon Township, and the Library board to get the project up and running. Many local residents and businesses made generous donations or provided in-kind services, and frequent fundraisers were held to help raise the funds. In July, the $1,845,190 project was officially paid off.

“We are so excited to be able to announce that our community’s library building is now completely paid for,” said Library Director Donna Clark, in a previous Post article. “With a lot of substantial financial help and support of the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee and the wonderful members of our community, we have no mortgage, no interest, no debt!”  

Also sitting on the property is a Veteran’s Clock Tower, a bridge across Cedar Creek, a steel dragonfly sculpture, and the historic flowing well. An amphitheatre is slated to be built on the rear of the property in the near future.

If you are interested in helping the library raise funds for books and other equipment, you can purchase a brick for $50 or $100, or simply make a donation. For more information, visit http://cedarspringslibrary.org/news/bricks-and-blocks-for-new-library/ or call the library at 696-1910 for more information.

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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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Families celebrate reading program with a party


The Kent County Sheriff’s mounted unit appealed to kids of all ages. Post photo by J. Reed.

The water slide was a big hit at the summer reading program party. Post by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Community Library’s summer reading program ended with a bang last Thursday, July 27, with a big celebration in Morley Park.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, at least 642 people attended the event.

There was a lot going on to keep both kids and adults entertained. Bounce houses, water slides, games, face painting, music, popcorn, ice cream, and water were all part of the festivities. Special guests on hand included the Kent County Sheriff Mounted unit with two of their horses, and the Cedar Springs Fire Department, who kept kids cooled off.

Prizes for the end of the year raffle were also given away—45 in all. At least 389 kids in grades K-12 finished their five-ticket reading goal to be a finisher. For those first 5 tickets local businesses treated the students to pizza, ice cream, meals, and the Whitecaps and Griffins provided tickets to a game. They then got to enter that ticket into a drawing for a prize. “So it wasn’t just read for a chance to win, but they were rewarded every 2-1/2 hours of the way,” explained Clark. “Everyone had a great time!”

Clark said that 1.642 people signed up for the summer reading program, including adults, and the 25 programs they held throughout the summer brought in 1,606 people (not counting the grand finale party).

The annual summer reading program, which costs about $3,500, is funded by donations from area businesses and individuals. See the library’s thank you ad in next week’s paper.

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Cedar Springs Community Library is paid-in-full


Presenting the final check to Nugent builders is: back row, L to R: Bob Ellick, Chairperson, C.S. Library Board; Julie Wheeler, Independent Bank; Tom Mabie, community supporter; Claudia Mabie, community supporter; Duane McIntyre, Library-appointed Construction Supervisor; and Darla Falcon, City Finance Director, representing the City of Cedar Springs. In the front row, L to R: Louise King, C.S. Library Board; George Germain, Project Manger/Safety Director for Nugent Builders; and Donna Clark, Library Director.

The completion of the new Cedar Springs Community Library was a dream come true, and it came with a lot of hard work on the part of dozens of people. And now, the $1,845,190 project has been officially paid off.

“We are so excited to be able to announce that our community’s library building is now completely paid for,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “With a lot of substantial financial help and support of the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee and the wonderful members of our community, we have no mortgage, no interest, no debt!”

Credit for this amazing accomplishment goes largely to the generous donations of money and/or time by local individuals, families, business professionals and artisans, some  donations over $30,000 apiece. Leading the way was local Cedar Springs graduate and builder, Duane McIntyre, who researched, developed and drew the initial library building plan, in seven different versions, over the last four years.  He then saw it through with the help of Kurt Mabie, Sue Wolfe and others from the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee, City and Solon Township officials, several local community groups and organizations, Andrus Architecture and Nugent Builders, who subcontracted companies, many from the Cedar Springs area.

“Our fabulous, new building is drawing a lot of attention from area residents, greatly increasing the numbers of those coming in  and those checking out and ordering materials,” said Clark. There were 6,932 items checked out in June, up from the Library’s average of 2200. There were 1,048 people who attended Opening Day for the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program on June 12. Since then around 1,500 patrons of all ages from the Cedar Springs area have signed up for reading, prizes and fun.  She said there has been an average attendance of 230 – 300 people per day since the Library opened on May 8.

While the library building itself is paid off, there are still some outstanding needs. They include a an electronic, digital sign on Main Street identifying the building as the Cedar Springs Community Library.  “A conservative estimate for the sign is $14,000,” noted Clark. Other signs are also needed: a handicap parking sign (2), staff parking signs (2), do not enter (1), a sign identifying the drive-by as “one way book drop only,” all for $995. They also need additional security measures between $8,000 to $10,000; 10 round tables and 40-80 chairs; electronic tags to put in all library materials for security measures at around $7,000.

There is also a focus on selling the last of the $1,000 Retaining Wall Blocks. There are eight left of the 40 set in place on the north side of the Library. The brass plate inserts are presently being engraved by CS Tool Engineering, Inc. The last $8,000 will go to help build up the CBDT’s project budget to begin the amphitheater down by the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek. In August of this year a cement foundation will be laid for the amphitheater, with plans to hold a concert during the festivities of this year’s Red Flannel Festival to raise money to get it up as soon as funds allow. The $50 and $100 bricks are also still for sale. Stop by the Library for more information.

If you would like to give toward any of these projects, they will be pleased to hear from you.  In the meantime, CBDT groups are still meeting and are always trying to come up with ways and means to bring in funds to continue to Build the Heart of Cedar Springs, which will include a Community Building, and eventually a Recreational Center.

And if you haven’t been by to see the building yet, please stop in on Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or on Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Visit online at cedarspringslibrary.org.

“We look forward to meeting all of you, and yes, your KDL card is good at your local, community library in Cedar Spring and in seven other counties in the WestMichigan area!” said Clark.

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Summer reading takes off


By Judy Reed

“If you build it, they will come.” That iconic line from the movie “Field of Dreams”  came true for the new Cedar Springs Community Library at the kickoff of their Summer Reading program on Monday, June 12, when between 950 and 1,000 people attended the opening event.

“At the end of yesterday we had 920 people signed up for summer reading, which is 300 more sign-ups than we ever had over an entire summer, and 400 more people came in Monday than have in the past,” remarked Library Director Donna Clark.

Double K Petting Barn with Animal Junction 4H had their petting zoo set up out back, under a tree, near the creek. But the heat didn’t seem to deter people. In fact, children took the opportunity to splash in the creek, hang out on the bridge, and rest on the well. “It was so great seeing kids rediscovering the creek,” remarked Clark.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department also had an engine pulled out for the kids to explore. The ice cream cups provided by Kelly’s Restaurant were also a big hit. One of the biggest hits was the appearance of Ronald McDonald himself, who entertained kids first outside with a book and some magic tricks, then inside in the area around the fireplace. “He was so kind and so funny,” said Clark. “Kids were lined up to get their picture taken with him.”

June and July will be filled with reading and special events. The more hours a person reads (K-12) and the more books adults read, the better his/her chance is to win one of the prizes offered by 29 local businesses.

The last day to turn in reading logs is July 21. The program will end with a carnival at Morley Park on July 27, where the prizes will be given away. But kids in grades K-12 don’t have to wait until July 27 to win something—they win with every one of the five reading coupons turned in throughout the summer.

For a complete schedule of events, stop in and pick up a brochure at the library.

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