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Tag Archive | "earth day"

Celebrate Earth Day


 

 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Earth Day (22 April) focuses attention for protecting the community’s “Economic, Social, and Environmental triple bottom line” for present and future generations. Efforts have helped protect community economic sustainability, community health, and environmental integrity that allow continued productivity.

We should provide present and future generations with healthy living conditions. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is to focus on getting the family involved in nature study. People often focus on litter pick up or removal of exotic species that are disrupting native ecosystems. That is important but first help family members discover the joy and wonder of the nature world. It will also strengthen family relationships.

Many unhealthy practices past and present have focused on taking an economic product from a region and abandoning a devastated landscape for a community to struggle with for decades. This is a White Pine legacy in Michigan where little concern for community economic, social, and environmental sustainability was applied. The businesses made massive money and departed with high profits leaving people and nature in a devastated landscape where eking out a living remains difficult in regions 100 years later.

The 19th century logging era in Michigan is one example. Tycoons extracted timber more valuable than the gold rushes in California or Alaska. Profits went to a few and abandoned the workers left in the wake when the trees and river systems were depleted. It is comparable to the economic Wall Street Crisis of 2007.

Forestry practices today are planned for more sustainable use. Clear cutting areas is best for regeneration for some trees and selective harvest is better for others. Modern forest timber harvest and stand protection practices focus on protecting wildlife habitat for sustained hunting, public wildlife viewing, wildlife population health, river quality for continuous fishing use, clean water, flood control, groundwater table stabilization, and other uses. Multiple use has gained support over taking one product and abandoning without concern for community sustainable health. There is continuous pressure from individuals and businesses to extract resources for their short term gain and leaving areas impaired. The push to staying with carbon based energy production has considerable foot dragging and political pressure to prevent change to renewable energy sources. The Keystone Pipeline controversy is a good example. Fracking bedrock is another.

People recognized the importance for prioritizing protection of ecosystems for a community’s economic, social, and environmental triple bottom line in the 1950’s through 1970’s. In the 1980’s after a general appearance of superficial health, people began to forget hard won successes and began working to eliminate programs and protections laws.

We need to be aware of the many successes not recognized by members in generations under 40 and many older people that forgot. The present political effort to eliminate the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species, and Wilderness Acts undermines sustainable community economic, social, and environmental wellbeing. There is a benefit when each of the triple bottom line components is supported. Addressing only one is unhealthy for people, nature, and a sustainable community.

Elect individuals at local, state, and national levels that support our economy, community, and the environment to allow a community to continue productively for present and future generation.

What are successes and concerns?

Our national park system is 100 years old this year.

Townships set land-use criteria for protecting water quality, agriculture, community development, cluster housing codes and minimal housing plot sizes. Electing the correct Drain Commissioner is one of the most important positions on local ballots.

We have the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species, and Wilderness Acts.

We have agencies charged with implementing enforcement of those acts but because they are politically driven and controlled, science is sometimes overridden by politics. This happened with the Flint water crisis.

We do not learn from experience of our forefathers very well and repeat many mistakes.

What can one person do?

Be the most important “nobody” instead of the most important “somebody.” Change the world where you live. Your greatest influence is on those you interact with personally to build support of a critical mass for a healthy future beyond ourselves.

Think globally and act locally for landscape protection. Help the human population reach balance with Earth’s carrying capacity to maintain nature’s ability to support our population and associated resource consumption (two child family is one example).

I am so humbled by the people of north Kent county that protect nature niches on their property.

Garden with minimal pesticides and herbicides (both residential and farmlands). Farmers seem to be ahead of residential land care practices in regards to pesticide and herbicide application restraint.

We have great successes but they are continuously challenged. I was told environmental education is no longer a priority in America when the Kent ISD closed the Howard Christensen Nature Center in 2005. Fortunately, HCNC continues as a 501 c.3 non-profit and needs your membership support. Of course, I currently have a mission through Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary to strengthen community awareness of the economic, social, and environmental triple bottom line to support community sustainability. Use Earth Day to understand challenges. BUT:

Remember the best way to protect a community’s health is to first spend time outdoors with family and friends exploring and enjoying discoveries in nature. Reinforce the inborn love for the wonders of nature that can become lost with limited exposure as children age.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Community groups take over clean up


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Boy Scouts were one of the community groups in this year’s Cedar Creek Cleanup.

 

By Judy Reed

Nine community groups descended on the area May 11-16 for the annual Cedar Creek Cleanup.

According to City Manager Thad Taylor, the groups collected 74 bags of trash. “We had a very successful Earth Day thanks to Julie (Wheeler) and Carolee (Cole),” remarked Taylor.

In the past, the clean up has been on a Saturday near Earth Day. The city wasn’t able to make that happen this year due to the retirement of the former city administrative assistant. Wheeler, of Independent Bank, and Cole, of the Community Building Development Team, stepped in to help organize the event.

“I really like what we decided to do by giving it a week to get done,” noted Taylor. “Saturdays are treasured by families, and this gives people a week they can commit to. I think we will continue to do that going forward.”

He said they would also be looking at other areas in town that need to be addressed in the future.

They weren’t able to get the e-waste dumpster this year, but Taylor hopes to have it for next year.

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Cedar View Students Celebrate Earth Day


Ms. Amy Constant, Cedar View Teacher

The students of Mrs. Constant’s 4th grade class celebrating Earth Day by cleaning up the grounds of Cedar View, Beach, Trails, Red Hawk, District Office, and Morley Park!  After studying about natural resources, plant and animal life, and environmental impacts, the students chose to perform this service-learning project to make a difference in their community!   They collected 3 bags of trash!  What a great way to demonstrate your school and community pride.

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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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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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Cedar Creek cleanup April 26


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

The 7th Annual Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 26, 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, including computers and old televisions.  Computer hard drives will be wiped and/or destroyed by Comprenew.  The e-waste trailer will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (or until it is full).

The City of Cedar Springs Police Department will conduct an auction of surplus items, including 15 bicycles, beginning at 1:30 PM.

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

 

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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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Volunteers clean up city


Eco Club member with her prizes from the creek.

Part of the group that helped clean up the area.

About 50 people turned out Saturday to help clean up Cedar Creek and the surrounding area during the 4th annual Cedar Springs Earth Day celebration.

“All that reported back said that there wasn’t nearly as much trash this year as in previous years,” said City Manager Christine Burns. “I remember the first year we did this (2008), the dumpster was overflowing and we had trash stacked all around it. This year, the dumpster was about ¾ full…I’m glad we are making progress.”

Besides the cleanup, the city also did a drug take back, an e-waste collection, and held a city surplus auction.

Jeff Edwards (back) from SME, the city’s environmental firm, with Bill Burns (front) and a member of the Eco Club (left) working in the creek.

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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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