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Tag Archive | "Howard Christensen Nature Center"

Nature Center fundraiser


 

By Tom Noreen

The Howard Christensen Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that runs operates on donations and fees for events. It is staffed mainly by volunteers and at times has difficulty making ends meet to cover the more than $3,500 monthly required to keep the doors and gates open. Trails, driveways, docks and boardwalks require maintenance, and an often overlooked expense is the insurance they must carry to even let the public on the property. Even for those who “only walk the trails,” without funding, closure of HCNC would also mean closure of the gates and property as a whole.

Now is one of those times donations are needed. Student board member Carlin Bolt has set up a fundraising site on Patronicity to offer folks a chance to help keep the center operating. You can donate by going to patronicity.com, then type “Howard Christensen Nature Center” in the search box in the upper right corner. When it pops up, click on it and it goes to the project details. But hurry, there are only 8 days left. At press time Wednesday evening, they had raised $615 of $15,000 requested. You can also donate by sending your donation directly to PO Box 42, Kent City, MI 49330. You can call 616-675-3158 for more information.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Free Outdoor Family Concert

Aug. 19: The Community Building Development Team is hosting a Free Outdoor Family Concert on Saturday, August 19th from 3 to 7 pm. It will be held in the “Heart of Cedar Springs” (park near the new Library). Two bands will be performing: Barn Cats and Whiskey Bound. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy! #31-33p

Open Mic at the CS Library

Aug. 19: You are invited to join local and regional writers in a night of reading original prose and poetry from 6 pm to 8 pm at the new Library in Cedar Springs, 107 N. Main Street. Readers will be initially scheduled for 5 minutes, but may be allowed more time depending on turnout. For more information on reading, email event master of ceremonies Ken at kdn13@hotmail.com. You may reach the Library at 616-901-7173. Feel free just to come to listen. Families welcome! #33

Dinner at the Legion

Aug. 21: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday, August 21st, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, veggies, salad, roll, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #33p

Annual Second Best Sale

Aug. 25,26: Holy Spirit Episcopal Church’s Annual Second Best Sale is Friday, August 25 from 9 am – 4 pm and Saturday, August 26 from 9 am – 2 pm. There is a $5 “Early Bird Admission” charge on Friday only from 8-9 am; after 9 am admission is free! The sale is sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) in support of parish activities. We have something for everyone, and everything is priced to move! Holy Spirit Episcopal Church is located at 1200 Post Drive NE, Belmont (corner of Post & Pine Island, 1/4 mile west of Exit 95 on US 131). #33,34b

HCNC Benefit Auction

Aug. 27: Come join us at Howard Christensen Nature Center on August 27th for our Benefit Auction! Not only are we auctioning off items we no longer have use for, but we will have food, drinks, and other items for sale! Browsing will start at 1:30 pm, with the auction kicking off at 3 pm. Don’t miss out! If you have any questions or gently used items to donate to the auction, please let us know before the date of the event. 16160 Red Pine Drive, Kent City, 616-675-3158. #33

Improv Night at the Kent

Aug. 30: Fans of Improv need look no further than the Kent Theatre as the Cedar Springs Community Players hold Improv Night at 7 pm on Wednesday, August 30th on the stage of the Kent Theatre in downtown Cedar Springs. The Players held its first Improv Night in February and are excited to offer another night of comedy on August 30th. Tickets are available at the door for $5.00. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there! #33,34b

CSUMC August Rummage Sale

Aug. 30,31: Cedar Springs United Methodist Women will holding our annual rummage sale in the fellowship hall of United Methodist Church at the corner of Main and Church Streets. Wednesday, August 30th, 9 am to 7 pm & Thursday, August 31st, 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a $3.00/bag sale all day Thursday on clothing and linens. #33,34b

Wine and Water Colors

Sept. 9: Meet our resident artist Tracey, as she takes you through the steps of creating your own masterpiece! Joined by Kare our Sommelier, you are sure to have an enjoyable evening, full of laughter. Saturday, September 9th from 6 to 9 pm. $35 per person, $20 for members. This is an adult only event. Location to be determined. Pre-registration requested www.howardchristensen.org, 616-675-3158. #33

Red Flannel Day Talent Show Tryouts

Sept. 13,20,28: Looking for talented kids of all ages. The Red Flannel Talent Show is searching for singers, vocal groups, dancers, instrumentalists and variety acts for the Red Flannel Day Talent Show on October 7th. Come in and show us what you got. Tryouts on Wednesday, September 13th and 20th, Thursday September 28th at 7:00 pm at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. Cedar Springs. Dress rehearsal will be Thursday, October 5th. So, get together with friends and family and plan your act now. If you have any questions, or can’t make it on tryout day, please contact Len by email, len@laphoto.com or 231-750-2337. #33,34p

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We’re still here: what’s happening at Howard Christensen Nature Center


You will see all kinds of wildlife and plant life at Howard Christensen Nature Center. Courtesy photo.

By Kim Gillow

While riding on our float in several parades, I overheard members of the crowd saying, “I thought they closed.” “I remember going there as a kid.” “My sister got married there.” Well, we are still here. Kids still come with their schools and people still get married here. The Cedar Springs Post has been kind enough to list our events in “Hometown Happenings” but that is just part of our story. We are in the midst of a massive renovation and upgrade. Our biggest project is the building of dioramas inside the Interpretive Center to mimic the various ecosystems on the land. We are also planning to restore the planetarium and create an interactive, hands-on area in the former library space. This is all being done through volunteer time, money and energy. As a nonprofit, with no outside funding, we are totally dependent on revenue from our events and donations. We rent the property from KISD but we are responsible for the upkeep and repairs.

Howard Christensen Nature holds many types of events for all ages. Courtesy photo.

Our mission remains the same: To inspire appreciation and respect for the natural world, to increase awareness of environmental concerns and encourage individual’s to maintain earth’s ecology through scientific and educational activities. We have had to institute an admission fee to help with expenses. It is $3 per person for anyone 16 or older. This has led to some disgruntled comments but we do have to keep the lights on. And we want to be able to keep the cost of school trips and other events at a level that isn’t prohibitive.

We are busy staining our tables and benches at the center and are setting up a picnic area near the playground. Volunteers are repairing the boardwalks that have been damaged by weather and vandals. We have a new shed to house our snowshoes and cross country skis, courtesy of  Daniel Mills’ Eagle Scout Project. Fairy doors are appearing along the trails. We dream of paddle boats on the pond and a challenge course.  Plans are in the works for our fall events: Red Pine 5k Run, Fairy Festival, scarecrow and gourd craft day, pumpkin carving and spooky walk, haunted house, pie making, and  wreath making/make and take to name a few. For more information, call (616) 675-3158 or register on our web site: www.howardchristensen.org.

Planning an event? Rent Camp Lily’s, a private retreat center on the north end of the property. There is a large building with meeting space, full kitchen and rest rooms plus a pavilion and camping areas with picnic tables and fire pits. It is the perfect place for a family reunion, graduation party, wedding or corporate retreat. We continue to improve the venue and hope to have an indoor shower by next spring.

Next big thing! We are cleaning out the barn and other nooks and crannies. Mark and Ann Petersen are offering their services for a benefit auction on Sunday, August 27, starting at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to come any time after 1:30 p.m. to get your bid number and preview our wide variety of items that are ready for a new home. And it is a variety: electric clothes dryer, display cases, waders, filing cabinets, fencing, etc. Watch for a complete list on our web site and sale bills around town when we get closer. There will also be raffles of a child’s quilt and baskets of goodies, a bake sale, and hot dogs, popcorn and drinks for sale.

How can you help? Come and see us, become a member, attend an event, volunteer for an individual project or join us to help with an event, rent Camp Lily’s, make a tax deductible donation, wave at us in a parade, let people know—we’re still here!

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Shifting Sands


A sand dune at Silver Lake swallowed up a house in April. Photo from woodtv.com.

 

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Reading the landscape is a development skill taught in middle school Earth science. It is taught to preschoolers by parents. Young minds are open to learning.

The local news reported advancing sand dunes are burying homes. An Earth science lessen is easily forgotten without experiential learning. The dangers of building or buying a home too close to the big lake can be seen during family or school outings. It is a gamble to determine exactly which homes will get buried.

A trip to Lake Michigan’s shoreline dune complex for a swim will be a fun outing where one can see trees buried by moving sand at Hoffmaster State Park or in other parks. Some of the trees have adaptations allowing them to produce adventitious roots from tree trunks as their original roots get buried too deep to survive. The new roots give the tree continued life under tough circumstances.

At some future date, the sand dunes will shift and uncover tree trunks, exposing the roots developed from the growing trunk that was previously high in the air before being buried. If fortunate, the tree will have lived and died before sand is blown away to expose its skeleton.

One might refer to sand dunes as a living, moving, entity, but by reading the landscape, we discover they are not. Moving dunes bring life or death to species by the lake and will crush buildings. Contractors build and sell homes close to the shoreline. They arrive, construct and leave with a profit. The buyer that did not learn to read the landscape might lose their home to the crushing weight of sand depending on where the home was built.

The news showed a cottage that collapsed under the weight of moving sand. People were interviewed about nature’s destroying power. Owners are hiring bulldozer operators to move sand to save homes and resorts. The reporters hoped the home owners would win the fight against nature’s forces.

A fight is not necessary. If the people refused to buy homes close to shore or on shifting dunes, their homes would not be endangered. Many want the shoreline view and are willing to gamble their home’s future. The result is their home might be buried or washed into the lake. A Go-fund-me account has been established to help save homes because people cannot afford to hire contactors to keep moving sand.

Learning the school lessen might have resulted in choosing to live in a safer location. In the 1980’s I observed homes falling into Lake Michigan when high lake levels undercut foundations. I witnessed multi-million dollar homes fall into the Pacific Ocean as erosion undercut cliffs. The homes were too large to move and should not have been built close to the ocean.

Homes are built on barrier Islands along the Atlantic Ocean even though barrier islands are known to move and wash away. Classroom education is valuable but field trip experience is essential for learning to read the landscape. Book learning requires supplemental practical experiences to learn to read the landscape. That is the purpose of places like the Howard Christensen Nature Center and for parents to take families to natural areas.

I began as director at HCNC in 1986 when an Environmental Education Advocacy Council and School administrator agreement required some Kent ISD teachers to bring students to HCNC. I was told HCNC was securely funded by property taxes. As time passed, and shifting sands of education politics changed. I was told environmental education was no longer a priority in America after the early 2000’s presidential election. The Kent ISD stopped funding HCNC. An impact of that decision might result in students losing their homes to nature’s forces when they are grown. We are in a phase of political temperament again when many want to focus only on the present without considering the triple bottom line of economic, social, and environmental impacts for the future. Economic health cannot be sustained without social and environmental sustainability. Security in our personal nature niche depends on the shifting sands of politics and how well people learn to read the landscape to protect their wellbeing and investments.

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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Rogue River butterfly count 


By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

The weather was great with sunny skies and little wind. Eight participants enjoyed butterflies, learned identification and associations with nature niche habitats. Thirty species sighted on count day are listed in Table 1 with the number of individuals and participants. We began at the Howard Christensen Nature Center for our 30th count year at 9 a.m. Counting began at HCNC’s Welcome Center. The group car-pooled to various Rogue River State Game Area locations within the count circle.

We visited the highest elevation in Kent County at Fisk Knob where we anticipated “hill topping” Black Swallowtails but none were present. We know what species to expect based on normal flight dates but some species are not present because we either missed them or their flight schedule is different from our count date in a given year.

During the day, butterfly behavior is observed and described to help make the count a wonderful experience. Larval host plants are inspected for caterpillars or eggs. One Viceroy larva was found on aspen this year. The eight participants spent most time looking for adults and counting individuals.

The total number of species observed has varied over the 30 years from 18 to 43. Weather effects butterfly activity. Sunny days with little or no wind in the 70’s and 80’s is ideal. Adults often emerge from pupae following a soaking rain. I was surprised that a few species we normally find were not present. The flowering plants and apparently some butterflies seem to have delayed emergence this year. We had a cool spring but I expected the warm days in June would allow species to get back on schedule. Activity is closely linked with blooming of nectar sources.

Consider joining the 2018 counts next July. Watch the Nature Niche column for next year’s dates for the Allegan, Muskegon, and Rogue River State Game Area Counts as well as the Newaygo Count in the Manistee National Forest. Books and Internet web sites help learning but it is best experienced by exploring the real world. Time outdoors is enjoyable, healthy, and provides family time that creates wonderful memories. People can join for part of the day.

Other count results will be posted on the West Michigan Butterfly Association (WMBA) Web Site by August. Consider becoming a member of WMBA for $5/yr. A check can be sent to our treasurer Dennis Dunlap, 2599 W. Chester Dr., Zeeland, MI 49464 and his address is also posted on the web site (http://www.graud.org/wmba.html). The date for the Muskegon count is 22 July 2017 so there is still opportunity to participate. Visit the WMBA web site for location directions.

Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary is the last place we visit after diligently searching all day. I am always hopeful we will be able to find at least one species we have not discovered elsewhere during the day. This year we added the Appalachian Brown. During count week, which is the three days before and after count day, we saw two Harvesters, 1 Mourning Cloak, and 1 Hobomok Skipper at Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary. Those species and numbers of individuals are not included in the count day list. They are listed as an addendum to the report and turned in to the North American Butterfly Association.

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.

 

click link to download results: 2017 Rogue River Butterfly Ct.pdf

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Green tip mystery


 

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Mysteries in nature niches are always present to please and challenge us. An article in one of the papers where my column appears suggested a mystery “Ranger Steve” might try to solve. Fortunately, I had already worked on it about 30 years ago.

A recent article from the Howard Christensen Nature Center posed a question about the green mystery in the Red Pine Alley forest where the ground is covered with green bough tips that accumulate during the winter. I have not contacted HCNC to clarify the location yet but I think they meant to describe the green on the floor of the “enchanted forest.”

During the 20 years I was director at HCNC, I noticed branch tips from Norway Spruce accumulated all winter on the forest floor. The spruce forest next to Red Pine Alley is known as the “Enchanted Forest” and that is where the green on the forest floor increases all winter. Perhaps something similar occurs in Red Pine Alley.

The enchanted forest has canopy openings that allow sunbeams to light carpets of moss. The scattered carpets appear as electrified green glowing ground cover. Enchanting carpet glow provides its own mysterious experience for all that walk the forest on Nature’s Habitats Trail. I think the trail has been rerouted to circumvent the enchanted forest since I left but we can still peer into the forest.

Walk into the enchanted forest repeatedly from fall to spring to notice the growing number of branch tips on the ground. Trees self-prune branches that do not produce more food energy than they consume. Lower branches that do not receive adequate sunlight to produce abundant sugar are sealed off by the tree and die. Trees spend energy producing new growth on sun-exposed branches, where needles can produce more sugar than they consume. For some mysterious reason those sun-exposed branches are the ones shed in winter.

Branches from the tree trunk produce tip buds that increase their length. Lateral buds grow side branches from trunk branches. Buds formed in the summer have embryonic tissue ready to expand branch length and width when spring arrives. Waiting all winter encased by protective bud scales, the highly nutritious bud tissue is ready for spring’s burst of growth.

It took me a few years to discover why the forest floor was covered with spruce branch tips. At first the mystery made no sense for trees to shed branch tips exposed to sun. It would not benefit the tree to lose new growth buds that provide the best sunlight exposure. Self-pruning occurs at the base of branches closest to the trunk where sunlight is more limited.

Why were branch tips being shed? During summer, red squirrels find choice insects, bird eggs and other food to sustain themselves. When winter arrives, food is not abundant. Red squirrels hungry for winter nutrition eat the buds along the sides of branches. In the process, they sever branch tips that fall. All winter branch tips increasingly accumulate and cover the understory. They cannot produce roots or grow new trees. The tips decay and add nutrients to the soil.

The squirrel pruning process is like us cutting branch tips that make the trees and shrubs grow more compact and thick with branches. We do this on ornamental plants and Christmas trees to provide aesthetic appeal. Squirrels do for their own nutritional benefit and not to shape tree growth.

Discover and solve mysteries awaiting your outdoor experiences.

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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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Library Spring Book Sale

Apr. 20-22: The Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL branch will hold their Spring Book Sale on Thursday, April 20th from 10 am to 7 pm, Friday, April 21st from 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday, April 22nd from 10 am to 2 pm. The sale will be held in the Library Community Room. The library is located at 88 Eighth St. in Sand Lake. 616-784-2007. #15,16p

Mom2Mom Sale

Apr. 22: Come shop our huge selection of children’s items and mommy must haves! Stop by our bake sale for some yummy sweets, win a gift basket at the raffle table or even grab a bite to eat for lunch. This Saturday, April 22nd from 9 am to 2 pm at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 S. Third St. in Sand Lake. For questions or concerns please contact Nicole at 616-263-9662. #16

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Apr. 23: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, April 23rd at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music will be shared by Ben Crofoot and the Crofoot family. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #16p

The Gathering Invites You

Apr. 23: Are you 18-29? Are you looking for a place to belong? The Gathering welcomes you and invites you to join us Sunday, April 23rd at 5:45 for a time of fun, fellowship, and worship. Come hear a positive message and make a difference in the community. We are located at Midtown, 130 N. Luray St., Greenville, MI 48838. Feel free to bring a friend and check us out on Facebook. #16

Free Family Event

Apr. 28: En Gedi and the YMCA are co-sponsoring a FREE Family Event at the Belmont YMCA on Friday, April 28th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The facility will be open to all families at no charge. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. This opportunity is being provided with the En Gedi Mission of “building families”. More details on the En Gedi Facebook page or for any questions you can contact Pastor Craig at CraigTOwens1@gmail.com. #16

Youth Theatre Workshop

Apr. 29: The Cedar Spring Community Players will be putting on a theatre workshop for youth ages 8-18 on Saturday, April 29th. Sign up information and more details on www.cedarspringscommunityplayers.org. #16

Volunteer Day at HCNC

Apr. 29: Volunteers are what makes Howard Christensen Nature Center happen. We always have a lot more work to be done than manpower to do it. Come on out and give us a hand anytime by calling the office. HCNC’s annual Spring work day, Saturday, April 29th all day, is a great opportunity to help us plant flowers, clean up trails from winter and get ready for another great summer of events. There will be a book and plant sale on that day. HCNC is located at 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. 616-675-3158. #16

Carnival Bingo

May 6: Come join the fun, and help the North Kent Senior Citizens Association raise money to help pay for their furnace on Saturday, May 6th from 10 am to 3 pm. We will have a baked goods sale going on, and chances to win gift baskets as well. So come check out the Senior Center, 44 N. Park St., Cedar Springs, and have a great time playing bingo! Only 25¢ for 3 bingo cards per game to play. #16

Hunter Safety Class at HCNC

May 9: Howard Chirstensen Nature Center will hold Hunter Safety Class starting on Tuesday, May 9th from 5-8 pm, Thursday, May 11th from 5-8 pm and Saturday, May 13th from 9-1 pm. Join Deputy Scott Cook and Director Dave all three days for our Spring Hunters Safety Class. After completion of this course you will leave with your certificate from the Michigan DNR affirming your knowledge of safety afield. $5 per person or Free for members. HCNC, 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, requests preregistration, www.HowardChristensen.org. 616-675-3158. #16


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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Bunco at Rockford Masonic Lodge

Apr. 7: Join us for Bunco on the first Friday of each month (April 7, May 5, etc.) 6 pm at the Rockford Masonic Lodge, 1430 Northland Dr. (across from Bell Furniture). $5 donation requested to play – bring a friend the first time free! Bring a snack to share at break time if you wish. Join us for lots of fun, fellowship, prizes and a 50/50 raffle each night. Sponsored by the Rockford Order of the Eastern Star. Everyone welcome! Questions? Call: Dixie 616-437-7445. #14

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Apr. 9: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, April 9th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message and music will be shared by Gilbert Morris and his guitar from Greenville, Michigan. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #14p

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

Apr. 15: The Cedar Springs Lions Club’s Pancake Breakfast will be held this Saturday, April 15th from 7 – 11 am at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, on the corner of Main and Church. Adults $8 and Family $25. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, juice, coffee. All you can eat. The last planned date is April 16th. Proceeds to assist sight conservation. #14

Easter Egg-Stravaganza @ Solon Center

Apr. 15: An Easter Egg-Stravaganza, a celebration for children will be held on Saturday, April 15th at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church. There’ll be hot dogs, candy, and an Easter Egg Hunt with 4,000 candy filled Easter Eggs! On display will be a Solon Township fire truck, Michigan State & Kent County Sheriff police cruisers and some hot rods. Registration begins at 11 am, and egg hunts will take place for all children 10 years and under beginning at Noon. Two bikes donated by Meijer will be given as grand prizes!! For more information go to: www.scwchurch.org or call the church office at 696-3229. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road. All families welcome! #14,15p

Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch at HCNC

Apr. 15: The 7th Annual Easter Hunt with Pancake Brunch for Howard Christensen Nature Center will be held on Saturday, April 15th from noon to 2 pm. Brunch is served from noon to 2 pm and the Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly for all ages at 2 pm. Brunch is $5 per person or $15 per family of 4 or more and includes the Easter Egg Hunt. Easter Egg Hunting only is $1 per egg hunter. HCNC members: $3 pancakes, free Egg hunting. 16160 Red Pine Drive, Kent City, 616-675-3158, registration online at www.HowardChristensen.org. #14

Mystery Dinner Theater @ Solon Center

Apr. 21: Solon Center Wesleyan and the Cedar Springs Community Players will present “ Awesome 80’s Prom” Mystery Dinner Theater on Friday, April 21st. Doors open at 6 pm. Tickets: $15 single or $25 couples. For tickets call 616-263-9573. Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. Cedar Springs. #14,15p

Spring Rummage Sale

Apr. 26, 27: The Cedar Springs United Methodist Church Women is hosting their Spring Rummage Sale in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, April 26th from 9 am to 7 pm and Thursday, April 27th from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a bag sale on Thursday. The church is located on the corner of Main and Church Streets. Proceeds go toward their mission projects. #14,15p

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Mar. 12: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, March 12th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message and music will be shared by the group, Gospel Jamboree. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #10p

Michigan Reads: Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Mar. 15,16: Celebrate the 2017 Michigan Reads book, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, with crafts and activities. For ages 6 and younger. Wednesday, March 15th at 10 am and Thursday, March 16th at 6:30 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #10

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

Mar. 18: The Cedar Springs Lions Club’s Pancake Breakfast will be held this Saturday, March 18th from 7 – 11 am at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, on the corner of Main and Church. Adults $8 and Family $25. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, juice, coffee. All you can eat. The last planned date is April 16th. Proceeds to assist sight conservation. #10

Register Now For Free Hunter Education

Mar. 21: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes  at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tuesday, March 21st, from 6-9 pm,  Thursday, March 23rd  from 6-9pm,  Saturday, March 25th, from 8 am-4 pm. Class size limited to 50 students. #9,10p

MCC hosts its annual Chicago trip

Mar. 25: Montcalm Community College offers a March 25th bus trip to Chicago. Registration for MCC students is $24.20, which includes a $2.20 service fee, and it is $45.30 for non-students, which includes a $3.30 service fee. The ticket covers the cost of transportation, and participants must pay for their food and for their entry fees to attractions. Participants have time to visit one or two attractions during the trip. Available attractions include the Adler Planetarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science & Industry and Shedd Aquarium. The bus leaves MCC’s Sidney campus at 6:45 a.m., picks up passengers at the Greenville Wal-Mart parking lot at 7:15 a.m. and returns to MCC at 10:30 p.m. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-trip-tickets-28891469162. The deadline to register is March 23rd at noon. Children ages 12 to 17 may attend with an adult. Children younger than 12 are not permitted to attend. For more information, email karen.maxfield@montcalm.edu or call (989) 328-2111, Ext. 334. #10

HCNC Spring Break Camp

Apr.3-7: We’re looking forward to another week of Spring Break Camp at Howard Christensen Nature Center! Each day will have a new theme while we cover team building, archery, animals from water and land, and a whole lot of fun games! April 3rd – 7th from 10 am to 2 pm. Pack a lunch (except for Friday’s Pizza Party), dress for the weather and don’t miss out! $40 per student, Members $30. Register online at www.HowardChristensen.org today! The center is located at 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. 616-675-3158. #10

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Spaghetti Dinner Benefit

Mar. 4: A Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for the Hammer family will be held on Saturday, March 4th at the Cedar Springs American Legion, 91 First St., Cedar Springs from 4 to 8 pm. Adults $7, Kids $5, 4 and under $2. The Hammer family lost their home and possessions to fire. Dinner includes Spaghetti, bread stick, salad & dessert. 50/30/20 raffle, gift card box, and live auction at 7 pm. Please come out and help support this family. Everyone is welcome!. #9p

Dinner at the Legion

Mar. 6: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday, March 6th , from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #9p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Mar. 7,14,21,28: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #9

Mixing Magic at KDL

Mar. 8,9: Mixing Magic! A World of Color, Optics and Light. Explore how we see our world by mixing color and playing with light. Discover magical illusions and other natural phenomena such as rainbows! For ages 6 and younger. Wednesday, March 8th at 10 am and Thursday, March 9th at 6:30 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #9

Let’s Get Growing at HCNC

Mar. 10: Let’s Get Growing – indoor seed starting will be held at Howard Christensen Nature Center on Friday, March 10th from 6 to 7:30 pm. A donation of $8 per person (members $4) includes pots, soil and seeds! Join seasoned gardeners in learning how to begin your garden early indoors. A great way to save money by avoiding costly plants at the nursery each spring, and a wonderful way to dictate an earlier harvest. Make your garden the envy of the neighborhood while feeding your family. Beans, peppers, tomatoes, pickles, squash and more. HCNC is located at 16160 Red Pine Drive., Kent City. Sign up online at www.HowardChristensen.org today! #9

Rotary Life Leadership Conference and Scholarships

Mar. 17: The Cedar Springs Rotary Club is now accepting interest forms to attend a leadership conference for high school sophomores and juniors in Tustin, Michigan June 14th thru 17th. The conference fee is covered by the Cedar Springs Rotary Club. Students learn about leadership styles and identify strengths and weaknesses of those styles. Small group discussions include an understanding of various political, cultural, ethnic, gender, and religious groups. Two $1,000 scholarships will then be awarded based on Interviews, Applications, Presentations and Essays submitted by the students chosen for the conference. Interest Forms are available in the Cedar Springs High School Academic office, CTA Counselor’s office, Independent Bank or White Creek Lumber with a response deadline of Friday, March 17th @ 5:00 pm. #9

Register Now For Free Hunter Education

Mar. 21: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes  at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tuesday, March 21st, from 6-9 pm,  Thursday, March 23rd  from 6-9pm,  Saturday, March 25th, from 8 am-4 pm. Class size limited to 50 students. #9,10p

Youth Theatre Workshop

Mar. 25, Apr. 29: The Cedar Springs Community Players will be putting on two theatre workshops for youth ages 8-18 on March 25th and April 29th. Sign up information and more details on www.cedarspringscommunityplayers.org. #9

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