Posted on 20 January 2011.
By Judy Reed
Kids and adults in the greater Cedar Springs area have fond memories of field trips to Howard Christensen Nature Center—walking the nature trails, identifying trees, leaves, and birds, seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. But yesterday, January 19, was the last field trip for kids at Howard Christensen Nature Center. At least for now.
In a move that no one seemed to know was coming, the board of the Kent Conservation District voted last week to cease programming at the nature center on Red Pine Drive due to a funding shortage.
The Kent Conservation District took over funding operations at the nature center in 2006 after the Kent Intermediate School District closed it in 2005 due to budget cuts. “Administrative and financial support was provided to the community because Kent Conservation District believes in the mission of Howard Christensen Nature Center to help people connect with nature through hands on, site-based experiences,” said KCD administrator Conning Redding. (We) have worked steadily to increase the nature center’s independence since 2006.” She went on to say that the programming at the center has not provided the funding necessary for sustained operation, and that because of limited resources, the board had to withdraw from involvement with the center.
Ranger Steve Mueller leads a group at a nature center outing.
According to Director Kathy Reed, the 2011 proposed budget is $45,000. Besides Reed, who is a part-time director, the center was staffed by eight part-time interpretive instructors, and one volunteer interpretive instructor. She added that several volunteers put in over 1,000 hours last year helping maintain the center. “They are very important to the facility as well,” she said.
Reed said that over 2,500 students visited the center last year, and 864 people attended their programs—up 227 people from the year before.
She noted that although the facility is closed, the public can still access the nature trails at the south entrance.
“It’s been a real rollercoaster,” remarked Reed. “What makes me so sad, is all the people affected. I’ve heard kids are praying in Sunday School for it to reopen, and I’ve had a lot of phone calls of support from the community.”
Reed doesn’t consider the closing to be permanent. She said she is currently in talks with another agency that could be promising, but the discussion is just beginning.
She asked that those that want to donate to help keep the center open should monitor the situation, and as soon as she has news she will alert the public. “It’s then that we will need support,” she said.
In the meantime, if you want to leave a message of encouragement or say that you will donate, you can do it on their facebook group page. We will have a link to their group on our facebook page.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 20 January 2011.
Ryan Dines shoots a short jumper while Andrew Klompstra and Alec Hanmer go for the rebound.
The Cedar Springs boys varsity basketball team hosted Forest Hills Northern last Friday in an OK Blue showdown. Last year the teams faced off twice, with each team winning at home by 3 points.
The huskies got out to a quick 5-0 lead before the Red Hawks could get off a shot. Ryan Dines got things going for Cedar with a pull-up jumper to make it 5-2. An Alec Hanmer 3 pointer brought the Red Hawks to within two midway through the first quarter, but that was as close as Cedar would get. Tyler Covell drove down the baseline and made a lay up in traffic to finish the first quarter scoring for the Red Hawks and the Huskies led 17-7.
Hanmer began the second quarter with a jumper followed by an Andrew Klompstra free throw. Then Kyle Chaney drove the lane for a lay up. Later, Chaney entered the ball to Derek Ash who made a spin move from the post for two. Point guard Jason Gingrich got on the board late in the second quarter with a 3-pointer to make the halftime score 28-17 in favor of the Huskies.
In the third quarter, Gingrich stole the ball, was fouled and made his two free throws. Then a Klompstra lay up cut the Husky lead to 28-21 with 6:40 left in the third. Then the Red Hawks went scoreless for the next 7:48. During that time Cedar missed 8 straight shots from the floor and was 0-3 from the free throw line. The score was 36-21 Huskies when Hanmer hit a 3-pointer with 6:52 left in the game to end the scoring drought.
Trey Reed hit a short jumper to make the score to make the score 39-26 with 6 minutes left. Then the big Friday night crowd was thrilled when junior Justin Hanes canned a three pointer from the wing to score his first ever varsity points. Then after a Klompstra field goal, Hanes hit another three to cut the Husky lead to 11 points. After a Husky bucket, Gingrich scored the final points of the game with a pull up fade away jumper in the lane to make the final score Forest Hills Northern 47, Cedar Springs 36.
Hanmer led the Red Hawks with 8 points to go with 2 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Gingrich had 7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Hanes ended with 6 points. Klompstra had 5 points and 7 rebounds. Ryan Dines had a nice all around game with 2 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and zero turnovers. Kyle Chaney had 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Trey Reed and Derek Ash both had 2 points and 2 rebounds, and Tyler Covell finished with 2 points.
The Red Hawks have this week off. Their next game is Tuesday, January 25 at home against the two-time defending league champion Comstock Park Panthers. The freshmen game is at 4 p.m., followed by the JV at 5:30, and the Varsity at 7 p.m.
Posted in Sports
Posted on 06 January 2011.
Red Hawks finish second in holiday tournament
Middleville defeats Cedar Springs in 49-48 thriller
Red Hawk Jason Gingrich came on strong, scoring 19 points against Middleville, including a 3-pointer for the final play of the game.
After defeating Kent City in the opening game of the second annual Cedar Springs Holiday Tournament, the Red Hawks had only hours to prepare for the championship game the very next day. The challenge for Cedar Springs was to try to slow down 6-foot-8-inch Ferris State bound center Jared Stolicker. In a 9 a.m. practice on game day, the Red Hawks worked to do just that.
Stolicker entered the game averaging 26.5 points and 15 rebounds per game this season. “Middleville is a solid basketball team with the best player we have faced so far (Stolicker),” said Cedar Springs head coach Andy Secor. “Coming into the game he had consecutive games of 38 points and 28 points.” The aggressive Red Hawk defense dug in their heels and held Stolicker to only 12 points and 5 rebounds.
Cedar Springs began the game with four points each from Jason Gingrich and Derek Ash, then an Alec Hanmer three-pointer gave the Red Hawks an 11-10 lead after one quarter. In the 2nd quarter, Gingrich hit a three, then Derek Ash took over. Ash scored eight consecutive points with the towering Stolicker guarding him, outplaying the Ferris recruit. Cedar led 22-19 at the half.
Jason Gingrich hits the running 3 pointer on the final play of the game.
A Tyler Baker jumper started off the second half for the Red Hawks. Then Tyler Covell canned two 3-pointers followed by field goals by Gingrich and Trey Reed. Cedar led 34-33 after three quarters. The Red Hawks opened the fourth with a Gingrich triple, followed by 2 Alec Hanmer lay-ups, but Middleville took the lead with 2:07 left.
Trailing by 2 with one minute left, Cedar failed to score and after a Middleville rebound, were forced to foul. Middleville converted all 6 of their free throws in the last minute. Two pull up jumpers by Gingrich kept Cedar within striking distance, but Red Hawks could not gain any ground as the Trojans made all their free throws. Gingrich converted a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Middleville winning margin to 49-48.
“We needed to make a few more plays offensively down the stretch to secure the win,” said coach Secor. “In a game like that, all it takes is one less turnover, a made free throw, one more block out, a better play call from the bench, all of those things could’ve made the difference in that game and we were just one play away,” he said.
Alec Hanmer goes up for 2 of his 7 points.
Gingrich led Cedar Springs with 19 points and 6 assists. Derek Ash had 12 points and 8 rebounds, outshining the Middleville star. Alec Hanmer scored 7 points and had 6 assists in his best game of the year. Covell scored 6 points, Reed and Baker had 2 each.
Despite the loss, Coach Secor found some positives. “The championship game was just a great high school game to be a part of. I thought we played one of our best games of the year,” he said. “I thought the kids executed our defensive game plan very well. Our defense is holding teams to 38 points per game, and that is something we are taking great pride in and trying to carry it over into OK Blue play.”
The Red Hawks continue with OK Blue Conference play when the travel to Coopersvile Friday to take on the Broncos. Game time is 6 p.m.
Posted in Featured, Sports