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Tag Archive | "solon township"

Solon working on community park


 

Volunteers and members of Solon Township’s Park Planning Committee are continuing work on plans to develop a community park on 19 acres on the west side of Algoma Avenue where the Township Hall is located. They have named it Velzy Park, to commemorate what the area was first called.

The park, when all five phases are completed, will feature walking trails, restrooms, picnic facilities, a playground, designated sports fields, a farmer’s market pavilion, and a native prairie restoration area. The North Country National Scenic Trail plans to connect to the walking trail and make Velzy Park a rest stop for hikers. Their trail will also join with the White Pine Trail in Cedar Springs.

The committee used grant funds and a professional design company to develop a Park Master Plan, 5-year Rec Plan, and Park Concept drawings.  Although an application for the DNR Michigan Trust Fund to help with construction of the walking path and restroom facility was not approved, the committee remains hopeful other grant applications will be looked upon more favorably. Volunteer hours and matching funds are an important part of successful grant applications so commitment from the community remains a very strong asset in constructing the park.

Over $42,000 has already been raised toward the project through donations from individuals, area businesses, and a series of fundraisers.

Memorial benches and landscape rocks, which will be engraved and spaced around the walking path, will be available for order soon.

The next opportunity for the community to show their support is the 2nd Annual Valentine Spaghetti Dinner planned for Feb. 11, 2017, at 6 p.m. and featuring a dessert auction, 50/50 raffle, and song requests for pianist Courtney King. Updates for 2017 construction plans will be shared with the community at the event. The committee looks forward to receiving input on the proposed plans.

All gifts are tax deductible.  Checks can be sent to Solon Township/Velzy Park Project. For additional information, visit www.solontwp.org.

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Year in Review: City to soon have new library


The groundbreaking of the new Cedar Springs Library took place Saturday, July 9 at the corner of Main Street and W. Maple. Photo by J. Reed.

The groundbreaking of the new Cedar Springs Library took place Saturday, July 9 at the corner of Main Street and W. Maple. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

It’s been an exciting year for those helping to bring a new library to the Cedar Springs area. The CS Library board, Community  Building Development Team, the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, Friends of the Library, and community members have all worked together the last few years to get the project off the ground, and they finally realized their dream on January 9 with a celebratory groundbreaking at the corner of Main and Maple Streets.

“I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the 1800s to this present day by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers – enthusiastic people of vision and hope,” remarked Librarian Donna Clark.

“Our goal is to make the Library a central hub, providing an open environment to enhance access to the world of knowledge through mentoring, networking and collaboration, and to provide quality resources for personal growth and lifelong learning,” she added.

After the speeches, several people from area boards moved dirt with the golden shovels provided by Nugent Builders, the builder on the project. The project is expected to be done late spring.

A unique metal sculpture, made by artist Steve Anderson, of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture, was installed on the property behind where the new library is being built. The sculpture is a stainless steel, artistic representation of cattails among dragonflies.

“This sculpture, donated by the Community Building Development Team, will add the cultural touch that enhances the educational nature of all the projects planned for this ten-acre site,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “It will add culture and beauty within the areas of the rain gardens and near the planned library building.”

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Car Bash to benefit Velzy Park


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Michigan vs. Michigan State

Just in time for football! The first annual Car Bash for Velzy Park, on Saturday, September 10, features a rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State fans as they try to bash the corresponding colors on the donated car. The Car Bash is the brain child of Velzy Park Committee’s Shelly Aardema, as the group continues its efforts to raise funds for the planned park located behind Solon Township Hall at 15185 Algoma Ave.  All proceeds will go to support the park. Participants should come prepared with closed-toed shoes. You must be at least 16 (with parents signature) and everyone must sign a waiver.

The Car Bash runs concurrent with Solon Market at 15185 Algoma Ave. but the hours for the Bash are from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., while Market hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Tickets for the bash are $2.00 a hit, $5.00 for 3 hits or $10.00 for 7 hits.  The Township is being assisted in these endeavors by donations from area automotive and retail businesses. Solon Fire and Rescue will be on hand to provide any needed services. Hammers bats and goggles will be provided. For more information, please contact Shelly Aardema at 616-696-1848 or check out Solon Market’s facebook page.  Like them for updates.

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Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo 


 

Kids and animals alike enjoyed Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo last Saturday, August 13. Photos courtesy of Rachaelyn’s Photography.

Kids and animals alike enjoyed Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo last Saturday, August 13.
Photos courtesy of Rachaelyn’s Photography.

N-Pet-Daze-Expo-red-haired-girlA chorus of joyful voices greeted Market-goers as they entered the community room at Solon Township’s Dog Daze Pet Expo Saturday, August 13. Humane Society of West Michigan led the choir with six puppies who were excited to be there. Excitement was the general consensus among the canine crowd, as they mingled while their people browsed exhibits, watched demos and stayed to watch and participate in the popular Pet Show.

Many people and their pets braved the weather to attend and forever homes were found for several of the animals, including five of WMHS’s six pups. The fundraiser garnered over $200.00 for area rescues and non-profit services and served to educate the public and bring awareness to animal needs, as well as highlight pet-related services. Kids who entered the Pet Show received bags of gifts donated by area businesses. Three lucky winners received pet beds and gift cards, donated by another business.

Kent County Sherriff’s Deputy Dekorte and his canine partner, Ritzey, a goldador, demonstrated their skills in arson detection and stayed to answer questions related to their duties. The Sheriff’s department is looking to add six dogs to their unit including a therapy dog. Donations can be made by accessing the following link:  http://www.trafficsquad.com/#!k9/c66d3

For more on the Expo, check out Solon Market’s facebook page and to see photos of the event.

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Fundraiser for Solon’s Velzy Park


 

The Velzy Park Committee is continuing fundraising efforts with a 50/50 raffle this Saturday, August 13, at Solon Market’s Dog Daze Pet Expo. The planned park behind Solon’s Hall will need additional funding before Phase One can begin, as monies slated for the Walking Trail became necessary for a matching grant proposal.  The Park is looking to the community for donations of cash or in-kind donations for construction of the park, as well as to meet the grant requirements. Fund-raising efforts began in February with a spaghetti dinner and dessert auction and have continued throughout the summer. Saturday’s raffle will run during Market hours from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Solon Hall, 15185 Algoma Ave. Plans are underway for a car bash in September—more to be announced at a later date. Be sure to watch the Post for additional information and check out the Velzy Park facebook page (Solon Township’s Velzy Park) for updates.  Donations can be made to Solon Township/Velzy Park.

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Falling tree causes car crash


The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

A freak accident sent two people from Solon Township to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

According to both the Kent County Sheriff Department and a witness at the scene, a Chevrolet Cruze was heading south on Algoma about 2:06 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, just north of 14 Mile, when high winds toppled a tree and it landed on the roof of the car.

“They panicked and swerved and flipped the car into the ditch,” explained Brian Bos, of Moline, who was traveling behind the car and saw it happen. He immediately called 911, then went to check on the occupants. “They were pretty shaken up,” he said.

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

Shortly after the accident, winds took down another tree just north of the scene.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Michael Allen, the two occupants in the vehicle, driver Sheldon Lennox, 56, and Bobbi Scholten, 52, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance. They were reportedly on their way to Florida.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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North Country Trail to run through area


Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

By Judy Reed

It’s no longer a question of “if” the North Country Trail will run through Cedar Springs—it’s only a question of exactly where.

Representatives of the Community Building Development Team, the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, National Park Service, North Country Trail Association and Michigan DNR met last Thursday for the signing of the document solidifying the North Country Trail route through Cedar Springs.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

“Cedar Springs is now home to a State Trail (White Pine Trail) and a Federal Trail (North Country Trail) crossing each other in our town, and we have a National Park that runs through town and through Solon Township out to the Rogue River State Game Area! It feels so good to have achieved this milestone!” said CBDT secretary Carolee Cole.

The North Country Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails, and stretches 4,600 miles, across seven states, from the New York/Vermont state line, to North Dakota. It is the longest of the 11 trails.

An optimal location review was done to connect the National Country Trail from the Russell Road and White Pine Trail intersection, to existing trail off Red Pine Drive in the Rogue River State Game area. The review noted that points of interest along the trail route include Long Lake County Park, Howard Christensen Nature Center, Duke Creek, Cedar Creek, Solon Township Hall and the park they are planning, and the City of Cedar Springs, with the planned boardwalk along Cedar Creek and other attractions. Several alternative routes were mapped.

The new part of the trail will be approximately seven miles long. But the exact route is not yet established since easements have to be obtained before the trail is officially certified.

However, certain sections of the trail may not be certified. “At this time the trail will not be able to be certified on the White Pine Trail, as the trail can only be certified in locations that are free of motorized vehicles,” explained Cole. “The Michigan DNR is in the process of approving the possibility for a parallel walking trail that could then allow the trail to be certified. It’s not unusual to have parts of the trail all along the route remain uncertified because a section must share with a motorized trail.”

So what’s next? “Well, a lot more work!” said Cole. “We have to secure easements (talk to people), then build the trail (clear a narrow, hiking only trail to certain specifications) and then maintain it (be willing to go out after a wind or ice storm and clear debris). So we need more people to get on board. A lot more people to get on board!”

If you would like to contribute to this piece of history in Cedar Springs, please contact Amy Anderson at a2andy@yahoo.com and let her know you would like to help with the creation of the North Country Trail.

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Special meeting Thursday night: City of CS and Solon Township


Cedar Springs and Solon Township fighting a fire together in Solon Township in February, 2014.

Cedar Springs and Solon Township fighting a fire together in Solon Township in February, 2014.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council and the Solon Township board will hold a special public meeting on Thursday, December 17, at 7 p.m., at the Solon Township Hall, 15185 Algoma Avenue.

The officials from the two adjoining municipalities are meeting to discuss the findings of the consulting service that did an operational evaluation and shared services study for their two fire departments.

Municipal Consulting Services LLC did the evaluation. They are the same consulting firm that evaluated the Cedar Springs Fire Department in 2009.

The consulting service evaluated each fire department to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can improve. They also evaluated opportunities for the two departments to share resources, including possibly consolidating.

They said that with both communities growing, and already sharing a number of services, such as County dispatch, Rockford ambulance, MABAS automatic aid, the school system, CS Area Parks and Rec, etc., that the fire services should not be segregated between the two communities. They said it could mean full consolidation or something less, such as Solon contracting Cedar Springs to respond to certain areas in Solon Township that lie just outside the Cedar Springs limits.

Other recommendations for shared services include joint master planning by the two fire chiefs (CS Chief Marty Fraser and Solon Chief Jeff Drake); combining some training; joint reviews by command staff of standard operating procedures; grant writing, etc.

The consulting service did not feel that service consolidation would yield a dramatic cost savings, due to the departments being understaffed. But they did say consolidation was feasible, and gave some ideas on what that might look like and what the cost would be.

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More fall colors


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Aren’t these colors dazzling? Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township, sent us this photo of the beautiful trees in her yard. If only they could hold on a little longer!

Thanks so much, Mary Lou!

If you have photos of the fall colors, please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Solon seeks public input on proposed park plan


 

Solon Township will conduct a public input session for the Township’s 5-year Parks and Recreation Plan on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Solon Township Hall.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather input from the township residents concerning current and future opportunities for parks, recreation, and trails in the community. The comments and ideas received from this meeting will be used to develop the 2015 Parks and Recreation Plan Update.

Watch for information on future sessions on the Solon Township website and facebook page.

The final public presentation of the Solon Township Parks Master Plan will be held on Wednesday, July 1 at 11:00 am at the Solon Township Hall. This presentation will be attended by the Township Board and is open to the public for viewing and comment.

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