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Tag Archive | "Trout Unlimited"

Local non-profit looks to improve area


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By Judy Reed

 

There are a lot of plans in the works for the corner of Main and Maple Streets and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) hopes to be a big part of it.

In addition to the new Cedar Springs Library, on the northwest corner, and the brewery on the southwest corner, the CBDT hopes to build an ampitheatre on the city’s property (the old foundry property) to the west of where the library will be. The team was at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting last Thursday, October 9, to pitch the project.

“The Community Building Development Team is a group of people who want to make the community better,” explained CBDT trustee Tom Holloway, and Pastor at Solon Center Wesleyan Church. “We believe this fits with the prior library board’s plans in 2007 of having both a library and ampitheatre.”

Holloway asked the City Council to let the group build the ampitheatre—and they would do it for free. “All we ask is for the city to maintain it,” he said, “and pay the utilities.”

He explained that they hope to develop the whole area—on both the east and west side of the trail. They are currently buying the Johnson lumberyard property to that end. Besides the ampitheatre, they are working towards helping to restore wetlands, and install walking bridges, to give kids a place to fish. On the lumberyard property, they hope to build a community center and recreation center. Other plans include a boardwalk along Cedar Creek, rain gardens, skate park, spash pad and playground equipment, campground, and fish hatchery.

They have already been working on rain gardens along Cedar Creek with Trout Unlimited, and other groups, and recently voted to take advantage of a matching 3 to 1 grant opportunity. They voted unanimously to pledge  $20,000 towards Trout Unlimited’s Department of Environmental Quality 319 Grant Proposal, which will restore and enhance wetlands in downtown Cedar Springs and elsewhere in the Rogue River watershed, if funded. The project will look to develop future conservation projects in the Rogue River watershed, including other wetland restoration projects, buffer strip plantings, and other efforts directed at improving the health of the Rogue. According to the CBDT, the grant could be worth $300,000 to $400,000 to the community.

The group’s mission is to retain the small-town character of Cedar Springs, incorporate natural features, link neighborhoods and people, enhance characteristics that already define our community, and make it easy for families, youth, senior citizens, organizations, and all community members to gather, celebrate and serve each other.

With that in mind, they’ve adopted a railroad theme for their group, since two railroads ran through the community in its early days. They have chosen an old photo for their logo. In it you can see Lute Fullington’s carriage. His livery service transported people from the trains to hotels, businesses, and homes in our area.

The Cedar Springs City Council heard the CBDT’s presentation, but no agreement has yet been made on whether they will allow the ampitheatre to be built there. Holloway said that after the library is built, they would try to match it in design.

Members of the CBDT are Kurt Mabie, President; Tom Mabie, Vice President; Betty Truesdale, Treasurer; Carolee Cole, Secretary; and Sue Wolfe, Dale Larson, Sally Howland, Nick Andres and Tom Holloway, trustees.

The public is invited to attend their meetings the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Amish Furniture Store, 141 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs.

 

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Trout Unlimited receives funds to restore Cedar Creek


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Cedar Creek will benefit this summer from restoration activities funded through a federal grant by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to Nichol DeMol, with Trout Unlimited, Cedar Creek, which is a tributary of the Rogue River running through downtown Cedar Springs and emptying into the Rogue River near 12 Mile and Friske Road, is important to the overall health of the Rogue River. This tributary is a significant source of cold groundwater to the river. This groundwater provides stable coldwater rearing for juvenile trout and summer shelter for adult trout when the Rogue River gets warm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the importance of this stream, and has awarded Trout Unlimited over $27,000 for restoration activities as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project.  This funding is provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the National Fish Habitat Partnership-Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership.

In collaboration with the City of Cedar Springs and private landowners, Trout Unlimited will plant trees and other native plants on stream banks, provide localized cattle access, fence out cattle along a portion of the creek, and construct in stream habitat structures. 

The on-the-ground restoration is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014. Volunteers will be needed to assist with this work. If you would like to volunteer or want to know more about the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org.

 

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What’s “bugging” you in our streams?


Stream insect monitoring event

 

Trout Unlimited National, Michigan Trout Unlimited, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited Chapter will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, April 7, 2012 from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at the Algoma Township Hall, 10531 Algoma Avenue in Rockford. Volunteers will be assigned to a monitoring group with a team leader.  Each group will collect and identify insects from different stream sites. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

Why monitor insects in our streams? In many cases we think bugs are a nuisance, but bugs in a stream can be very useful. Stream insects are a good measure of water quality. Unlike fish, stream insects cannot move around much so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality. Stream insects can also be easily identified.

What will you need to participate? Please RSVP to Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org if you would like to attend. Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.

 

 

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Get paid for restoring wetlands


Did you know that restoring wetlands on your property can put cash in your pocket?

The Rogue River Watershed Council and Trout Unlimited, Inc., in partnership with Timberland RC&D, the Kent Conservation District, the Izaak Walton League, and the Department of Environmental Quality, is hosting a free wetland workshop for landowners at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club on Monday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m.  The workshop will highlight programs that assist private landowners to restore historic wetlands on their properties. Landowners that meet federal requirements may be eligible for wetland restoration payments that pay between $2,000-$5,000 per acre in Kent, Newaygo, and Ottawa Counties.

At the workshop you will hear from leading wetland experts including representatives from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Wetlands provide ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and a variety of plants. Wetlands are also important landscape features because they hold and slowly release floodwater and snow melt and recharge groundwater.  This combined action of slowing and storing water reduces flooding downstream and shoreline erosion. Flooding and high flows in local rivers are becoming worse with increased development, which adds impervious surfaces, such as driveways and roads, which do not absorb rainfall.

Wetlands also act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, such as sediment and nutrients.  Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus contribute a large amount of pollution to Michigan’s lakes river and streams. Excess nutrients contribute to increased algae growth, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. Wetlands can filter out as much as 91 percent of the phosphorus and 86 percent of the nitrogen.  Sediment (soil particles) is the leading non-point source pollutant in Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams. Sediments that are suspended in running water can also be removed by wetlands. As the running water enters a wetland, the water slows and the sediments settle out. Some wetlands can retain as much as 94 percent of this sediment.
If you have an interest in restoring wetland habitat on your property, and would like to attend this workshop, please RSVP by March 21 to Nichol De Mol at ndemol@tu.org or 231-557-6362.

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