web analytics

Tag Archive | "volunteers"

Hard work brings beauty to library grounds


 

by Donna Clark and Sue Wolfe

The asphalt being poured on the walking trail at the Library.

Volunteers continue to work hard to complete the projects around the library and surrounding park areas, which includes the flowers around the stainless steel structure and the native grasses in the rain garden on the south. Naturalists Tom Mabie and Perry Hopkins took oversight of these two projects, gathering most of the native grasses and plants from the area around Cedar Creek, and then babying them to be sure they survived.

From the first days of May to the Grand Opening of the new Library, many good folks from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and beyond came together to put in the shrubs, trees, stones and lawn around the Library. An underground watering system on timers has been key in aiding in the growth and stability of the healthy plants and lawn. The system was provided by Dan McIntyre and his company, Splash, and then installed at no extra cost to the Library. Several free visits have been made as adjustments or replacements to sprinklers have been needed.

City Councilor Dan Clark has put in a lot of hours tending to the library grounds.

Councilman Dan Clark has spent many evenings and weekends around the Library and walking path in the surrounding park areas off Main and Pine Streets, hand-mowing the lawn,  edging, checking on the sprinklers, making sure the timers are set right, and cleaning around the new asphalt and placing sod to prevent any washouts. Clark is doing the finishing touches that take a lot of time but really pull things together for a neat and crisp appearance. Also spending many hours toward cleaning up the grounds, trimming bushes, and sweeping sidewalks has been donated by Andy Dipiazza.  The public grounds are really beautiful!

Along the new path you can now see the (36) 10”x8” brass plates inset into the retaining wall blocks. Thanks to Don Snow and his team at CS Tool Engineering, Inc., the plates and engraving are finished, and at no cost to the Library. Thanks to Dale Larson, owner of Northwest Kent Mechanical and his team, 36 plates were installed with great care and precision on September 27 and 28. 

An example of one of the many bricks available to purchase.

The 129 bricks that have sold this past year have arrived and will be installed very soon. With the help of our new DPW Director, David Ducat and his team, and any other volunteers needed, the plan is to install them at the entrance of the new Library. According to Duane McIntyre, foreman of the project, we have 410 places for bricks, depending on the sizes purchased. The sizes offered are the 4×8 for $50 or the 8×8 for $100. On the 4×8 there can be 3 lines of 21 characters, including spaces between words and for the 8×8, 6 lines. These will make wonderful holiday presents! In fact a long-time community person with lots of family and grandchildren recently said she was going to purchase 21 bricks for her family Christmas presents.  

Mayor Gerry Hall and Councilman Perry Hopkins have been assembling the 10 benches purchased through the CBDT. The nameplates will again be engraved under the direction of Don Snow. Memorial and honorary brass plates will be installed on these benches, also. McIntyre and Hopkins will oversee the installing of the benches on various cement slabs around the library and surrounding park area. 

You perhaps noticed the four six foot benches around the clock tower and the sidewalk at the east side of the Library, ready for Red Flannel visitors.  They were in constant use and a very attractive and useful addition to our festivities!

Director Donna Clark was on hand at the library on Red Flannel Day offering tours and information about the vision our community has embraced called, the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” The entire property, going even beyond the edge of Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail, will be a park-like area, developed and supported through a base constituency of over 100 volunteers and donors, the Community Building Development Team.  

The next project is building an amphitheater along where the White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek meet west of the park property.  A new fundraising campaign has begun. The City of Cedar Springs and the CBDT will work together on submitting an application for a Economic Development Grant for a $50,000 match within the next few weeks. Watch for details soon on how you can get involved. 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Community cleans up on Earth Day


 Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

In honor of National Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, the City of Cedar Springs and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) volunteers took to cleaning up the newly acquired city property running north along Cedar Creek and intersecting with the White Pine and North Country Trails, just west of Main Street in downtown Cedar Springs. Approximately 28 community members came together to cut down brush and dead trees, haul away the lumber, clean out creek waters, and pick up debris in the area.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Perry Hopkins, City Councilor and CBDT Board Member, along with Tom Mabie, CBDT member, and other community members were careful to protect and keep flowers, bushes, plants, and trees that are environmentally important to maintaining proper creek temperatures for the trout, as well as providing an enjoyable year-round variety of natural blooming and therapeutic vegetation. The Hopkins and Mabie duo are teaming up with the Cedar Springs Garden Club and Trout Unlimited in creating natural rain gardens and learning stations along the creek beds. Other city councilors participating in the Earth Day cleanup included Rose Powell and Gerry Hall.

John Ensley, CBDT, organized the Earth Day cleanup and has secured the donated marble stone from Doreen and Dan Welch, Welch Tile and Stone, which will be eventually installed along the walking path.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

“The goal is to open up the new downtown park areas known as the Heart of Cedar Springs. We got a lot accomplished today thanks to the many dedicated volunteers. We still have some work ahead of us but it’s coming along nicely,” explained Ensley.

Julie Wheeler, CBDT Board Member, organized various other community organizations who also began their Cedar Springs Earth Day cleanup along the primary roadsides within the city limits and other sections of the White Pine Trail as part of the Earth Day efforts.  The groups have until May 1 to complete their section of the roads.

“This is another example of folks coming together for our community. We had volunteers out there on a sunny Saturday willing to do some hard physical labor,“ shared Kurt Mabie, CBDT President. “We hope to continue the cleanup this summer along with constructing a new amphitheatre, walking path, and veteran’s memorial by fall as needed funds become available.”

Garett Tunison, Ground Control Aerial LLC, did a second drone fly-over to show the area progress since his first video done prior to the construction of the library. The video will be added to the CBDT website.

The CBDT meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in their new regular meeting location of the Community Library gathering room. All are invited. More information is available on the website of CSCommunityCenter.org, the Facebook page of Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or by calling Sue Wolfe at 696-2246.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

What’s “bugging” you in our streams?


OUT-Stream-monitoringIn 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.

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin – 220 North Monroe Street 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 in the Rogue River watershed. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

What will you need?  Please RSVP to Jamie Vaughan at jvaughan@tu.org or 312-391-4760 if you would like to attend.  Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.  Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions. Children under 16 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Adopt-A-Highway in Michigan begins 


 

N-Adopt-a-highway1First litter pickup April 15


Highway roadsides across lower Michigan get their first cleanup of the year beginning Saturday. Volunteers in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program will pick up litter from April 15 to 23.

Due to snow still on the ground in some areas, the first Adopt-A-Highway pickup for the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula will be later, from April 29 to May 7.

“Adopt-A-Highway volunteers take great pride in keeping Michigan roadsides clean,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We have tremendous appreciation for their hard work. Please be alert and drive with caution when you see the crews picking up.”

N-Adopt-a-highway-fastfactsVolunteers pick up litter three times each year. Statewide, there will be a summer pickup from July 15 to 23 and a fall pickup from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.

Dedicated AAH volunteers collected about 65,000 bags of trash last year, an estimated $5 million value for the state. Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway right of way. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

The AAH enters its 27th year in 2017 with more than a quarter century of accomplishments behind it. There are 2,887 groups currently active in the program, and they’ve collected more than 2 million bags of litter the state’s roadsides since 1990. Currently, 6,400 miles of highway are adopted.

Current volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses, and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Groups are asked to adopt a section for at least two years. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretch of adopted highway. There is no fee to participate.

Several landfills in southwestern Michigan are also chipping in to help the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Westside Landfill in Cass County, C&C Landfill in Calhoun County, Orchard Hill Landfill in Berrien County, and Republic Services Gembrit Circle Transfer Station in Kalamazoo, have all agreed to accept trash generated by the three annual scheduled AAH pickups at no charge. In exchange, they receive a sign recognizing their support. Most of these landfills have been making this contribution since 2010.

For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

SKYWARN® Training Offered 


This tornado photo was taken on May 24, 1973 in Union City, Oklahoma. Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) 

This tornado photo was taken on May 24, 1973 in Union City, Oklahoma. Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

Kent County saw several severe storms last year, including the outbreak on August 20 that included tornados and high wind damage. There were no fatalities, perhaps due to early warning by the National Weather Service and weather spotters trained in the SKYWARN® Course.

The National Weather Service SKYWARN volunteer program has trained nearly 290,000 severe weather spotters nationwide. “We appreciate having these men and women keeping their local communities safe during storms and other weather threats,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “They provide real-time, accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service, where their staff alerts our first responders about imminent danger.” Training will be offered free at:

Grandville High School
4700 Canal Ave SE
Grandville, MI 49418
Thursday, March 16, 2017 – 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Register in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kent-ottawa-severe-weather- spotter-training-2017-registration-28894842251?aff=es2.

The program is recommended for ages 11 and older. Those with an interest in weather, serving the public and who have access to communications equipment (ham radios, cell phones, etc.) are encouraged to attend. Volunteers in the past have includes first responders, dispatchers, public utility workers and concerned private citizens. Spotters also include people who work at hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes.

Those who attend the free three-hour training will leave the course as spotters, capable of identifying and describing severe local storms and damage threats. The volunteers are not “storm chasers” who travel hundreds of miles to seek out storms; most of the volunteers will monitor the skies or rivers from near their homes. Safety of spotters is a top priority.

According the National Weather Service (NWS) Skywarn website:

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Community pulls together for brothers battling cancer


Carts full of cans were lined up inside and outside the Cedar Springs Meijer store Monday and Tuesday, as volunteers worked to feed over 86,000 of them into the machines. Photo courtesy of Team Rickerstrong.

Carts full of cans were lined up inside and outside the Cedar Springs Meijer store Monday and Tuesday, as volunteers worked to feed over 86,000 of them into the machines. Photo courtesy of Team Rickerstrong.

Teen Brison Ricker, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, is getting better with the alternative treatments he is getting from the Burzynski Clinic in Texas. Photo from the Ricker’s gofundme page.

Teen Brison Ricker, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, is getting better with the alternative treatments he is getting from the Burzynski Clinic in Texas. Photo from the Ricker’s gofundme page.

By Judy Reed

The greater Cedar Springs community has shown their support over the last nine months for the family of Brison and Preston Ricker, two teen brothers fighting cancer, but the massive number of cans donated at their annual can drive at Meijer this week took everyone by surprise.

This month’s drive started at 5 p.m. Monday, and by 11 p.m. Monday evening, they had to stop counting. Volunteers returned on Tuesday evening, hoping to finish it off. But the cans kept coming, and at last count, over 86,000 cans were donated, and they still have a trailer that is 2/3 full of cans that they are holding until next month.

“We knew that this month’s can drive would be a larger turnout but honestly we were pleasantly shocked at the amount of cans that kept coming throughout the first night and continued again the second night,” said Melissa Egan, of Team Rickerstrong. “It was such a great thing to witness. So many people continue to support Brison in his fight by faithfully donating each month, but when Preston also was diagnosed…the support doubled and that is why we believe it was so much more successful.”

Egan said that they cannot express appreciation enough for the continued support from not only our community, but surrounding communities. “The love, prayers and support for this family is truly amazing. And who would have thought that a can drive that originally started as a way to possibly raise a quick $500 here or there would turn into a monthly fundraiser that has now brought over $30,000! Each month we have loyal volunteers that help feed machines or empty returnables into carts…ranging from adults to kids, all wanting to support the Ricker family.”

Team Rickerstrong started the once a month can drives in July, when the family took Brison to Texas to be seen and treated at the Burzynski Clinic. Dr. Burzynski offered an alternative treatment for Brison’s inoperable brain tumor (DIPG), which conventional treatment could not eradicate. He had been given only months to live. But this alternative costs $17,000 a month, paid up front. And it is not covered under insurance. The good news is that it is working, and Brison is feeling better than he has in months, according to his mom, Kim Ricker. He is eating again, and getting stronger, but not yet walking on his own. He even went to Swirl last weekend, which she said made him really happy.

Preston, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December, and had it surgically removed in January, is recovering, and will soon start radioactive iodine therapy.

Kim was also thankful for the success of this week’s can drive. “It was incredible to see the out pouring of love and support with all the cans that were donated! Although a majority of them came from this amazing community, we had people from surrounding communities and even as far as Caledonia donating their cans. We feel so blessed and are truly grateful to everyone who donated, and all the people who worked so hard getting over 86,000 cans put in the machines. Of course a huge thanks to Meijer, we could do not do this without their support,” she added.

The Rickers are faced with needing a minimum of $17,000 every month for Brison’s treatment. “This has to be paid up front; it is not like normal hospital bills that can accumulate and be paid back over years,” explained Kim. “If we don’t pay, Brison doesn’t get his treatment. Although the can drive was a huge success and raised more than we could have imagined, that amount covers two weeks of treatment, so the need to keep raising funds is great.”

If you would like to donate, you can visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong, or participate in a fundraiser with Team Rickerstrong at https://www.facebook.com/teambrison/. You can also or send a check to them at 5370 Dio Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Where are the volunteers?


The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


 

What has happened to good old volunteerism? It is an opportunity to help and improve our community. Volunteering allows you to explore career choices, learn new skills, or get that positive boost that you might not be getting elsewhere. Some schools and employers urge their students and employees to volunteer in their community. Rewards for volunteering differ for each organization but it always involves a sense of pride in a job well done. And volunteerism looks great on your resume.

Volunteering can breathe new life into an organization. It is working as a team to pull off an event or complete a project. You meet interesting people and you never know which person might be the one who inspires you and gives you a new sense of your skills, talents, and self. You may discover skills or talents you never knew you had. You can practice time management, priority setting, increased creativity, improved interpersonal and leadership skills, and customer service. You have the opportunity for intergenerational interaction and fun!

Here is a short list of organizations and/or service groups in need of volunteers: The Kent Theatre; C.S. Library; Howard Christensen Nature Center; Red Flannel Committee; Lions Club; Rotary; Women’s Club; and the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. Please contact these groups to find out how you can help. I would like to thank all of you who have been volunteering in so many ways. You have made a difference and I appreciate all the hours you have donated to make our community a better place.

Mary K. Balon

Kent Theatre Volunteer Coordinator

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

Year’s second Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on the way


N-Adopt-a-highway1

Motorists should be on the lookout beginning Saturday as thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers head back to state roadways to pick up litter. Participants in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program will clean highway roadsides from July 16 to 24 during the second of three scheduled pickups this year.

“We have tremendous appreciation for the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers and their dedication to keeping Michigan roadsides clean,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Please be alert during the litter pickup period and drive cautiously when you see these crews at work.”

N-Adopt-a-highway2Every year, dedicated Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect about 70,000 bags of trash, generating about a $5 million value annually for state taxpayers. The popular program began in 1990 and has grown to involve nearly 3,000 groups cleaning 6,400 miles of highway.

Getting involved in the program is straightforward. Volunteers include members of civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must include at least three people. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing group names are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

When working in a highway right of way, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Interested groups can get more information at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

The year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup is scheduled for the fall, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Red Cross responds to deadly West Virginia floods 


 

Red Cross disaster teams are working around the country and the clock to help people affected by disasters big and small this summer. 

Red Cross disaster teams are working around the country and the clock to help people affected by disasters big and small this summer. 

Michigan sends volunteers, supplies to support relief efforts; help urgently needed 

The American Red Cross is responding to a massive flooding disaster in West Virginia. There have been at least 24 deaths reported, and thousands are still without power, gas service and even water. As many as 60 roads are closed to flooding and flood damage. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared state of emergencies in 44 counties, and President Obama declared a Disaster Declaration for the state. Dozens of people have had to be rescued and search and rescue missions are still ongoing. Officials continue to estimate that thousands of homes have experienced damage from these tragic floods.

Red Cross workers opened numerous shelters in Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, Pocahontas and Roane counties, and are providing meals, relief supplies and other assistance to those affected, as well as meals for first responders. On Saturday night, June 25, the Red Cross opened or supported 17 shelters where more than 400 people slept overnight.

This is a difficult time for many families unexpectedly forced from their homes. Red Cross workers are providing meals, relief supplies and other assistance to those affected as well as meals for first responders, while disaster mental health workers are helping people cope. Health workers are helping to replace needed items like prescription medications and eyeglasses.

“Our Michigan volunteers are already helping people affected by the terrible flooding in West Virginia,” said Kimberly Burton, Red Cross Regional Chief Executive Officer. “We have been mobilizing much-needed resources since these devastating storms hit and are monitoring the situation with local and state officials to make sure people get the help they need.”

HOW TO HELP: These are large relief responses and the Red Cross needs the public’s support now. Financial donations are the quickest way to get people the help they need. Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding, wildfires and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-

RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org.

Or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Post travels to Panamá


N-Post-travels-Panama

Mikalah Gribbell, of Trufant, and currently a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, is majoring in premedical preparation and biology with minors in Spanish and chemistry. For one week this May, she traveled with the Ball State chapter of Global Brigades on a medical/dental brigade, and took the Post with her.

“Global Brigades is an international organization that works to bring volunteers to underserved and undeveloped areas of the world such as Africa and central and South America,” she explained. “As an organization, they target communities that are willing to work to become more developed and self-sustaining. The organization sends medical, public health, water, environmental, business, micro finance, and human rights brigades to these communities and eventually the communities are brought up to a self-sustaining level where they have a true economy and individuals have hygienic facilities in their homes, access to healthcare and legal support, and the potential for future growth and development.”

Her brigade worked in the Coclé region of West Panamá. “In three days, (with the help of American and Panamanian doctors and dentists) we provided basic healthcare and dentistry services for 432 people. As needed, we filled prescriptions for blood pressure medicines, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-parasitic medications, and allergy medicines. We also taught classes about proper hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases, and caring for aches and pains.” She said that as a group, they also spent one day helping families build hygienic latrines and showers. “The experience was incredible and highly rewarding,” she remarked. “The Panamanian people were beyond grateful for our help, and are looking forward to the other brigades that will visit their communities. I hope to expand on this experience as I approach a career in medicine and consider working in rural/underserved communities in America.”

Thank you, Mikalah, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

advert
Kent Theatre
Advertising Rates Brochure

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!