web analytics

Tag Archive | "white pine trail"

City to hold special meeting tonight (Thursday)


By Judy Reed

This City of Cedar Springs will hold a special meeting on Thursday, June 29, at 7 p.m. at City Hall, to take care of some last minute business before the new fiscal year starts on July 1.

Action items include voting on purchasing a new radar speed sign for the city; Morley Park pavilion rental and electricity at the pavilion; and a motion to approve the Library Services Agreement, Grant Area District revision.

According to City Manager Mike Womack, the radar sign would be portable and could be moved around the City, wherever there was a need.

“The reasoning behind the radar sign is that we have seen the Sheriff Department’s radar sign in action and it absolutely does result in slower traffic, which is safer for the public,” explained Womack. “By having our own sign, we could be quicker to respond to citizen complaints of speeding traffic and we would also have the benefit of the resulting data that the sign takes in while its measuring traffic speed. This data could then be used to help direct when/where Sheriff intervention might be needed but it could also be used for economic development reasons such as knowing how many cars go past a certain place during a day or week.”

He added that the radar sign is also part of his ongoing initiative to make the streets safer for pedestrians overall. “We are also considering pedestrian crossing signs in the downtown area and we will be repainting the crosswalk paint on the asphalt,” he explained.

The radar signs they will be looking at range from a low of $1,785 to $3,165.

There are also several discussion items on the agenda, including choices of several different logos to use on the Elm Street garage that people walking or riding on the White Pine Trail would see; pedestrian crosswalk signs; and whether they can inscribe “Red Flannel Town” on the new clocktower at the corner of Main and W. Maple, by the library.

 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Kathy Bowler’s discovery


Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

In 2000 Kathy Bowler was walking along the White Pine Trail with eyes open to the natural world. A small blue butterfly caught her attention. Several small blue butterfly species fly in spring and summer. The most common is the Spring Azure. Others are the Silvery Blue, Eastern Tailed Blue, and the Karner Blue.

The Karner Blue was not known to live in Kent County and was not expected. Kathy pursued the butterfly and discovered it was the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. I had been hired by The Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct research on the Karner Blue in Minnesota. Kathy knew that and contacted me to confirm her new Kent County discovery.

We contacted Mogens Nielsen who wrote the book Michigan Butterflies and Skippers and he also confirmed the identification and discovery.

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan (LCWM) works to preserve natural areas and species to keep nature nearby healthy. They worked with the land owners that owned Karner Blue habitat along the White Pine Trail near 12 Mile Road to create a preserve. The butterfly caterpillars can survive on only one species of lupine.

Wild Blue Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is a legume that fixes nitrogen improving soil fertility. It grows in Michigan’s oak savanna habitat. Oak savanna is Michigan’s rarest habitat and has disappeared throughout most of its range due to land use practices. When habitat is reduced in size, species supported are pushed toward extinction. Fragmented habitats left in small pieces do not support species nature niches well because individuals cannot get from one to another to expand their population.

Some reptiles, birds, and insects dependent on oak savannas have significant survival challenges. People can help save species with declining populations. The Maas family owns property where the Karner Blue has suitable habitat. They donated part of their land to create the Maas Family Nature Preserve.

The LCWM with support from the DNR helped restore oak savanna at the Maas preserve. Plant succession was eliminating the oak savanna that depends on periodic fires to maintain its habitat. A savanna is an open grass and forb area with scattered trees. The open area allows adequate sunlight for the Lupine and Karner Blue to thrive. Fires prevent it from becoming an oak forest that would shade out the lupine and butterflies.

Karner Blue eggs that overwinter hatch, feed on lupine, pupate and transform into the blue beauty in mid to late May. Those adults mate and lay eggs that produce a second brood in midsummer. The second brood’s eggs overwinter. Management for the butterfly creates conditions for other species that people enjoy seeing including wild turkeys, deer and several species of birds. On state and federal lands, hunters find better hunting success for species in Karner Blue managed habitat.

Thanks to Kathy’s sharp eye, the discovery helped an endangered species survive with the aid of people willing to share space with rare species. She also saw the butterfly on wild undeveloped habitat along the opposite side of the trail near 12 Mile road. The owners do not allow people onto that property to determine the extent of the species’ presence and are not interested in helping them survive.

Survival of the regions biodiversity depends on how we utilize the land. Many people began planting Wild Lupine to help the species survive in Kent County. That effort is not likely to help because the plant populations are too fragmented and distant for the butterflies to reach for colonizing new areas.

If everyone allowed some natural habitat in their yards for plants and animals, fragmented habitat would become more connected allowing species to move through the region more easily. Manicured lawns are attractive but do not help pre-settlement biodiversity of species that thrived here in previous centuries.

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.

Posted in Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments (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)

Where can snowmobiles travel in the city?


 

Some snowmobilers traveling to and from the White Pine Trail may be confused about where they are allowed to travel in the City of Cedar Springs. Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, would like to remind everyone what the ordinance is regarding snowmobiles.

Under the ordinance applying to snowmobiles, Article V, Sec. 36-182 and 36-183 they are never allowed on city sidewalks, or in parks or cemeteries.

They are allowed to operate on the far right of plowed city streets, during certain hours, as long as there is snow or ice on the roads.

However, they are not allowed on Main Street, except to cross at designated intersections; or on Muskegon Street, from the east city limit to the western limit of the 425 District, except to travel a half a block from any intersection to reach their destination.

No snowmobiles would be allowed on the streets between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, or between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

All state traffic laws that apply to motorists apply to snowmobilers traveling the roadway (such as they must travel single file and with the flow of traffic).

To read more about operating a snowmobile within the city limits, please go to https://www.municode.com/library/mi/cedar_springs/codes/code_of_ordinances and type “snowmobiles” in the search bar.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Bicyclist dies of crash injuries


David Draugalis

David Draugalis

 

A Walker man who was struck by a vehicle while bicycling on the White Pine Trail has died of his injuries.

According to Sgt. Corey Luce, of the Kent County Sheriff Department, David Draugalis, 49, of Walker, was bicycling southbound on the White Pine Trail about 7 p.m., on Tuesday, August 9, when he was hit by a westbound pickup truck while crossing 16 Mile Road.

A witness bicycling behind him reported that Draugalis did not stop at the stop sign before proceeding into the intersection.

Another witness, who was traveling behind the pick up truck, verified that the driver of the pickup, Jesse Foster, 36, of Cedar Springs was not speeding.

Draugalis was sent to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital with what appeared at the time to be non-life-threatening injuries. However, some internal injuries were discovered at the hospital. MLive.com reported that he suffered from a ruptured aorta, collapsed lung, broken pelvis, broken arm, and road rash.

Draugalis died of his injuries on Sunday, August 21, 12 days after the crash. He was married just a few weeks ago to his wife, Nita.

Sgt. Luce said that the case is still under investigation.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Runners rest in Cedar Springs


 

Running teams represented include JFR (Grand Rapids), All Night Express (Kalamazoo), Cross Train (Macomb Township/Detroit), Rat Pig Lover Railroad (Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo) along with CTA workers.

Running teams represented include JFR (Grand Rapids), All Night Express (Kalamazoo), Cross Train (Macomb Township/Detroit), Rat Pig Lover Railroad (Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo) along with CTA workers.

The Cedar Springs White Pine Trail staging area provided a resting and revitalization point for the 2016 Fred 200/100 Mile Running Relay participants on Saturday, August 6. The overnight relay included 36 “spurs” or legs each ranging from two to 9.5 miles in distance, spanning the entire Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. It began on Friday, August 5, at 6 a.m. in Comstock Park and continued up to Cadillac and back again. The 60 percent paved and 40 percent dirt trail served as the course for 51 teams participating this year.

Carolee Cole, Community Building Development Team (CBDT) volunteer board member and Lindsay Woodard, a member of the West Michigan Trails & Greenway Coalition and marathon runner, recently met during a volunteer CBDT cleanup project of Cedar Creek. The two ladies immediately began discussing how the Cedar Springs Community might support The Fred Meijer Relay runners as they passed through our Red Flannel town.

Runner nears transfer station during 2016 Fred 200/100 mile running relay on the White Pine Trail last Saturday.

Runner nears transfer station during 2016 Fred 200/100 mile running relay on the White Pine Trail last Saturday.

West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition Executive Director John Morrison was on hand to see for himself not only his organization’s runners but also the development of the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” CBDT board member John Ensley showed Morrison where the North Country Trail, White Pine Trail, and the Fishing Line all intersect in the city owned property located on the northwest section of Main and Maple Streets. Morrison explained how unique and valuable this type of crossover is for all outdoor and trail enthusiasts. An additional asset includes Cedar Creek, the second largest and one of the coldest trout habitats in Michigan, which runs along these trail areas and is nestled right in the heart of Cedar Springs. A CBDT proposed project includes a boardwalk and pathway running along Cedar Creek from Main Street near the new Library location out to 17 Mile Road.

“The CBDT is always looking for opportunities to showcase our community and extend a friendly welcome,” explained Cole. Fellow CBDT Members Mark Laws, John Ensley, Autumn Mattson, and David Ringler were quick to jump on board with Cole to pull together the people and provide a bit of cheer, shaded resting areas, drinks, and food for those participating in this year’s run.

Laws was quick to thank the many businesses that provided food, drink, ice, a tent, workers, and chairs. “Our local business owners generously supported the event,” shared Laws.

Community member and 13-mile relay participant Teri Marsman was quick to thank all those involved by saying,  “This is a classy way to welcome folks to Cedar!” She went on to say, “My kids have been dropping change into Librarian Donna Clark’s ‘new library change jar’ for 16 years. Our family is so excited to see the library actually being built and know more good things are on the way for our community.”

CTA staff and student athletes welcome runners to refreshment stand

CTA staff and student athletes welcome runners to refreshment stand

CTA Athletic Director, Autumn Mattson asked CTA Cross Country Coach Miss Davies for help from her team distributing refreshments on Saturday as runners headed toward the final stretch of the relay.

“We were happy to help because it is the right thing to do,” said Casen Armstrong, a member of the CTA Cross Country Team.

Gail Zemmol, JFR team runner and captain, was quick to add, “Cedar was our best stop and we are very grateful.”

Ensley and Laws responded by promising an even better Cedar Springs welcome for next year’s event.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Construction on bridges on White Pine Trail begins


 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that construction on bridges over Rice Creek and Tamarack Creek on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail in Howard City (Montcalm County) was set to begin Monday, Aug. 8.

The White Pine Trail is actively traveled by nonmotorized users throughout the year and snowmobile users during the winter months. Bridge construction will include abutment replacement and pier removal, as well as placement of a 60-foot prefabricated bridge over Rice Creek and an 84-foot prefabricated bridge over Tamarack Creek.

The White Pine Trail has been temporarily rerouted to Federal Road, bypassing both bridges. The detour is posted. Construction is anticipated to be completed in November.

Questions about the trail closure may be directed to Scott Slavin, DNR unit supervisor at White Pine Trail State Park, by calling 231-775-7911 or emailing slavins@michigan.gov.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Construction impacting White Pine Trail use


 

From Friends of the White Pine Trail

OUT-White-Pine-trail-construction

In the southern area of the tail, in Plainfield Township, there will be trail disruptions during this summer and fall.

In Comstock Park there will be equipment in and adjacent to the trail due to sewer line work for the next few weeks, and possibly into the fall. Please be very careful in this area and do not interfere with the construction activity. If you encounter someone directing you around construction, please follow their directions.

Between Belmont and Rockford there will be some equipment on the trail for the next month or longer.  There will be persons directing traffic whenever there is equipment on the trail – please cooperate with these folks that are doing their best to keep the trail open, you safe, and get the project done. The Trail Will Not Be Closed For Extended Periods in this area unless there are unforseen circumstances.

If you have questions regarding trail conditions please contact us. We will do our best to keep everyone informed.

Check our FaceBook page for up-to-date information.

If you see any problems that you feel needs attention please contact us as soon as possible—we need your help!

In Howard City Area, Montcalm County

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials announced that construction of the Rice and Tamarack Creek bridges on the White Pine Trail in Howard City will begin Monday Aug. 8.

The White Pine Trail is actively utilized by non-motorized users throughout the year and snowmobile users in the winter months. Bridge construction will include abutment replacement and pier removal, as well as the placement of a 60-foot-prefabricated bridge over Rice Creek and a 84-foot-prefabricated bridge over Tamarack Creek.

The White Pine Trail has been temporarily re-routed to Federal Road bypassing both bridges. The detour is posted. Construction is anticipated to be completed in November.

Questions about the trail closure may be directed to Scott Slavin, DNR unit supervisor of White Pine Trail State Park, at 231-775-7911 or slavins@michigan.gov

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Library groundbreaking next Saturday, July 9


N-Library-Site-Plan-Heart-Site-Arial-June-2016-zoomed

Years of plans and dreams are finally coming true—Cedar Springs is really going to have a new, much needed library building! The Library Board chose the contractor at their June 27 meeting, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. near the Cedar Springs Fire Station, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street. Everyone is invited. See the ad on page 11 and watch the Library website and Facebook Page for activities being planned for this event.

You may have read in The Post or The Bugle that over 900 people of all ages have signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program. This growth, along with the significantly increased use of the Library in general, has taken place in spite of not having adequate room. Your Library Staff is persistent regardless of the obstacles.

The current library building has only 2,016 square feet. The new library will have 10,016 square feet, a well-deserved treat to the citizens of Cedar Springs and surrounding communities.

Library Director Donna Clark is excited about what this groundbreaking means for Cedar Springs. “I have the distinct privilege of being the Library Director of our community library at this historic moment of groundbreaking, but I do not stand alone,” she said. “I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the early 1800s to this present day, by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers, and enthusiastic people of vision and hope. I celebrate with you who have served your local library as library employees and board members, and with our great City, who is walking this journey with us. I love it that we are building a whole City block of beauty and culture for future generations.”

There are new developments every week because the Library Board and several committees are meeting regularly to accept the bids of contractors and subcontractors, to choose materials, and to keep up with all of the details that require timely attention. “One of the most significant contributions of time during the past two years has come from Duane McIntyre, who will continue to serve as the Project Construction Manager at no charge. This represents a huge savings to the donors and citizens of our communities,” said Community Building Development Team Chair Kurt Mabie. “Many others have also contributed hundreds of hours to reach this milestone so that this dream could come true. Thank you to everyone! These gifts of time are extraordinarily meaningful and are greatly appreciated.”

A finance committee, made up of a good mix of local, respected professionals, is keeping track of the donations that are being made to the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and the Cedar Springs Public Library. Donations for the new building and its contents are still very much needed and greatly appreciated.

This new library building is just one facility planned for the Heart of Cedar Springs, thanks to the CBDT and the Cedar Springs City Council and Planning Commission. They have all brought their influence to bear on raising funds and negotiating with governmental entities, as well as making sure the right people are available to support the many needs of such a large undertaking. Kent County is a wonderful place to live, thanks to a history of good leadership and smart planning. What is happening in Cedar Springs fits perfectly into the scheme of friendly, up-and-coming communities throughout Kent County. The value of these projects to the residents and businesses of Cedar Springs, and to all of northern Kent County, cannot be overestimated.

The Heart of Cedar Springs will include the following projects that are critical to the continued growth of Cedar Springs.

A library, designed and developed as a place to gather, a place where educational opportunities can be extended, a place where a community can meet, grow and learn together.

An amphitheater where outdoor plays, musicals, movies, concerts and more will fill the summer days and evenings for residents, as well as a place of respite for White Pine Trail and North Country Trail enthusiasts.

Rain Gardens and a Sculpture are a part of the continual beautification of Cedar Creek and its historic flowing spring, which will provide multiple opportunities for several school districts to collaborate with science experiments, and participate in research that can benefit Michigan water way protection and development. The new library will be a great source and meeting place for these classes.

A Boardwalk and Bridges along the Creek, initially running from Main Street to the White Pine Trail but eventually spanning through to Riggle Park and 17 Mile Road to be enjoyed by walkers, nature enthusiasts, and fishermen.

A Community Center that can be used as a FEMA crisis center, as well as provide a beautiful venue for wedding and retirement receptions, and many other community and personal celebrations and gatherings.

A Recreation and Fitness Center where the Parks and Recreation Department, various other recreational and fitness organizations, schools, and individual residents can focus on health and wellness as a community.

All of north Kent County will benefit and appreciate these facilities and open spaces. The value they bring to the Cedar Springs Community will be a legacy for years to come. Please get involved now to be part of this legacy.

Tax deductible donations can be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to treasurer, Sue Mabie, 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Coming soon — a new library


This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

The building contractor will be chosen on Monday, June 27, which means building should begin sometime in July. The project is estimated to take 6-8 months, and cost just under $2 million.

The Library Board, Community Building Development Team (CBDT), and the City of Cedar Springs collaborated to make this lifelong dream come true. The vision of the Library Board, the drive of the CBDT, the support of City Council, and thousands of hours given by many people from our community, have made this extraordinary effort a reality.

One of the final approvals needed was from the DEQ. That approval came through this month. This had been a major hurdle because the Cedar Creek and attendant wet lands run through the ten-acre project site, now being referred to as the Heart of Cedar Springs, where the library building will be constructed.

Between Maple and Pine Streets, on the northwest side of town, ten acres is being developed, which will include the new library building, an amphitheater, a boardwalk along the Creek, with rain gardens and sculptures, a community building and a recreation/fitness center. Complementary to this Town Square development, the White Pine Trail and the North Country Trail will intersect right here in Cedar Springs.

N-Library2-and-heart-of-city

In The Post last fall, the Library Board announced a fundraising opportunity for people local to Cedar Springs. While several folks have already participated, there are still bricks—available in two sizes—4”x8” for a donation of $50 and 8”x8” for a donation of $100. Bricks will be engraved with the name or message of your choice and will be used to pave the walkways into and around the Library.

In addition, there are a very limited number of retaining wall blocks available for a donation of $1,000 each as well as capstones for a donation of $2,000 each.  Retaining wall blocks and capstones, about 36 inches high, will have an inset engraved metal plaque to recognize donors, as individuals, organizations, or businesses. The donation may also be in honor or in memory of someone.

Over $3,000,000 has already been raised towards the whole ten-acre project—the Heart of Cedar Springs. A good portion of those funds have been designated to the new library building, and unless otherwise designated, all donations will be directed to the Cedar Springs Community Library until it is completely and totally funded. At that time donations will be directed towards other parts of the Town Square project.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all donors and volunteers for their dedication to make this dream come true for Cedar Springs,” said Community Building Development Team chair Kurt Mabie. “It has taken years of planning by the Library Board, the City of Cedar Springs, the Community Building Development Team and various sub-committees to get to this point. We are now hoping that others in our Community will step up to the challenge and help make all of this possible.”

All gifts are tax deductible.  Both the CBDT and the Library are non-profit organizations.  The CBDT is a 501 (c) 3 and the Library is a 170 (c) 1. Checks should be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Sue Mabie, at 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan, 49319

To obtain the forms for donating towards a brick or a block, you may call Donna Clark, Director of the Library, at 696-1910 or email her at ceddc@llcoop.org.  Checks for these fundraisers should be made out to the Cedar Springs Community Library. General contributions will be recognized inside the Library.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)