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Tag Archive | "white pine trail"

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Cleaning up the trail


N-Boy-Scouts-clean-up-trail

These Boy Scouts cleaned up the White Pine Trail between 16 and 18 Mile Roads, Tuesday evening, June 7. The clean up was done in conjunction with the Cedar Springs Rotary Club.

Thank you for helping keep our trail clean!

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Trail patrol volunteers needed


Meetings at Cedar Springs City Hall on June 8, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Have you ever noticed problems on the White Pine Trail you wish someone would report? Would you like to help trail users who have questions? The Kent County Sheriff Department Community Services Unit is looking for people to be part of their Volunteer Trail Patrol program.

Volunteers patrol trails in Kent County, reporting problems that need to be addressed and assisting trail users.

The Kent County Sheriff Department will hold two meetings at Cedar Springs City Hall, on Wednesday, June 8, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., for those interested.

Volunteers wear a vest issued from the Sheriff Department that identifies them as a trail volunteer. They work a minimum of two hours each week, but can set their own schedule. They can walk, ride a bike, or use in-line skates on the trail.

Volunteers must be 18 or older, be friendly, and have transportation to and from the trail.

For more information, call Sandi Jones at 616-632-6221.

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Sparta man dies in snowmobile accident


Edwin Larsen

Edwin Larsen

An evening snowmobile ride on the White Pine Trail turned deadly for a Sparta man last weekend.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred on Saturday, January 22, shortly before 10:43 p.m. That was when they responded to a call about an injured snowmobiler on the White Pine Trail, near Northland Drive and Grosvenor, in Nelson Township.

Once police arrived, they found it was a fatality.

Police said that the victim, Edwin Larsen, 37, of Sparta, was traveling southbound on the White Pine Trail on his snowmobile, at a high rate of speed, when he lost control and crashed. He was wearing a helmet.

The victim was traveling with two other riders, who were not injured. Police believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Funeral services for Edwin Larsen will be Friday, January 29, at Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home in Sparta.

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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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