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Tag Archive | "white pine trail"

Library groundbreaking next Saturday, July 9


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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.

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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


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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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Empty house catches fire, later torn down


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The house at 157 N. Main, just north of Cedar Creek (on the west side of the street) was the site of fire on January 13. Post photo by J. Reed.

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

By Judy Reed

A house that was scheduled to be demolished was the site of a structure fire on Wednesday, January 13.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in about 8:28 p.m. on a structure fire at 157 N. Main, which is just north of Cedar Creek. When they arrived, flames were seen on the second story. Fraser said they cut in around the chimney on the south side to go in and stop the fire, which burned through the wall and floor.

The building, which was purchased by the Community Building Development Team in October, was scheduled to be torn down, and all utilities had been turned off.

 A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

“We can rule out natural gas or electric as being a cause,” remarked Fraser.

Both Fraser and CBDT president Kurt Mabie said that there was evidence that people had been in the building over the last couple of weeks. “We secured it but they still got back in,” said Mabie.

A K9 searched the premises but found no traces of accelerant, and the Fire Marshal deemed the fire suspicious but undetermined. If you have any information about the recent fire, they are now offering up to a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of anyone on arson-related charges. You can call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6015 or Arson Control at 1-800-44-ARSON (27766).

The house was torn down on Tuesday, January 19. Mabie said they weren’t originally looking to purchase the house, but when it was offered, he thought it would be a good deal for the people of the community. The property is just north of Cedar Creek, and runs back to the White Pine Trail, to other property the team purchased on Pine Street. Mabie said they have no immediate plans for the property, but it will enhance the beauty and park-like atmosphere they are creating along Cedar Creek, which will eventually have a boardwalk and bridge, along with a new library just south of the Creek, an ampitheatre west of the library, and a Community building on the old Johnson Lumber property across the White Pine Trail.

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Former Johnson Lumber property to be site of community building


This map shows the land dedicated to developing the heart of Cedar Springs. The parcels outlined in green belong to the CBDT, and the parcel outlined in blue belongs to the city, but will be developed by the CBDT. The area in red is the White Pine Trail.

This map shows the land dedicated to developing the heart of Cedar Springs. The parcels outlined in green belong to the CBDT, and the parcel outlined in blue belongs to the city, but will be developed by the CBDT. The area in red is the White Pine Trail.

Plans by the Community Building Development Team to build up “the heart of Cedar Springs” in the area of Main and Maple Streets are coming together, and the latest involves a new community building.

“Over the last three years, an enormous amount of discussion and collaboration between the City Council, Planning Commission, Library Board, Solon Township, Chamber of Commerce, North County Trail and White Pine Trail Boards, and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) members have taken place,” according to CBDT Chairman Kurt Mabie. “The focus thus far has been on gathering input and guidance from all supporting governmental units, community groups, businesses, and residents so that a comprehensive plan could be developed that will best serve our community residents for years to come. Our new year begins with some significant announcements.”

CS Manufacturing has made the final transfer of ownership for the property to the west of the White Pine Trail at the end of Maple Street, to the CBDT. The property was purchased by CS Manufacturing a year ago with the express purpose of transferring ownership of a large portion of it to the CBDT for use in construction of a new Community Building.

Plans for a new Community Building nestled up next to the Creek, are in the works for this perfect piece of property. Between the new Library, Amphitheater, Boardwalk, and Community Building, a vibrant “Heart” of Cedar Springs is becoming a reality.

To complement this beautiful gift from CS Manufacturing to our wonderful city through the CBDT, the CBDT has purchased two more lots at a reduced price through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sommer, along with assistance from realtor Leon Stout. This additional property will be used to fulfill the CBDT mission to, “incorporate natural features and enhance characteristics that already define our community while assisting in the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial and family/community events.”  These lots are both to the north of Cedar Creek, one with frontage on Pine Street and bordering the White Pine Trail to the Creek, and the second behind the most recent purchase, 157 Main Street, up to the White Pine Trail.

Approximately 6 acres of land has now been donated and/or purchased by the CBDT. These pieces are adjoining to the city owned property on the northwest corner of Main and Maple Streets. All properties will be used to serve and benefit the citizens of the greater Cedar Springs community.

“On behalf of the CBDT, I would like to particularly thank our city council and staff for their countless hours of hard work in bringing this community together and leading the way in making our community the best it can be!” continued Mabie. “The council’s leadership in promoting unity and providing quality services continues to pave the path for significant growth and improvements within our community.”

The CBDT is a non-profit 501c3 organization comprised of community volunteers. “All community members’ ideas and input are needed. Please help shape the future of Cedar Springs by attending meetings and getting involved,” said Mabie. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room of Hilltop School at 6 pm. The next meeting is January 19 and everyone is welcome.

More information can be found at www.cscommunitycenter.org or like Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team on Facebook.

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365 days of new


By Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

New sightings, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch are waiting for you to experience. Do not miss the opportunity to explore nature niches everyday. Spend a few minutes outside reaping at least one newness each day. Do not make a resolution that you will not keep. Instead, find something new for this year and savor it as the special.

The White Pine tree is the only pine with five needles held together by a tan follicle at the base. Photo from www.bates.edu.

The White Pine tree is the only pine with five needles held together by a tan follicle at the base. Photo from www.bates.edu.

It might be most rewarding to discover something you have not noticed previously but relish things you have known and find new joy in experiencing them this year. You might know Black-capped Chickadees but enjoy them anew this year. Look closely at a tree branch in your yard to notice buds. Can you count the small bud scales that cover the bud during these cold winter months? Some trees like the Bitternut Hickory do not have protective scales over the embryonic leaf and stem tissues. Two small leaves tightly crumple as protective covers over the inner tissues. Willows have a single scale over next spring’s new growth. Oaks have several sturdy scales covering the nearly microscopic leaves and stems within.

Make it simple and enjoy things you want to explore. Continue to make new discoveries for 365 days. The year has already progressed a few days. There will be days without observations so catch up by making more discoveries on other days. Keep a list of new experiences daily. You can keep track what you have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt. It is good to list date, location, time, and observation. Look over your list once in a while to refresh your memory and relive the experience. This can be the beginning of nature journaling.

Walk with a friend on the White Pine trail. Avoid being so engrossed in conversation that you miss the natural world. Stop along the trail and use your senses. Share a discovery with your friend. It might be as simple as pointing out the sound of an American Crow. You might take notice of how many pine needles are held together in a cluster. White Pines have 5 needles held together by a tan follicle at the base. Each needle is shaped like a cut piece of pie. Two sides are straight and meet at the inner point. The outer edge is curved like that of a pie. Run your fingers from the base to tip and notice they all fit together like a freshly cut pie. I contend this is a pine tree’s version of the compound leaf.

I have never heard of needle clusters being referred to as compound leaves but each cluster is one needle-like leaf divided into five parts. When spread apart they make it possible to capture more sunlight for photosynthesis. Red Pines, Jack Pines, and Scotch Pines have two needles in a cluster that fit together like two half moons. Spruce and firs have one needle attached directly to the branch.

Feel tree trunks to notice different bark textures. Do some feel smooth or rough, furrowed up and down or crosswise? Do trees have different bark colors?

When looking at birds in flight, are wings long and narrow, short and wide, light or dark? Are tails longer or shorter than wings?

Be cautious with tasting but bite into a cherry twig and describe the taste. Try tasting a Sassafras twig. Find a White Oak acorn and taste it. Do the same with a Red Oak acorn. It is good to have a bottle of water with you just in case you do not like a taste and want to rinse your mouth. You might discover why deer have preferences for what they eat. Smell each item to discover new pleasant or unpleasant smells.

Rather than isolate yourself from nature when outside with music coming through ear plugs or by being totally engrossed in conservation, put the ear plugs away for a few minutes or cease talking for a few hundred feet. Stop at a random location for a short time to experience the surroundings. Introduce a friend to a nature’s wonderful world. Turn New Year outdoor experiences into meaningful conversations full of newness.

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.

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Do you know who this is?


Police are seeking this suspect in connection with an indecent exposure complaint.

Police are seeking this suspect in connection with an indecent exposure complaint.

Detectives with the Kent County Sheriff Department are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect that was recently involved in an indecent exposure complaint on the White Pine Trail.

The incident occurred on September 26, in the early afternoon, near Cedar Springs. The suspect was described as being between 55-65 years of age.

The adult victim was able to create a composite of the suspect and Detectives are hopeful the community can assist in identifying the suspect. If you think you might recognize the suspect, please contact Det. Michael Hopkins at 616-632-6015 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or toll free at 1-866-774-2345.

You can also text Tip138 to CRIMES (274637). Be sure to have TIP138 in the first line of your message. You will then receive an automatic text message reply that will contain your confidential ID number.

Silent Observer will be able to send text messages back to you without knowing your cell phone number to ask questions or gather more information.

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