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Tag Archive | "white pine trail"

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


N-Fire-building1-157-N-Main

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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Mackinaw Striders raise $33,000 for MS


The Mackinaw Striders made a stop in Cedar Springs on August 26 on their walk from Grand Rapids to the Mackinac Bridge.

The Mackinaw Striders made a stop in Cedar Springs on August 26 on their walk from Grand Rapids to the Mackinac Bridge.

Multiple Sclerosis affects people in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 20 and 50. Every hour someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with this unpredictable disease. The symptoms of MS are different for everyone; the only certainty is that it will affect yet another person every hour of every day.

The Mackinaw Striders set a goal to walk from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw City in 11 days, and to raise $25,000, which they later changed to $33,300, for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

They set off on August 26 from Grand Rapids and walked to Pierson, making a stop at the White Pine Trail staging area in Cedar Springs.

Sari Swets, 50, who suffers from MS, walked the whole 222 miles to the Bridge.

Sari Swets, 50, who suffers from MS, walked the whole 222 miles to the Bridge.

Sari Brummel Swets, 50, a former teacher who was diagnosed with MS in 2007, had previously finished four MS walks of 50 miles, but had never walked this far. She, along with her father, Roger Brummel, and brother-in-law Paul Katerburg, and team member Sandy Johnson, walked the whole way and then over the bridge for 225.7 miles. Other team members accompanied them along the way.

“I will make my mark and do my part to make a difference in the lives of those living with MS,” wrote Sari, on her support page. “By supporting me you too will make your mark in this pursuit.”

They fell short of their goal by $300. To see the team page and to donate, google “Mackinaw Striders.” to learn more about MS, visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org/.

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Thank you


Post Script NOTICE: 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.


 

I would like to say thank you to the stranger that stopped and helped my daughter and I when we fell on the White Pine Trail, on Friday, August 21, 2015. We are both doing well and should heal pretty quickly. Thank you so much.

Trisha Dart, Cedar Springs

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Have you seen this bike?


This photo shows the suspect taking the bike. Courtesy photo.

This photo shows the suspect taking the bike. Courtesy photo.

This bike was stolen at the end of W. Ash Street, just off the White Pine Trail. Courtesy photo.

This bike was stolen at the end of W. Ash Street, just off the White Pine Trail. Courtesy photo.

Michelle Hawley sent us a message this week letting us know that someone stole her bike on Sunday, May 24, from the end of W. Ash Street, near the White Pine Trail. The bike is a Zigo Leader X2. She also had surveillance footage of the suspect, though it is a bit blurry. If you have seen this bike or have any information on who might’ve stolen it, please notify the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit at 696-1311 or Detective Hopkins  at 616-632-6100.

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CBDT begins cleanup on new property


Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

The Community Building Development Team, a local non-profit looking to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs, began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land.

The clean up along the White Pine Trail and storage area that previously belonged to Tony Johnson, located at the west end of Maple Street, began on a cold and windy January 10, when a bunch of supermen from the area got to work. Nick Andres, Kurt Mabie, and Dave Ringler, from the Community Building Development Team, pulled the event together. The West Michigan Hawks, a semi-pro football team in the Minor League Football Alliance league and based in Cedar Springs, brought 10 of their finest guys to help out. Several other men from the community came along for a total of nearly 20 guys wielding chain saws and basic brawn to cut down trees and brush.

Everyone got started at 9:00 a.m. and had made a huge dent by 11:30 a.m. Dave Ringler and Rose Powell opened the Brewery and former Red Flannel Festival offices for a warm place to eat and Little Caesar’s Pizza of Cedar Springs donated enough pizza to feed everyone.  Dave provided beer (of course!) and Rose provided hot chocolate. There was also pop and coffee for all the workers.

CS Manufacturing recently purchased the property from the Tony Johnson Estate and plans to donate a portion to the CBDT. Permission from the appropriate organizations had been granted to the CBDT for a clean-up prior to Saturday’s work.

There will be lots of other opportunities to work together as a community to plant rain gardens and stream buffers, clear land, clean up Cedar Creek and much more. You, too, can join the team of volunteers working under the name of Community Building Development Team and help to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs. The team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the board room on the 3rd floor of Hilltop School at 6 pm. Facebook fans can also “Like” the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or check out the website at CSCommunityCenter.org to get information as it becomes available.

 

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