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CBDT update on projects

breaking ground of amphitheater
The Community Building Development Team recently broke ground for the new amphitheatre in the Heart of Cedar Springs, near the library. Courtesy photo.

By Sue Wolfe

So many things have happened this year to bring Phase I of the “Heart of Cedar Springs” closer to reality. Since the gala had to be delayed, we thought we would update you on where we are.

*The DEQ has signed the paperwork approving the location of the amphitheater. Work will start either this late fall or in the early spring.

*We have obtained easements to route the North County Trail through the “Heart of Cedar Springs” and out to White Creek Avenue on its way to the Rogue River State Game Area. Trail building will begin in the spring. We hope you will volunteer to help!

*Another beautiful sculpture, “Springs Eternal,” designed and sculpted by Andrew Kline, Sculptor and Assistant Conservator at Frederik Meijer Gardens, has been made available, has DEQ approval for placement, and will be placed in the “Heart of Cedar Springs” within the next several months.

*A new rain garden was planted between the library and Cedar Creek. Over 600 plants were installed and will do the work of cleaning and cooling the rain water run off before it goes back into Cedar Creek. 

*Twelve benches have been purchased and will soon be placed throughout the area now defined as the “Heart of Cedar Springs.”

*The North Park wetland restoration, made possible by a grant pursued in part by the CBDT, has been approved by the DEQ and work will be started late this fall or early next spring. This wetland area will provide significant relief for the water runoff concerns the City of Cedar Springs constantly has to deal with.

*The American Legion has taken on the project of developing the area around the Clock Tower as a Veteran’s Tribute Park. They have established a fundraiser selling engraved bricks commemorating veterans. 

We are gratified to be another year closer to having an amphitheater for our talented musical and theater groups, dance troupes, and other performers and to have made so much progress in protecting Cedar Creek and enhancing the trails in and through Cedar Springs. The Community Building Development Team (CBDT) has truly made an amazing difference in the face and heart of our beautiful city. We are still pinching ourselves that through the leadership of the Library Board and the well-targeted support of the CBDT, we have a beautiful library, completely paid for and serving the needs of our residents. We are proud to have acquired approximately six acres of property that has been subsequently donated to the City for public use. We are in love with the replica of a historic bridge that was built by Northwest Kent Mechanical and placed over Cedar Creek and are excited to have another beautiful bridge in the planning stages!

The CBDT sees itself as an ad hoc group supporting the ambitions of well-established community clubs and organizations such as the Rotary, Women’s, and Lions Clubs, Downtown Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce and many others as well as helping to fulfill the master plan of the City itself. An excellent example is our partnership with the American Legion to develop the Veteran’s Tribute Clock Tower and Park and of course building a new library did not start as a dream of the CBDT!

As we look forward to 2019 we are excited to have a few specific projects that are ready for focused work! We could use the help of those of you who have a bit of time to volunteer on one of these projects. The projects ready for focused work and likely completion in 2019 are:

*Build the amphitheater.

*Build the North Country Trail between the White Pine Trail Head and White Creek Avenue.

*Pursue grants and plans to replace the White Pine Trail bridge over Cedar Creek expanding the size of the culvert to further assist the movement of water through the City.

*Support the efforts of Creative Technologies Academy in planning a new athletic facility.

*Continue to support the American Legion as they develop the Veteran’s Tribute.

Projects that will continue in the planning phase for completion in future years are:

*Pursue plans to build a natural children’s playground between the library and the amphitheater.

*Continue the development of plans for a community building.

*Continued development of trails linking the Northeast and Southwest parts of the city.

Cedar Springs is rapidly growing with people and businesses moving into town to join an active and progressive community with a Big Vision and a Big Heart! Which of these projects interest you? With only a few hours per month you could make an impact on the wise use of land, protecting our natural resources, providing for community needs for infrastructure and meeting places, or other projects and opportunities that you might have in mind. Each person is needed in some capacity whether to help financially and/or by sharing time and talents.  

The CBDT has scheduled four Team Meetings for 2019. All meetings will be held at the library on the following Tuesdays; January 15, April 16, August 20, and October 15. All meetings start at 6:30 pm. There are 15-25 people who regularly attend and several others who come as they are available. Please attend these collaborative meetings and add your insight to the various projects. The Board of Directors will meet at 6 pm, in an open meeting, on those same nights, also at the library. 

Raising funds for the projects is, of course, one of the biggest challenges we face. Our leaders have done an amazing job of obtaining materials at reduced amounts, putting their own labor and time into projects, pulling work bees together to get chunks of work done and other ways of reducing costs and making wise use of the funds that have been raised. The focus of our capital campaign for 2019 is to fund the building of the amphitheater. Financial donations of any amount, accumulated together, will get the job done. 

We appreciate all of your help and your donations in past years. If you can, please make a donation before the end of 2018 by using the enclosed pledge card. The CBDT is a 501(c)(3) and will provide a tax receipt.

New ideas and energy are greatly appreciated so join the team in building the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” Please contact any CBDT board member with questions or suggestions. Those members are Kurt Mabie, Dale Larson, Sue Wolfe, Fred Gunnell, Danette Bailey, Perry Hopkins, Sue Mabie and Carolee Cole.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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