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My Town Lowell: Volunteers needed for Earth Day trail cleanup

My Town Lowell: Volunteers needed for Earth Day trail cleanup

LOWELL, Mich.—Community members are invited to celebrate Earth Day this Tuesday, April 22 by rolling up their sleeves and cleaning up the Lowell Area Trailway.

Volunteers will meet at 5 p.m. in the pavilion just west of Cherry Creek Elementary School, on Foreman.  Parking is available at Cherry Creek Elementary or Creekside Kingdom on Gee Drive. 

Volunteers should bring a bucket and gloves, as there is a lot of glass near the pavilion and trash along the trail.  For more information, contact Betsy Davidson at (616) 293-3206.

My Town Lowell: Help create a new trail in Fallasburg Park

My Town Lowell: Help create a new trail in Fallasburg Park

LOWELL, Mich.—Leave your mark on Lowell while camping under the stars with the Fortune Bay Expedition Team’s Pathway of Pioneers Expedition.

The group is teaming up with the National Park Service and volunteers to build a new trail loop in Fallasburg Park.  Participants are needed to help clear the way. At night, volunteers can set up camp and enjoy an evening of food, music and stories around the campfire, as well as a moonlit hike at midnight.

The trail building will take place May 17 and May 18.  Registration is $25.  For more information, visit the Fortune Bay  Expedition Team’s website here.

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town Lowell: Yard waste pickup service returns April 3

My Town Lowell: Yard waste pickup service returns April 3

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the return of yard waste pickup services to the City of Lowell.

Crews will begin picking up yard waste bags Thursday, April 3.  Service will take place every other week until fall.  Residents should place full yard waste bags on the curb to be taken away.  

Yard waste bags area available for purchase at Lowell City Hall, Springrove Variety and the local Meijer store.  The cost is $20 for 10 bags.

My Town Lowell: Leafy landmark to soon disappear

My Town Lowell: Leafy landmark to soon disappear

LOWELL, Mich.—A leafy landmark will soon disappear from downtown Lowell.

According to the City of Lowell’s Facebook page, the tree along the Riverwalk by the library is dying.  Hastened by a few lightning strikes over the years, the tree’s split trunk is beginning to pose a danger to anyone below.

The city plans to take down the tree, remove its trunk and plant more trees.  However, the city is asking for community members to first weigh in on the other changes that need to happen to the Riverwalk stage and Showboat.  Public input will be collected now through April.  To leave your thoughts, visit the City of Lowell homepage.

My Town: Lowell to review flooding response

My Town: Lowell to review flooding response

LOWELL, Mich.—Lowell city leaders will meet with Kent County Emergency Management officials this week to make sure the city has the proper response in place, in case this spring brings another round of record flooding.

Last year, heavy rains caused the Flat River and Grand River to swell, spilling over into yards and roads.  Many homes and businesses were damaged by water; the Lowell Fairgrounds were also under water. President Obama declared Kent County a disaster area, along with five other West Michigan counties. 

The city will review last year’s response during its flooding meeting this Thursday, March 20.

My Town Lowell: City looks to grow tree canopy

My Town Lowell: City looks to grow tree canopy

LOWELL, Mich.— Lowell’s Arbor Board will present its plans to help grow the city’s tree canopy next week.

The board will present its 2014-2015 Comprehensive Tree Plan during the regular city council meeting at 7 p.m.  City Manager Mark Howe says the goal is to eventually restore the tree canopy throughout the city to 40 percent.  He estimates the current canopy is 10 percent to 15 percent. 

Howe says last year, the Arbor Board secured enough grants to plant 75 new trees.  The board also had to invest more money in tree maintenance, because of the summer drought.  All of the new trees survived.

The benefits of trees are plentiful.  Howe points out they filter air, provide shade, soften the hardscapes of buildings and prevent soil erosion.

Lowell’s Urban Forest Initiative started with the inception of its Arbor Board, back in 2007.  The Arbor Foundation has named Lowell a Tree City USA, based on its active tree program.