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My Town: Volunteers needed for Kent County Parks clean-up projects

My Town: Volunteers needed for Kent County Parks clean-up projects

KENT COUNTY, Mich.-- The Kent County Parks Department is looking for volunteers to help clean up parks this spring.

The 2014 Kent County spring clean event has not been scheduled for a specific day,  because of lingering snow cover.  However, volunteers are encouraged to sign up with he Kent County Parks Department and let them know what projects they'd like to work on, when the time comes.

People interested in pitching in to improve any of the county's 34 parks should contact Volunteer Services at (616) 632-7842 or email park.volunteers@kentcountymi.gov .  Volunteers can explain what work they'd like to do, and the Parks Department will then organize the clean-up effort.  The spring clean event provides an opportunity to meet new community members and make a difference throughout Kent County.

Introduction to Astronomy Feb. 15

Introduction to Astronomy Feb. 15

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- The public is invited to the annual "Introduction to Astronomy – Sorting it Out", taking place on Feb. 15 at Schuler Books at 2660 28th St. SE.

At 1:00 p.m., Jim Foersh and Bill Grinstead will give participants information on recommended telescopes, guide books, star charts and outline resources, along with stargazing tips.  A "Telescope Tune-Up Clinic" will run from  2:15 p.m.  to 3 p.m. At this clinic, experienced amateur astronomers will be on hand to provide proper telescope use advice, along with personal telescope adjustments.   

The presentation is in connection to the Grand Rapids  Amateur Astronomical Association, based in Lowell, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

For more information, call (616) 897-7065 or visit http://www.graaa.org/.

Explore the outdoors during Winter Fest Feb. 8

Explore the outdoors during Winter Fest Feb. 8

LOWELL, Mich.—Explore the outdoors on snowshoes during this year’s Winter Fest Saturday, Feb. 8.

Visitors to the Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center are invited to an afternoon of winter-filled fun including bird watching and snowshoeing.  The first 100 snowshoe rentals will be available for half price ($2), thanks to the generosity of Lowell Community Wellness.  At 2 p.m., Anna Laidlaw from Wild Bird Unlimited will share tips to make your backyard more bird friendly.  She’ll also provide bird seed samples and coupons for the Wild Birds Unlimited store on Northland Drive.

Winter Fest runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.   For more information, contact the Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center at (616) 987-2565.

Lowell biodigester clears financial hurdle

Lowell biodigester clears financial hurdle

LOWELL, Mich.—A system fashioned after a cows’ stomachs will soon power Lowell.

Sustainable Partners (Spart) announced Wednesday that it had completed financing for Lowell Energy AD, which is a waste-to-energy facility located at the former manufacturing site at 625 Chatham.

Spart has been working on the project for two years.  The facility will use anaerobic digestion technology to convert organic waste into methane, which will then be used to power an 800 kilowatt electric generator around the clock for Lowell Light and Power.    

“Our city is more than just a nice place to live,” comments Mark Howe, city manager, “We are committed to leveraging the leading technologies to make Lowell a hub for food production.

Christmas bird count opportunity on Dec. 28

Christmas bird count opportunity on Dec. 28

LOWELL, Mich.-- The Grand Rapids Audubon Club invites avian enthusiasts to join this bird count opportunity for half of the day or all day.

This is a fun time of gathering useful data for tracking bird locations and the size of species groups. Participation is free but donations are encouraged to support the National Audubon Program.

Birders will meet on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 7:30 a.m. at the Wittenbach/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Center ,located at 11715 Vergennes Road in Lowell.  Participants will return around noon for a bring-your-own brown bag lunch and again at 5 p.m. to tally section findings.

For inquiries, call (616) 249-3382 or email tomleggett@hotmail.com. Visit www.glsgh.org for more information on the Grand Rapids Audubon Club.

Help fight cancer with a Christmas tree

Help fight cancer with a Christmas tree

LOWELL, Mich.—Christmas tree hunting season is here and now is your chance to pick up a tree while supporting the American Cancer Society.

Relay for Life of Lowell is holding its Christmas tree sale now through December 22.  Scotch Pine, Spruce and Fraser and Douglas firs are available.  Prices start at $19.50 with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Lowell.

The tree sale runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Lincoln Lake Business Park, located at 677 Lincoln Lake SE in Lowell.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

WALKER, Mich.—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council has some new faces at its helm.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Grandville Mayor Steve Maas, Kentwood Mayor Steve Keply and Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga officially joined the GVMC Board of Directors.  All three men were elected in November and selected by city members to serve on the panel.

Ada Township Supervisor George Haga and Sand Lake Village Trustee Roger Towsley also took the oath of office.  They represent the first two communities to join GVMC since 2007. The Board of Directors also recently approved accepting Lowell Township as a member. 

The GVMC is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.