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OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

WYOMING, Mich.—United Church Outreach Ministry is getting down and dirty to help fight hunger in West Michigan.

As part of their newest project, Growing Green Neighbors, ministry members teamed up with community members, Metro Health employees and other volunteers Tuesday to turn a patch of Wyoming’s Marquette Park into a thriving garden.

The food will be donated to Feeding America West Michigan, increasing the amount of healthy fresh vegetables available to pantry visitors.

My Town: Be mindful of your health during storm cleanup

My Town: Be mindful of your health during storm cleanup

WYOMING, Mich.—If you plan to spend the weekend cleaning up damage from Sunday night’s tornadoes and storms, the American Heart Association wants you to be mindful of your health.

Cleaning up storm damage can be physically taxing, leading to a higher risk of heart attack.  Residents should take plenty of breaks, carry smaller loads and drink plenty of water.  The American Heart Association says most importantly, residents should listen to their bodies. 

The warning signs of a heart attack include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that last for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck and arms.
  • Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

People who experience the warning signs of a heart attack should stop what they’re doing immediately and call 911.

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

WYOMING, Mich.—  Community members are invited to celebrate National Trails Day this weekend with a one mile or two mile walk through Kent County’s Millennium Park.

Recreation departments from Wyoming, Walker, Kentwood and Kent County are teaming up to host the Fun & Fitness Walk this Saturday, June 7.  The event is one of more than 2,000 activities planned nationwide, to promote park activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The national Walk in the Park event will begin at 9 a.m. Registration will be available on site that morning.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will provide water and snacks. Strollers are permitted; however, pets are not allowed. Area parks and recreation departments and trail advocacy groups will be on hand to share information on local walking clubs and trails.

My Town: Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

My Town:  Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

WYOMING, Mich.—A new greenhouse made out of 2,000 water bottles now sits outside Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center.

Students, along with teacher Char Walsh and school staff teamed up with Goodwill AmeriCorps members to build the eco-friendly greenhouse last Friday, using water bottles collected by the Heart of West Michigan United Way and Grand Rapids Community College.  Many of the additional building materials were donated by a local lumber company.

Students, teachers and the female clients of Dégagé Ministries will grow and harvest vegetables in the greenhouse to make salsa, which will then be sold, with all proceeds going to  Dégagé.

My Town Wyoming: Volunteers needed for golf course cleanup April 12

My Town Wyoming: Volunteers needed for golf course cleanup April 12

WYOMING, Mich.—The snow is melting which means it’s time to clean up West Michigan’s green spaces.

The Kent County Parks and Recreation Department is calling on volunteers to help rake and clean up L.E. Kaufman Golf Course, located off of Clyde Parke Avenue, south of 44th Street.  The cleanup effort will run from 10 a.m. to noon on April 12; participants can enjoy a lunch provided by golf course staff afterward. 

The Parks and Recreation Department will provide all supplies and tools needed for the cleanup, but registration is required.  The deadline is Wednesday, April 9.  To sign up, call Virginia Sines at (616) 632-7842.