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Libraries offer free passes to state parks

Libraries offer free passes to state parks
 

Now’s your chance to enjoy the “MI Big Green Gym” by picking up free state park passes at your local library.

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association is teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to offer free passes, allowing visitors to experience free recreation  programs many of the parks offer.

23rd annual 5K run/walk through Sparta

23rd annual 5K run/walk through Sparta

SPARTA, Mich.-- From children in strollers to dogs on leashes, the whole family is invited to take part in this 5k race, which begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 20.

The Fast and Flat Certified 5K begins and finishes at Balyeat Field on Olmstead Street in Sparta. There are two new registration options this year-- Run for Rides and Run for Beer.

The Run for Rides registration comes with three free carnival ride tickets at Town & Country Days and a  Run for Rides  t-shirt. The Run for Beer registration includes two free drink tickets that can be used at the Town & Country Days beer tent and a Fun for Beer T-shirt.  People who register for the Run for Beer category must be  21 years or older and carry a valid ID. 

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  "Friends of Grand Rapids Parks" is getting reading to plant a new green space for Grand Rapids, made possible by 17 area breweries.

The ceremonial planting of Brewers Grove will take place October 17 at Riverside Park.  The event will also include a beer-inspired movie showing inside the park at dusk.  Visitors will be allowed to bring growlers.

Brewers Grove is being funded by tree beer sales.  Each participating brewery created their own version of tree beer.  The fundraiser began August 5, with many breweries donating $1 from each pint sold to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks' Urban Forest Project.  Other participating breweries created events and promotions for the fundraising campaign.

Participating breweries include:

Village to provide police for Sparta Town & Country Days

Village to provide police for Sparta Town & Country Days

SPARTA, Mich.—The Village of Sparta has approved providing police officers for Sparta Town & Country Days in Sparta Township.

Sparta Town & Country Days will run July 17 to July 21.   Wednesday’s events include a free health fair, carnival rides, a community pig roast and a free watermelon social in Rogers Park.  At 6 p.m., Sparta’s police officer and firefighter of the year will be recognized.

For more information, visit the Sparta Town & Country Days website here.

Feeding America food truck to distribute food to families in need

Feeding America food truck to distribute food to families in need

Those in need of food assistance are welcome to visit  Mamrelund Lutheran Church & Community Center in Kent City on July 15 as the Feeding America West Michigan food truck arrives.

Mamrelund Lutheran Church & Community Center is located at 4085 Lutheran Church Road.  The truck is expected to visit the church from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Volunteers with Feeding America West Michigan will hand out an additional 5,000 pounds of food at the church again on Monday, August 5.

On Monday, September 9, the food truck will visit Sparta's DHS office, which is located behind the Secretary of State's office.  For more information including additional calendar listings,  call (616) 887-8873 or (616) 887-8874 or visit www.mamrelund.weebly.com.

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

West Michigan growers are seeing high demand for berries this summer.

Many farmers have closed their fields for a couple days after visitors picked their plants clean.  The increasing demand also led to a shorter cherry season for some growers.  

Here's a list of some of the U-pick locations open in West Michigan this summer. Prices, fruit availability and hours vary daily, so it's best to call ahead before visiting any farm.

 

Ionia County

 

Bird Berry Farm

5256 Belding Rd. Belding, MI

(616) 794-5041

Blueberries $1.75 per pound

Patch picked out early Friday morning call back for update Wednesday, July 17

 

 

Kent County

 

North Ridge Berries

3555 20 Mile Rd. NW Kent City, MI

(616) 675-5919

Raspberries $3 per pound

Cherry season arrives at Fruit Ridge Farm Market

Cherry season arrives at Fruit Ridge Farm Market
 SPARTA, Mich.-- The cherry season is officially here.Fruit Ridge Farm Market, located at 9000 Fruit Ridge Avenue, opened its u-pick season for tart and sweet cherries Thursday, July 11.   Visitors can pick a pound of tart cherries for $1.25 per pound or pick up a pre-picked pound for $1.65.  Sweet cherries are $1.75 per pound for u-pick and $3 per pound for pre-picked.

Red raspberries are also available for $4 per picked pint or $3 per a pound if you pick it.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market is now also showcasing its produce in the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.