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My Town: Time to trash the tree! Free Christmas tree recycling locations

My Town: Time to trash the tree!  Free Christmas tree recycling locations

Christmas is over, which means it’s time to trash the tree.

Many municipalities are offering free tree recycling services to residents with a natural tree.  Some communities are planning to put the trees through a chipper and use the remnants to cover park trails and other green spaces.  Here is the schedule for live tree drop-offs:

Ada Township (Through Jan. 12)

  • Ada Township Park, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Alpine Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Behind Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave. NW

 

Cannon Township (Through Jan. 10)

  • West side of the township building; RHS Honor Society will help unload trees Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (donations encouraged)

 

Courtland Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Fire Station #1 on 14 Mile Road

 

My Town: Four communities host Labor Day prayer for farmers

My Town: Four communities host Labor Day prayer for farmers

GREENVILLE, Mich.--  The seeds have been sewn and the fields have been managed; now three West Michigan churches and an Ionia farm are turning to prayer for a safe and fruitful 2014 harvest.

Community members are encouraged to take part in this season’s prayer for farmers, which will take place on Labor Day, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m.   Mamrelund Lutheran Church in Kent City, Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, Rudd Farms at 1426 W. Grand River Ave. in Ionia and First United Methodist Church in Carson City will host the prayer session.  For more information, contact Mike Finkler at (616) 690-6221.

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: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

My Town: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Organizers of the inaugural Rogue River Expedition are calling the event a success.

More than 50 people participated in the three-day paddling and land tour of the river and its watershed.  The idea for the expedition originated from the 2010 Grand River Expedition, which involved hundreds of boaters who explored more than 250 miles of water over 12 days.  Because the Grand River Expedition is held only once a decade, its organizers decided to hold similar events on the Grand River’s larger tributaries.

The Rogue River Expedition kicked off in June with a land tour at Howard Christensen Nature Center and the Fruit Ridge Area, which is considered one of the best fruit-growing regions in the world.  The exploration also included trips to Rogers Park in Sparta, Nash Creek and Camp Rockford.

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

SPARTA, Mich.—Fruit farmers whose crops were devastated because of the unusual spring weather in 2012 are now eligible for federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin taking applications Tuesday for Michigan farmers who lost their fruit crops due to the freeze.  The funding is available through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program,  which was authorized in this year’s Farm Bill.

 “After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

My Town Sparta: Registration open for rain barrel workshop

My Town Sparta: Registration open for rain barrel workshop

SPARTA, Mich.— Improve the local watershed by building a rain barrel during the upcoming workshop by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

For $30, participants in the workshop will go home with everything they need to set up a rain barrel, including the barrel itself.  WMEAC says rain barrels are an effective and easy method to improve the local watershed by conserving water and curbing water pollution. 

Registration is now open for the July 24 workshop at Sparta Moose Lodge, 11510 N. Division Ave.  The class starts at 6:30 p.m. and is expected to last 45 minutes. To register, click here.