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My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  What does the Grand River need?

That’s the question students of Kent Innovation High are trying to answer, with the community’s help.  Inspired by Grand Rapids Whitewater, a group of sophomores have been surveying Grand Rapids residents downtown and on social media to find out what they would like to see in waterfront’s future.  They are taking that information to make a 25 foot long replica of the river and its banks, complete with ideas to revitalize the space.

 The replica will be on display during the Grand River Innovation Showcase Friday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the school, located at 1655 East Beltline Ave. NE.  For more information, click here.

My Town: Master gardeners share free 'Advice to Grow With' May 17

My Town: Master gardeners share free 'Advice to Grow With' May 17

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Get an answer to all of your plant problems while visiting Frederik Meijer Gardens  & Sculpture Park this weekend with “Advice to Grow With:  Ask a Master Gardener.”

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., master gardeners will be in Meijer Gardens’ Peter M. Wege Library, ready to answer gardening questions.  The advice session is free with admission.  For more information, visit the Meijer Gardens website here.

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  High School students from six area districts will showcase their efforts to protect the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes during the Groundswell Student Showcase May 14.

Grand Valley State University is showcasing the exhibit, which provides hands-on environmental learning for students throughout Kent County.  The projects will be on display on the big screen and in the Beacon Lobby at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.

My Town: Frederik Meijer Gardens provides a hot spot during spring break

My Town: Frederik Meijer Gardens provides a hot spot during spring break

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—If you can’t escape to a warmer place this spring break, just head to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, where the Butterflies Are Blooming, and so are the opportunities for fun.

Now through April 30, visit the balmy Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory where more than 7,000 butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America and Central America mature and  fly freely among the tropical plants. Butterflies Are Blooming is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation.

 “Where else in the Midwest can you walk into a 15 thousand square-foot tropical environment and be instantly immersed in warm temperatures and thousands of exotic butterflies?” asked Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture. “This exhibition gives you the opportunity to experience something different—a taste of the tropics and special winged visitors-- right here in West Michigan.”

My Town Ada: Volunteers needed for Garlic Mustard Challenge Day

My Town Ada: Volunteers needed for Garlic Mustard Challenge Day

ADA, Mich.—Volunteers are needed to help tackle an invasive plant at one of the largest natural area parks in Kent County.

The Kent County Parks' annual Garlic Mustard Challenge Day is Saturday, April 26. The department is looking for help in removing garlic mustard from Seidman Park. This invasive plant has few natural enemies and crowds out native wildflowers and other plants.  

Volunteer shifts are 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. All supplies and tools will be provided.

Registration is required. The deadline is Wednesday, April 23. To sign up, call Virginia Sines at (616) 632-7842.

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

UPDATE: Three more buildings have joined the competition.

Organizers say the MATS administration office, Community Mental Health and the Hall of Justice, all in Muskegon County are now involved in the Battle of the Buildings, bringing the total square footage to more than 9 million.  The new goal is 10 million square feet by the registration deadline of March 31.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—More than three dozen local businesses are competing in cutting down energy in the West Michigan Battle of the Buildings.

The owners of 45 buildings representing nearly 9 million square feet of space have signed up to take part in the inaugural competition, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. The organization is teaming up with Consumers Energy and Hurst Mechanical to provide workshops on building improvements, optimizing operations and maintance and engaging building occupants to curb energy use.

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.