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My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town Alpine Township: Organic gardening classes and plots open

My Town Alpine Township: Organic gardening classes and plots open

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  Apartment living often leaves no space for gardening, but Family of Christ Church in Alpine Township is working to change that.

The church is organizing two classes for community members interested in organic gardening. Phil Chaffee will lead the sessions. The class times are as follows:

  • Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. at York Creek Community Center
  • Saturday, April 5, 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. at York Creek Community Center

Family of Christ Church is also opening up its community garden to greenthumbs primarily living in area apartments.  The church began putting together the garden last year, but this is will be the first full season the raised beds are ready for use.  The community garden is on the church’s property, located at 1100 Henze Street, behind Sam’s Club and WalMart.  The program is $10 per raised bed, and participants must practice organic gardening.

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.

My Town Comstock Park: New banners, planters planned for downtown

My Town Comstock Park: New banners, planters planned for downtown

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.— New banners and pots filled with flowers will line the streets of downtown Comstock Park by early summer.

Jay Spencer says the Downtown Development Authority is working with Victory Signs in designing approximately 30 banners that will adorn the street lights along West River Drive and around the park in Comstock Park.  The banners will highlight Comstock Park. Additionally, the DDA plans to order 20 more planters to fill with flowers this year.  That’s in addition to the 10 flower planters it had out last year. 

Whitehall school club seeks donations to curb food waste

Whitehall school club seeks donations to curb food waste

WHITEHALL, Mich.—  A group of Whitehall Middle School students is turning to the community for help with a national competition.

Whitehall Middle School teacher Susan Tate recently sent a message to the district on behalf of the environmental club, asking for donations to fund a mobile food pantry for families in the White Lake area.  The outreach project is part of the club’s project for the Lexus Eco Challenge.  The club is competing against 15 other middle schools nationwide in tackling the issue of food waste and its effect on the environment.  The Whitehall Middle School Environmental Club is teaming up with Feeding America West Michigan of Comstock Park to create the mobile food pantry.  

Alpine Township offers tree recycling to residents

Alpine Township offers tree recycling to residents

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— With Christmas over, now is the time to recycle your tree.

Alpine Township will take live-cut Christmas trees now through January 31, 2014.  Residents should drop off their trees in the fenced off area behind the township offices, located at 5255 Alpine Ave. NW.

All bags, holiday decorations and tree stands should be removed.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is getting even more funding to create a larger, healthier urban forest.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is awarding the organization with an additional $189,200 to recruit volunteers and rally community support for neighborhood trees.  The GRCF originally awarded the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks nearly $254,000 two years ago to launch the Urban Forest Project. Since then,  volunteers with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks have planted 489 trees, including those in Brewer’s Grove in Riverside Park.

"Growing our urban tree canopy is important not just for us – but for all the future generations after us. It’s about health, it’s about the environment, it’s about the future health of our city," said Community Foundation President Diana Sieger.