Michigan State University’s campus was bustling with youth from all over Michigan including area 4-H youth, Nicholas Barnes, Evan Christoffersen, Lola Dyga, Lakhota Groenke, Wynter Groenke, and Trinity Tyndall as part of 4-H Exploration Days held June 21 – 23. The annual event is Michigan State University’s largest pre-college program, attended by youth and adult chaperones from across Michigan. The theme was All Paths Lead to 4-H!
Youth selected from nearly 200 hands-on sessions and field trips in content areas such as animal and veterinary science, business and entrepreneurship, careers, environmental education, food and nutrition, fitness, international language and culture, money management, performing and visual arts, and science, engineering, and technology for this 3-day event.
Keynote speaker, and renowned speaker, author, and DJ, Tanner Olson opened the event with his message about kindness and courage. Through his work at high school and university campuses and at international conferences, he reaches more than 50,000 students, educators, and parents across Canada and the United States every year. Juan is the founder of The 100 Day Playbook, a guided journal that helps young people build better habits, boost productivity, and optimize their lives.
When not in sessions, participants had the opportunity to attend a concert by Gooding at the Wharton Center as well as visit the MSU Breslin Center, Abrams Planetarium, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, 4-H Children’s Gardens, MSU Animal Teaching and Research Centers, and a variety of campus museums to name a few.
4-H Exploration Days is made possible through a grant from the Gerber Foundation and support from Newaygo 4-H Council. For more information about the Newaygo County 4-H program contact Laurie Platte Breza, 4-H program coordinator, at email@example.com or by calling 231-928-1056.
Gerber hospital providing free produce via the Veggie Van
FREMONT, Mich., June 27, 2023 – Spectrum Health Gerber Hospital, part of Corewell Health, is inviting families across Newaygo County to pick up a bag of free, healthy produce when the Veggie Van makes a stop at Arbor Circle, 232 82nd St., Newaygo, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12.
The goal of the Veggie Van program is to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are available to people, especially to those who may otherwise have limited access to fresh produce. The bags of produce will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Veggie Van will make four additional appearances in Newaygo County from 2 to 4 p.m. on the following dates/locations:
In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, children and adults alike can enjoy free fitness opportunities on July 26, Aug. 23 and Oct. 18. Team members from Tamarac, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, will be on-site offering a kids fitness circuit on July 26, and Zumba for kids and adults on Aug. 23 and Oct. 18.
The Veggie Van is a mobile farmers market featuring regionally grown, top-quality fruit and vegetables, and is a joint project of Corewell Health and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
Merrill Township will be putting on a blood drive this Friday (June 30) followed by a Community Day when the "School Emergency Response Coalition" out of Grand Rapids will be putting on a free CPR/AED/FIRST AID class at the community Center. While that is going on , various Emergency Services will be set up in the parking lot for people to come and ask them questions and possibly provide a little more insight into what they actually do. Some of the organizations will include:
-Local Fire Departments
-The Forestry Service
-Newaygo County Sheriff Departments
Michigan Search and Rescue (k-9)
We caught up with Merrill Township Supervisor Peter Morgan to get the skinny on the event.
-It sounds like the event is July 1 the day after the blood drive.
The Community Day does follow the 1st Blood Drive. We were trying to do that strategically so we could try to host an additional drive exactly 8 weeks later for participants to be able to squeeze in two donations for the summer. As we have an additional donation coming at the end of summer.
-I assume this is hosted and organized by Merrill Township.
It is being hosted at the Township hall but due to everyone's tight schedules, I am for the most part the one trying to arrange and organize it for the Township.
-How and why did the event get started?
There are a lot of people in the area who know some of the services we have.Yes, we do have a Sheriff's Department, a Fire Department, and an Ambulance service. But do they know about the DNR, the Forestry Service, AeroMed, and Michigan Search and Rescue, along with what exactly they do and offer?
-Is this the first year?
This is the first year. I'm not sure if there will be 5 people or a lot more.
-Any amenities on site (i.e. food trucks, vendors)
We are trying to have at least one food vendor but not sure at the moment
-Who should attend and why should they attend?
I would like to have individuals that are in this community and neighboring communities that may have any questions and/or an interest in possibly getting involved with some organizations that might be attending. (i.e. Michigan Search and Rescue, The Fire Department, etc).
-Open to all?
Absolutely. Like I said, it's to ask questions.
-You mentioned other activities this summer. Can you elaborate?
There are activities that occur throughout the summer, like functions the Woodland Park Lake Association may have and the Woodland Park Historical Society may have at the Community park and at the Township Hall.
-Tell us a bit about Merrill Township. What draws people there, any interesting history?
Merrill Township is rich with Historical Value that stems from the early 1900's Through the 1960's. As an early African American Resort Community it was established for people to come from Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, etc. There is a plethora of information online and in Books linking Woodland Park and Idle Wild Michigan.
-Anything to add?
Hope to see you there.
Photos by Sally Wagoner
Native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants will be for sale on Saturday July 8 from 9am – 1pm at the Newaygo Conservation District Tree Nursery: 1725 E. 72nd St, , Newaygo 49337. This “Summer Spectacular” event is hosted by the Newaygo Conservation District, Big Bluestem Farm, and the Newaygo County Environmental Coalition.
The event will have handouts, information and in person expertise about the types of native plants that thrive in areas that are sunny or shady, dry or wet, meadow or forest.
“We will help match your sun and soil properties with the plants that will do best in those conditions,” states Symon Cronk, manager of the tree nursery. “You don’t want to plant shade plants in the sun, or plants that like it dry in a wet area. They just won’t thrive, and may even die. We want to make sure your plants grow healthy and happy.”
What are native plants? Native plants are the indigenous species, both on land and in the water, that have evolved and occur naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, and habitat. Species native to North America and Michigan are generally recognized as those occurring on the continent prior to European settlement, according to the USDA Forest Service Website.
Big Bluestem Farm is a wholesale native plant nursery near Bitely, Michigan. Envisioned, owned and run by Ken Hoganson, Big Bluestem Farm focuses on Michigan native plant “genotypes”.
“Michigan native plant genotypes mean these are the plants that developed here in our area for thousands and thousands of years. These are the strongest, healthiest and best plants for our ecosystems in Newaygo County,” states Ken. “Once established, local native genotype plants don’t need watering or fertilizing to thrive like other perennial plants from nurseries do. And who doesn’t want that?”
Why are native plants important? “Native plants evolved along with our native bees, insects, butterflies, moths, birds and bats. In other words, they grew up together over thousands of years here in what is now Michigan,” explained Sally Wagoner of the Newaygo County Environmental Coalition. “The plants depend on our native animal and insect species for their pollination. The animal and insect species depend on the native plants for their food and habitats.”
“The ongoing existence of our native pollinators and animals depend upon our native habitats and plants. As we destroy native ecosystems to build houses, roads, towns, industry and farms, our native insects and animals lose their ability to thrive. We have lost many to extinction, and many more are endangered,” adds Ms. Wagoner.
Ms. Wagoner continues, “For example, the caterpillar of the Karner Blue Butterfly, which is endangered in Michigan, evolved along with the wild native lupine (lupinus perennis). This is the only plant that this caterpillar is able to eat. They are not able to eat the introduced lupines that are sold in nurseries and often grown in gardens. We have eliminated a vast majority of the wild lupine habitats in our area. And so the Blue Karner Butterfly has been drastically reduced in numbers, almost to the point of extinction.”
“Imagine if we had corridors of wild lupine throughout Newaygo County in peoples’ gardens, along electric line corridors, in business and municipal landscapes, in school yards! We could help support a healthy population of Karner Blue Butterflies. This is just one example of what ‘going native’ can do.”
Property owners and homeowners, and even municipalities, businesses and schools, can help provide the food and habitats needed by native bees, butterflies and birds by growing native plants, and avoiding non-native landscape plants. Popular invasive species nursery plants like burning bush, periwinkle, non-native bittersweet vine, and others overrun the forests, meadows and lakes, replacing the native plants. Many of these do not support native butterflies, bees, insects and birds.
Ken Hoganson of Big Bluestem Farm and Symon Cronk of the Newaygo Conservation District will be on hand to consult with guests about the plants that will do best on their property. Pollination kits will be available for purchase to “kick start” your butterfly and bee garden.
The Newaygo County Environmental Coalition is the “Environmental Resource Hub for Newaygo County.” Information about conservation, restoration and recreation activities can be found at www.nc-ec.org. “I encourage people to sign up for the NCEC e-news so they can be informed of events and programs that our local environmental organizations and departments provide,” states Sally Wagoner, NCEC Board Chair.
For questions about the Native Plant Summer Spectacular Sale, contact Symon Cronk: firstname.lastname@example.org, 231-652-7493.
“That’s what marriage was at its best: You didn’t have to tell your partner to look out, that you were falling. They were just there to catch you.”- Jamie Brenner, The Wedding Sisters
There are any number of reasons why marriage is a good thing, a wonderful thing and at times even a magical thing. One that stands out is the absolute and unyielding belief that your chosen partner has your back.
Of course it goes without saying that this doesn’t mean life together is heavenly bliss from the vow sharing forward. After all, marriage isn’t always easy, right?
I mean, think about it. Two people who are brought up in different families with inevitably different ways of looking at how things are done from finances to household chores to how we resolve conflict.
Now maybe toss in the raising of children and you got a lot of adjusting ahead.
Marriage is a dance that develops from the time you begin the relationship, to the desire for commitment, to the marriage and beyond.
And believe me, when things get rough the love a couple has for each other can get them through a lot.
But the knowledge that even beyond the ‘I don’t ever want to live without you’ love that brought you together there’s another level to the relationship that blends adoration with mutual respect.
It’s not ever having to question which side your partner is on when the chips are down. Never needing to wonder if you have their support.
And knowing that while a couple may have words when they’re alone, there is no question that when it comes to the rest of the world…
They are a nation of two.
Here are the couples who have recently applied for marriage licenses at the Newaygo County Clerk’s Office:
Jessie Leroy Miller, White Cloud & Crystal Lynn Fultz, White Cloud
Samantha Glass, Newaygo & Curtiss Russell, Newaygo
Roy M Povey Jr., White Cloud & Jackie Koslowitz, Flint
Kenneth Nelson, White Cloud & Jennifer Babeckos, Soldotna, Alaska
Matthew Feravich, Newaygo & Haley Gilganis, Newaygo
“A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.”- Anne Lamott, Joe Jones
Engaging youth from Oceana and Newaygo County at Camp Tall Turf
Tall Turf Ministries has been in business since 1968 and has operated Camp Tall Turf since 1969. This camp located in Walkerville sits on the shores of Campbell Lake and owns 245 acres. Our overnight camp has a mission to equip youth and families for lives of reconciliation in God’s world.
In efforts to achieve our goals, campers build positive relationships with people from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds in a safe, Christian environment. Throughout their time together, youth engage in a variety of activities that seek to break down barriers and foster a sense of unity and reconciliation. These experiences and relationships help to equip youth with communication skills and an appreciation for diversity that is vital in our increasingly global society. Additionally, participants learn new skills and try new things, which leads to developing an enhanced sense of self-esteem. Furthermore, team-building activities and small group times allow campers opportunities to develop leadership and cooperation skills, as well as creating space for individual and group reflection thereby strengthening self-esteem and unity among program participants.
Through traditional camp activities such as swimming, kayaking, arts and crafts, archery, basketball, hiking, and outdoor education, staff and campers are preparing to be the next generation of Christian leaders. Through a generation donation from a local foundation, scholarships (some at 100%) are available for local families. Sessions are almost full so please register as soon as possible at tallturf.org. For more information, please call 616.452.7906.