NCRESA Help Wanted
Free Event Fetes Dragon’s Growth
Re-Scheduled event at Brower Park introduces new trail portion and celebrates already finished mileage
Stanwood, MI: Consumers Energy is hosting a family fun event on Friday, October 8, from 2:30 - 6 pm, at Mecosta County’s Brower Park to celebrate the Consumers Energy Foundation’s recent $200,000 grant and other partnerships bringing Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail) to life. The event was originally scheduled for August, but regional storms forced the schedule change. The Dragon Trail, when complete, will be an estimated 47-mile non motorized, multi-use trail forming a loop around the Hardy Pond Reservoir.
“Each step along the journey to complete this epic recreational trail is worthy of celebration,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re hoping for a huge public turnout Friday which we promise to make fun for all including dedicated mountain bikers who want to check out excellent riding opportunities the trail already offers and for families looking for fun activities outdoors in beautiful northern Michigan.”
This free event, which is open to the public, will feature food and refreshments, kids’ activities, and more, all complements of Consumers Energy. There will be a brief welcome ceremony at 2:30 pm. Brower Park is located at 23056 Polk Road, in Stanwood.
Plans for the Dragon Trail have been ongoing for more than a decade, and ground was broken on the trail in fall 2019. The project is estimated to cost around $3.7 million in total, and Consumers Energy Foundation has helped to commit to this work by providing a $200,000 grant for trail construction. By the end of 2020, a total of 14.6 miles had been completed, and 2021 construction is well underway. An additional 4.5 miles have been completed so far this year, which another estimated five miles still to come.
“Visitors are already enjoying the new mileage opened up starting at Brower Park,” said fundraiser Jodi Albaitis. “We have a long way to go in fundraising and construction, and it’s critical we keep up the momentum. We’re grateful for partners like Consumers Energy to help us make progress and open up new segments for bikers, hikers, runners, and more.”
Of the 11 total segments planned on the Dragon Trail, completed portions are segments eight through eleven, from Big Bend Township Park to across Hardy Dam. Segments two and four have portions of trail open. 2021 construction starts at the north end of segment four and continues through segments five and six, in Mecosta County around the northeast portion of Hardy Pond. More information about the status of open and upcoming segments can be found at thedragon.us.
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit https://www.thedragon.us/support-the-dragon-trail/donate/.
More than 19 miles now open for mountain biking, hiking, running, and more
Stanwood, MI: Another 4.5 miles have officially been opened on Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam—the Dragon Trail—in Mecosta County. This brings the total of current miles open to just over 19, with another estimated 5 miles still to come in the 2021 construction season.
The newly opened trail can be found starting at Brower Park, at 23056 Polk Road, in Stanwood. Last year a 1.3-mile loop was completed within the park, and this year an additional mile was added earlier this summer, and another 3.5 miles opened as well. The recently completed portion includes an additional bridge and multiple boardwalk crossings over small tributary creeks of the Muskegon River Watershed.
Once complete, the Dragon Trail will be around 47 miles in length forming a loop around Hardy Pond, in both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Visitors have been enjoying the open trail in large numbers daily and will be able to continue to do so all year long.
“Though much of Brower County Park will be closing for the season in early October, the newly installed Dragon Trail Parking Area within Brower Park will remain open year-round,” said Mecosta County Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel. There is a fee pipe payment station in the park that visitors can use to park there. Vault toilets will be available during the off-season months; however, riders are encouraged to bring their own water and other needed supplies.
Trail users can find an updated and printable map at thedragon.us, complete with QR codes directing visitors to trailheads and parking.
Funds are still needed to complete construction. Sponsorships of trail components for companies, foundations, individuals, and families are still available. To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit https://www.thedragon.us/support-the-dragon trail/donate/.
About Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam
Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam is a 47-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail system located between Hardy and Rogers Dams in West Michigan. The Dragon is managed by Newaygo County Parks, Mecosta County Parks Commission, and the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. Construction for the trail began in 2019. Learn more at www.thedragon.us.
Need a COVID Test? Skip The ER
DHD#10 has received numerous reports from our local healthcare systems that individuals not in need of medical attention, including students, are going to their local hospital Emergency Departments seeking testing for COVID-19.
It is important to note that Emergency Departments are not the appropriate place to go for walk-in COVID-19 testing unless you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain and pressure, new confusion, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, or the inability to wake up or stay awake.
Due to increased testing requirements by schools and employers, testing supplies are becoming increasingly limited. Consider checking with local pharmacies and Meijer locations for testing. You can also find testing sites in Michigan by calling the MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 2) or their online Test Site Finder.
You can also screen for a COVID-19 test by going to Spectrum Health’s website.
NCRESA Special Board Meeting
Here’s The Skinny on Boosters
Health Dept. inundated with inquiries
From our friends at DHD#10:
September 21, 2021 – District Health Department #10 reports that calls and emails have been flooding in from individuals wanting to receive a COVID-19 booster dose. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted to recommend the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a Pfizer Comirnaty booster dose in individuals 65 and older, individuals at high risk for severe COVID-19, and healthcare workers. While the recommendation was given by the FDA, full approval has not yet been given, and it is anticipated that the FDA will make its decision in the coming days. VRBPAC did not vote in favor of approval of a booster dose for the full population.
Additionally, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to meet on September 22-23 to discuss recommendations for COVID-19 booster doses in individuals 16 and older.
DHD#10 will inform the public when the final decisions and recommendations are announced and ask that you please refrain from calling to see if you qualify for a booster dose.
“We understand that people are anxious to receive a booster dose for increased protection against COVID-19 and its variants,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “We ask for patience as the FDA and ACIP make their final determinations on who should receive a booster dose and of which vaccine type.”
At this time, a COVID-19 booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna is only recommended for people who have:
Anyone who meets these criteria can schedule a booster dose at www.dhd10.org/schedule or contact us at 888-217-3904 for assistance.
LANSING, MI – The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) announces nearly $1 million in grants from the first Child Care Innovation Awards benefiting five Michigan communities — Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Leelanau, and Newaygo County.
ECIC’s Child Care Innovation Fund is designed to reimagine child care through common-sense financing and business solutions. Earlier this summer, ECIC issued a call for applications from communities seeking to fund unique solutions to Michigan's child care shortage. ECIC received 147 applications, from more that 50 percent of Michigan counties, requesting more than $23 million in support.
“We know accessible, affordable and high quality child care is essential to Michigan’s recovery and future economic vitality,” says Joan Blough, Director of the Child Care Innovation Fund. “And clearly the need to fund new ideas exists. Interest in this program was unprecedented.”
By piloting new business and financing models, the Child Care Innovation Fund will create blueprints for scalable solutions to take advantage of future federal funding opportunities for child care.
The first cohort of Child Care Innovation Fund Awards range from $75,000 to $318,000 per community:
Newaygo County – a coalition led by Newaygo County RESA will pilot a supply-building hub in a “child care desert” that engages economic development entities and employers to support child care business development.
Detroit – a partnership between Development Centers, IFF and Trinity Health, with support from The Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, will pilot a community-based approach to building the supply of quality child care in a “child care desert,” with a special focus on expanding access to infant-toddler care and to extended hours of care for working families.
Grand Rapids – a group led by Steepletown Neighborhood Services will scale up an early childhood educator registered, paid apprenticeship program, combining academic instruction with on-the-job training, in community with a child care shortage.
Kalamazoo – a partnership between the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Southwest Michigan Child Care Resource and the YWCA will scale up a neighborhood-based career pathway that creates full-time child care jobs with competitive wages in a community with a child care shortage.
Leelanau – a collaborative effort led by the Leelanau Early Childhood Development Commission, with key partners Leelanau Children’s Center and the Leelanau Peninsula Economic Foundation will scale up a county-based model that supports culturally and economically diverse eligible adults to successfully start and operate profitable home-based child care businesses, which provide infant and toddler and extended hours care for working families.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with these communities on critically needed solutions that benefit working families, child care business owners and early educators,” says Blough.
Applications for a second round of funding opportunities through the Child Care Innovation Fund are expected to open in the fall of 2021.
FACC Announces plans for 2021 Fremont Harvest Festival
The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce is announcing plans for the 15th Annual Fremont Harvest Festival slated to be September 23, 24 & 25. The Fremont Harvest Festival was started so that the Fremont Community would be able to celebrate the rich farming heritage and embrace the fall abundance.
The Harvest Time Parade will kick off the festival on Thursday, September 23 at 6 pm, sponsored by Gerber Federal Credit Union. Parade organizer, Louann Dorgan, invites everyone to watch the parade that will travel down Main Street to Veteran Memorial Park. Main Street is always filled with spectators, thrilled to see the 125 parade entries or more, including the antique tractors, floats, and other impressive farm equipment! The parade is a celebration of the harvest time with many area farmers participating in the line-up and then leaving to continue harvesting their crops. This year’s parade theme is “The Good Ole Days”.
Do you have the best apple or pumpkin dessert? One that your family brags about? Be sure to enter your family’s favorite apple or pumpkin dessert recipes in this year’s contest! Applications for this event will be available in the Chamber office the week of September 20. The contest is held on Saturday, September 25.
Harvest Merchant Sales on Thursday, September 23 and Friday, September 24; visit our local stores and restaurants in Fremont while enjoying the hay art and harvest season.
You can enjoy farm fresh fruits and vegetables from the Fremont Farmers Market! The market will run from 8 am – 1 pm on Saturday, September 25 (the last day for the 2021 season is Saturday, October 2) under the Marketplace Pavilion. You can also find fresh baked goods, honey, eggs, handmade crafts, soaps and scrubs and plants!
The 15th Annual Fall Harvest Hike and 5K run will take place on Saturday morning! Applications are now available at the City of Fremont offices or the chamber office. Free t-shirts are provided by the City of Fremont, Koffee Kuppe, The Fremont Recreation Center, The Original Print Shop and Tamarac for the first 150 registrants. Registration begins Saturday morning at 8 am with the run/walk starting at 8:40 am.
Saturday, September 25th will feature a Kids Hay Day in the park! There will be kids’ games, minnow races, food truck rally, a magic show and flea market!
Lakes 23 will be hosting this year’s Harvest Festival Party! Food, fun and music is in store for you and your friends as we celebrate this year’s harvest!
The Fremont Harvest Festival Committee is looking for volunteers to join us in the planning of this community event. Contact the Fremont Area Chamber office for details, (231) 924-0770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gathering Returns
Event to be held at Loomis Lodge.
The Gathering, a day of celebration for the rich Indigenous culture that is embedded in the history of this bi-peninsular paradise, will be held at Loomis Lodge this Sunday.
We caught up with some of the organizers to pose a few questions and gather a few quotes.
How did The Gathering begin and how long has the event been going on?
The Gathering began 6 years ago when our Organization was just beginning in the community. We wanted to ensure that we provided an opportunity and a safe space to share our history and stories from a first person Indigenous perspective. Newaygo County is one of the most Indigenous populated areas in the state and we as an organization felt it was important to promote and protect that. With the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic we have hosted the Gathering every year since 2015.
What are the goals of The Gathering?
The goals of the Gathering are to provide a safe space and opportunity for Indigenous cultures to be shared, celebrated, and honored in a good way. We are dedicated to ensuring that we do this from a first person perspective and help promote and support the true history of our people and the struggles we face as Indigenous people in the 21st century.
Tell us a little about Native Circle.
The Native Circle of Newaygo County is an Indigenous nonprofit organization. Our board members are all Indigenous and represent 3 out of the 12 federally recognized tribal nations in the state as well as the Swan Creek and Black River Tribes and First Nation tribes from Canada. We focus on preserving our history, educational presentations, and raising awareness about social injustice issues that target Indigenous populations. We do many community events throughout the year from the Gathering, school presentations, reading programs, harm reduction , land reclamation, and suicide prevention. We partner with other Indigenous organizations across the state to help address these issues. We not only work and focus on Newaygo County but we have also done events in Detroit, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids. Lastly, we at NCNC strive to ensure to have an organization that is represented by Indigenous people and welcome any Indigenous person into the organization. We believe that equity in the communities that we reside in will lead to ensuring that our culture, history, and traditions will be carried on into the next generations.
Why should people attend? What should they expect?
People should attend to celebrate the Original People of this area and our beautiful culture , history, and stories. They should come expecting to see our unique artwork, dancing and singing. This event is very similar to a Pow Wow, we will have a drum and singers and dancers in their regalia. We will also have 3 speakers , presenting on topics that they feel are important in the Indigenous community. We will have a variety of vendors at the event that attendees can visit and purchase various items from. And The Native Circle of Newaygo County will also be having a silent auction, arts and crafts tables for the youth, and we are providing a free feast to the community after the event is over at 6pm. This a great opportunity for people to come and interact and learn about the Indigenous people of this area and the state of Michigan.
Anything else to add?
People can always visit our Facebook page for more information about the organization and our upcoming events.
We also asked some of the members of Native Circle to talk about The Gathering
“I look forward to the Gathering each year just to see how much bigger it has grown than the previous year. The event is unique in that it has presenters that speak about topics that affect our communities (Indigenous) today and tie it all together to our culture and history in a way that is engaging to those who attend. We have always gotten positive feedback about the event from those that attend it and that makes it all worthwhile for me as a Board member.”
Banshee (Joe) Cadreau- NCNC Secretary
“My children always have a great time at the Gathering. They have learned so much about the culture from the many different people that come together to make the event happen. They enjoy the opportunity to dance and be proud of who and what they are in the community we live in. That is important to me and my husband as parents.”
Laci Regan- NCNC Treasurer
“I really enjoy watching the community of Newaygo come together to learn about our Indigenous culture. The event seems to get better and bigger every year and that is awesome to be part of.”
David Moore- NCNC President
From our friends at MDOT
Daily (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) lane closures for road repair are scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday on M-120 (Maple Island Road) between 40th Street/Roosevelt Road and 24th Street/Wilke Road.
From our friends at MDOT
M-82 (Curve Street/Fremont Street) will be closed over Penoyer Creek (just west of M-37) for bridge work 7 a.m. this WEDNESDAY through 7 p.m. THURSDAY. Traffic will be detoured onto Evergreen Drive to M-37. The pedestrian walkway will remain open.
Grant Fine Arts Center to host Saturday event
Responding to a drought driven springtime scourge and likely way too much acquired awareness about frass, the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners will host a little get together at the Grant Fine Arts Center on the topic that was on everyone's lips (and trees) this past spring.
We’re talking Lymantria dispar.
Aka gypsy moths.
Yes, the ravenous little worms that humbled the mighty oaks, devouring their leaves with the rapidity of hungry teenage boys at an all you can eat buffet, will be the hot topic on Saturday October 9th beginning at 10am.
Residents are encouraged to attend.
NC Board Chair Bryan Kolk:
“Parts of Newaygo County got unexpectedly hit very hard by the Gypsy Moth invasion. We want to host a single location where some experts on Gypsy Moths can be available to tell us what we can expect next year and suggest some actions we can take to alleviate the problem.
“The experts will also be available for individual questions and advice.
In the meantime you may want to check out an article N3 posted in June from the DNR and MDARD that includes some tips for managing those esurient invaders who dared put a damper on our annual early summer bliss.
Hint: Dawn seems to work the best.
Uptick in COVID cases and admissions necessitates change in policy
Grand Rapids, Mich., Sept. 7, 2021 – As a result of increasing numbers of patients admitted with COVID-19 and the increase in community positivity rate, Spectrum Health is revising its visitor policies to reduce the number of people in its Grand Rapids and regional hospitals and outpatient care sites.
Effective Wednesday, Sept. 8, patients are allowed only one adult visitor when they go to Spectrum Health emergency departments, urgent care, surgery, radiology and lab locations. Adult inpatient areas allow two adult visitors, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay. Patients in labor and delivery are allowed two visitors. COVID-19-patients are allowed only one adult visitor, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.
Spectrum Heath pediatric patients may have two adult visitors in the emergency department, urgent care, surgery, radiology and lab. Pediatric inpatient areas allow two adult visitors, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay. Pediatric COVID-19-patients are allowed two adult visitors, who must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.
Physician and medical office for adult and pediatric patients allow two visitors; some locations may have tighter limits based on facility limitations.
Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the care teams involved based on end-of-life care or special needs. Adults are individuals ages 18 and older. Children and minors will be allowed as visitors only in limited circumstances.
Patients must identify visitors to their care teams. For pediatric patients, adult visitors’ names must be on file. Visitors will be screened. For more information about visitor guidelines can be found here. Spectrum Health's COVID-19 resource center can be found here.
The restrictions apply to the following Spectrum Health hospitals and nearby physician offices and ambulatory care sites:
FREMONT, Mich – Gerber Federal Credit Union (Gerber FCU) now has three in-house certified financial counselors available, located within their Fremont Corporate and Fremont Main Street branches.
Brent Deur, Assistant Vice President - Consumer Lending, recently completed the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCep), to earn the designation of Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC). The CCUFC designation requires recertification every three years to ensure that the knowledge about financial counseling is current. Gerber FCU Senior Mortgage Manager Carla Burmeister and Fremont Main Street Branch Manager Patti Scherf were certified in October 2020.
“Our Certified Financial Counselors are trained to help our members function successfully in today’s financial marketplace. We are very proud that Brent has invested the time and energy to maintain his certification so he can help more members,” said John P. Buckley, Jr., Gerber FCU’s President/CEO.
“This is a challenging time to say the least, Buckley added. “A great number of Michigan residents are struggling greatly and have found themselves unemployed or underemployed through this pandemic. Gerber FCU hopes local residents will take comfort knowing that we’re on their side. Certified Financial Counselors provide financial counseling that empowers members to create a budget, pay down debt and build up savings while providing support at each step.”
Trout, Truancy & Transition
Community Foundation Awards $2.3 Million in First 2021 Grant Round
Fremont Area Community Foundation recently awarded $2.3 million in its first community grant round of 2021.
Grant support was awarded to a wide variety or organizations and programs serving Newaygo County residents. Most grant awards concentrated on the Community Foundation’s three focus areas of community and economic development, education, and poverty to prosperity.
Trout Unlimited received a $38,022 grant to focus on restoration of the White River watershed. Funds will be used to grow stakeholder collaborations and partnerships as well as facilitate a data-driven approach to restoration and protection. By building partnerships and identifying restoration projects, Trout Unlimited hopes to ultimately elevate the White River watershed to a high-quality trout fishery and recreational destination.
Grant Public Schools was awarded a $17,500 grant to support its Goal 22% by 22 program aimed at reducing chronic absences at Grant Middle School. Funding included a $10,000 outright grant and a matching grant of up to $7,500. The program is modeled after a successful Grand Rapids Public Schools initiative. Grant’s primary and elementary schools have seen attendance improve after similar programming was implemented.
Hope 101 received a $9,700 grant to support its transitional housing program serving local individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In addition to transitional housing, Hope 101 offers mentoring and case management that helps residents set personal goals and work toward self-sufficiency.
The Community Foundation accepts community grant applications twice each year. Applications from the second grant round of 2021 are currently under review and new applications will be accepted next on March 1.
For more information on grants awarded and how to apply, visit facommunityfoundation.org/grants.