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My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The annual Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup takes place Sept. 21.

Volunteers are encouraged to make a difference in their community by taking part in this clean-up effort focusing on sites in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Walker and Wyoming.

Registration takes place on Sept. 21 at Sixth Street Park located at 647 Monroe Ave. on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Newberry in downtown Grand Rapids. Arrivals after 9:15 a.m. may not be guaranteed a place on the bus. Buses leave at 9:35 a.m. sharp from the Sixth Street Park.

Call Becky Brown at (616) 451-3051, e-mail her at bbrown@wmeac.org or visit www.grandrivercleanup.com for more information.

My Town: Volunteers remove dozens of bags of debris from Buck Creek

My Town: Volunteers remove dozens of bags of debris from Buck Creek

 

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM)—  A threatened cold water trout stream is much cleaner, thanks to two teams of volunteers in Grandville and Wyoming.

On Aug. 12, volunteers pulled on waders to help clean up Buck Creek.  The morning cleanup effort was organized by Peter Miller with Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.  Volunteers filled approximately 25 bags with trash that had built up along the creek's banks.   The debris included basketballs, sandals, three or four vehicle tires, the spindle of an old washing machine and countless empty alcohol bottles.  

A second cleanup scheduled for that evening had to be cancelled because of inclement weather.  Miller says he'll likely try to reschedule the event in the near future.

My Town: Volunteers clean up Buck Creek Aug. 12

My Town: Volunteers clean up Buck Creek Aug. 12

 

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM)—A team of volunteers will pull on waders Tuesday night to help clean up Buck Creek in Grandville and Wyoming.

The cleanup effort is being organized by Pete Miller with Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited. Volunteers will be removing garbage and debris that’s built up along the banks.  Conservationists say the work is important, as Buck Creek is a threatened cold water trout stream.

A group of volunteers began clearing the creek early Tuesday morning.  A second team of volunteers will meet at Lemery Park off Byron Center Avenue north of 44th Street at 5 p.m.  Each volunteer shift is three hours.

For additional information, contact Miller at (517) 420-4003.

Discover the Grand River's secrets while aboard the Grand Lady

Discover the Grand River's secrets while aboard the Grand Lady

 

 

JENISON, Mich.—The Grand Lady Riverboat is taking over the Grand River May 16.

For $10, visitors can board the paddle wheel boat to take in the wildlife along and on the Grand River, while speakers detail special features and landmarks along the way.   Two trips are being offered, at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Grand Lady will leave from the boat launch at the Grand River Park boat launch area, in Jenison.  The boat’s main cabin is handicap accessible.  No food or beverages will be allowed on board, but ticket holders are encouraged to bring a jacket, binoculars and a camera.

To reserve a spot aboard the Grand Lady, visit the Friends of Ottawa County Parks’ website.

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

Meet Bella, Bucky and Barry:

We leave the urban wildlife in Forest Hills and head to our cabin in Wisconsin.  In Michigan, you would call our cabin a cottage.  In Wisconsin, they are known as cabins.  Anyway I digress - our cabin is on 10 hilly acres of grassland in the bluff country of southern Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin is known as the dairy state, but the “state animal” is not a cow.  It’s the badger.  Yes, Wisconsinites have seen Bucky the Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s mascot.  But very few of them have ever seen a real badger.  Our property in Wisconsin was invaded by three badgers last year!!!!

The first sign of a badger invasion:

The first sign of the badger invasion was the yard, which was dug up.  Badgers prefer to live in open grasslands, fields and pastures.  My husband mows about four acres of our property and lets the rest of the grasses grow wild.

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

LAKE MICHIGAN -  Even a dog has to take a break from all the excitement of his backyard kingdom.  On this sunny summer day, George, my husband, and I head to the beach.  Our friends, Nancy and Don, own a cottage on Lake Michigan, and they have invited the three of us to spend the day at the beach.

This is George’s first visit to Lake Michigan.  The waves were a little intimidating at first.  He would sniff the water, but he would not allow himself to get wet.  He wouldn’t even dip his paw into the water to check it out.  Then something caught his eye.  George noticed the beautiful white birds walking along the water’s edge.  He tried to get close to these interesting critters, but they would simply fly off.

Silly me, I thought seagulls only lived by the ocean, and then I moved to Michigan and discovered the Big Lake is home to a thriving population of seagulls.  I have since learned that seagulls or gulls will live al

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

George is one of the most good-natured dogs you will ever meet.  I feel bad for him when “Nutty” and his squirrelly friends taunt him.  I think they realize they are safe around George since he is not very fast on his feet.  We have two types of squirrels living in our backyard: several Fox Squirrels and one American Red Squirrel.

Fox Squirrels are the largest squirrels in Michigan.  They are sometimes confused with the slightly smaller Eastern Gray Squirrel.  The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is Fox Squirrels have reddish-orange bellies, while their cousins, the Gray Squirrels, have white bellies.