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Blandford Nature Center on the hunt for coffee cans, tree sap

Blandford Nature Center on the hunt for coffee cans, tree sap

WALKER, Mich.—Blandford Nature Center is looking to transform your trash into an educational tool for children.

The wildlife preserve is looking for metal coffee cans to use for survival simulations with students.  Cans can be dropped off at Blandford Nature Center, located at 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW.

The nature center is also looking for sweet maple sap to transform into syrup this year.  Residents with a maple tree are encouraged to collect their sap and drop it off at the center.  Blandford is also holding volunteer training for syrup production on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  For more information, contact renee@blandfordnaturecenter.org .

January deal means more activities for families

January deal means more activities for families

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Blandford Nature Center are offering a deal to their members.

Throughout the month of January, both groups will be honoring each other’s memberships.  That means if you have a membership to Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, you will get member benefits at Blandford Nature Center and vice versa.  Blandford Nature Center says the offer provides even more opportunities for families looking for winter activities.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

WALKER, Mich.—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council has some new faces at its helm.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Grandville Mayor Steve Maas, Kentwood Mayor Steve Keply and Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga officially joined the GVMC Board of Directors.  All three men were elected in November and selected by city members to serve on the panel.

Ada Township Supervisor George Haga and Sand Lake Village Trustee Roger Towsley also took the oath of office.  They represent the first two communities to join GVMC since 2007. The Board of Directors also recently approved accepting Lowell Township as a member. 

The GVMC is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Earl Irwin smiles when he walks a section of the bike/walking trail west of Irwin Seating, located near Four Mile Rd NW & Fruitridge Ave NW.

Not too long ago, Irwin donated land to help with the nearly completed connection of the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, the Musketawa Trail in Ottawa County and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail in Kent County. Irwin Seating has also dedicated a parking lot on the north side of Irwin Seating as a Trail Head for people using the trails and a place to park their vehicles while on the trails.

What use to be a wood chip trail for employees to walk has now become a trail for everyone to use, according to Irwin. The former trail was built to encourage Irwin Seating employees to take advantage of a walk on their breaks, lunch hour or after work.

Through the efforts and private donations such as this, all these trails are available to the public to use and enjoy.

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County will be accepting household hazardous waste from residents Saturday, October 26.

Residents with proper ID can drop off items from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 1500 Scribner Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

Chemicals including weed killers, bug sprays, antifreeze, gasoline, oil-based paint, wood preservatives, paint thinner, pool chemicals, deck cleaners, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers and thermostats will all be accepted.  Latex paint, medical waste, prescription drugs, ammunition and fireworks are prohibited.

For more information, visit the Household Hazardous Waste Program website or call (616) 336-2570.

Blandford Nature Center no longer taking injured wildlife

Blandford Nature Center no longer taking injured wildlife

WALKER, Mich.--   Blandford Nature Center is no longer taking in injured wildlife.

Katie Van Doeselaar, office manager for Blandford Nature Center, says the board of directors decided the center’s rehabilitation program did not further the organizations’ mission.  Van Doeselaar says the program has also been consistently losing money over the past four years.  When one of the two wildlife staff members resigned to go back to school, Blandford’s board decided it was time to turn away wildlife rescues.

Van Doeselaar says the change is not permanent; the board will reassess the situation in the future.  In the meantime, Blandford encourages people with injured wildlife to contact any of the following rehabilitators in West Michigan:

Blandford Nature Center partners with school for new learning program

Blandford Nature Center partners with school for new learning program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  – Blandford Nature Center is helping a group of Grand Rapids students overcome so-called Nature Deficit Disorder.

This is the first year the nature center is partnering with West Side Christian School to provide outdoor learning on the school’s grounds, located at 955 Westend Ave. NW.  Blandford staff will lead the three to four seasonal outdoor lessons, which will help the school in implementing its Next Generation Science Standards.

Blandford Nature Center hopes to expand the program to other schools in the future.  For more information, visit the organization’s website here.