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My Town Walker: Trail renamed to honor late parks supporter

My Town Walker: Trail renamed to honor late parks supporter

-------NEWS RELEASE------

WALKER, Mich. – The Kent County Parks Foundation is pleased to announce that four miles of trails in Millennium Park will forever be recognized as the Sandy Hansen Shoreline Trails.  Part of the Fred Meijer Millennium Trail Network, the Sandy Hansen Shoreline Trails include a one-mile nature trail and three miles of paved, multi-purpose trail. 

Sandy is remembered for her passion for nature and birds, a legacy she nurtured in her three children and eleven grandchildren.  She volunteered for West Michigan Environmental Action Council, was active in the Audubon Society, and was a long-time supporter of the Kent County Parks Foundation.  When she passed away in January, her husband of 49 years, Dick Hansen, along with their children, Rick, Beth, Kristi and the grandchildren, pledged a significant gift in Sandy’s honor to memorialize her love of nature and parks.   

My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Firemen, ballerinas, mascots, sports figures, literary characters and more will be at local library branches on June 21 to get kids reading!

Kent District Library, Grand Rapids Public Library and the Heart of West Michigan United Way are joining forces to present Book Buddies, a program that encourages children to check out a “book buddy” and spend ten minutes reading their favorite book together.

The Book Buddies program is designed to help children meet the goal of reading 400 minutes over the summer, the amount of time it is estimated that kids should spend reading to prevent summer slide and maintain the reading gains they made over the school year.

Seven local library branches will present Book Buddies on June 21. The schedule is as follows:

My Town: Book Buddy volunteers needed for June 21

My Town: Book Buddy volunteers needed for June 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Help a kid discover their passon for reading by becoming a “Book Buddy” this weekend.

The United Way, Kent District Library and Grand Rapids Public Library are looking for volunteers to read to children this Saturday, June 21. Volunteers are especially needed in Lowell and Sand Lake.  Volunteer roles include:

Book Buddy- Dress up as a character and listen to kids read. Wear costumes of your profession (police officer, doctor, etc.) or simply put on your best listening ears and be a buddy. Give your attention to a child as they read for 10 minutes.

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

WYOMING, Mich.—  Community members are invited to celebrate National Trails Day this weekend with a one mile or two mile walk through Kent County’s Millennium Park.

Recreation departments from Wyoming, Walker, Kentwood and Kent County are teaming up to host the Fun & Fitness Walk this Saturday, June 7.  The event is one of more than 2,000 activities planned nationwide, to promote park activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The national Walk in the Park event will begin at 9 a.m. Registration will be available on site that morning.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will provide water and snacks. Strollers are permitted; however, pets are not allowed. Area parks and recreation departments and trail advocacy groups will be on hand to share information on local walking clubs and trails.

My Town Walker: Meijer tunnel project expected to cause driving delays

My Town Walker: Meijer tunnel project expected to cause driving delays

WALKER, Mich.—Drivers on Three Mile Road in Walker can expect delays starting next week, as a new tunnel project begins.

The tunnel will run under Three Mile Road west of Walker Avenue, connecting Meijer’s north and south campuses.  The City of Walker says the first phase of work will involve shifting traffic to the south side of the road so crews can move utilities and begin tunnel placement on the north side.  Phase 1 is expected to run from June 9 through early August. 

The next stage will involve shifting traffic to the north side of the road, so crews can focus on the other half of the tunnel.  Drivers who want to avoid possible backups and delays can head west to Fruitridge to avoid the construction zone.  The goal is to have the tunnel mostly complete by late September.

My Town Walker: Millennium Park splash pad expected to reopen

My Town Walker: Millennium Park splash pad expected to reopen

WALKER, Mich.—The splashing is about to begin at West Michigan’s largest urban park.

Millennium Park’s splash pad will officially reopen May 28.  The Kent County Parks Department has offered a reduced admission for adults ($3), seniors ($2) and children ($1)  while the splash pad has been closed for renovations.  Prices are expected to rise by $1 once the splash pad reopens at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

A park official says crews had to wait for temperatures to remain consistently warm for five consecutive days to add a new surface coat of paint.  Workers also switched out a couple of water features on the splash pad, which is ten years old.  The splash pad will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, Millennium Park has also begun offering beach and boat rentals for the season.  For more information, call (616) 632-7275.

My Town: Standale Summer Concert Series lineup released

My Town: Standale Summer Concert Series lineup released

STANDALE, Mich.—  A free, family-friendly tradition is returning to Standale this summer.

The 2014 Standale Summer Concert Series  returns to Walker Community Park Thursday, June 19.   Each performance begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.  The concert lineup is as follows:

  • Thursday, June 19 – The Adam’s Family
  • Thursday, July 10 – Deep Greens & Blues
  • Thursday, July 24 – Free Hand
  • Thursday, Aug. 14 – Boogie Woogie Babies
  • Thursday, Aug. 28 – The Lazy Blue Tunas

Each concert attracts an average of 300 people.  If you would like to sponsor a performance, click here.