By KIM SAPKOWSKI Secretary of the Rogue River Watershed Council The current economic environment is, to say the least, unpredictable. One thing is constant, however – nature. The changing seasons, day and night, and flowing rivers are unwavering. Knowing this keeps us grounded in an ever changing economic environment. The Rogue River provides its communities many economic benefits. Data provided by West Michigan Trout Unlimited and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality shows that in 2004, 17,239 angling trips were made to the river and fisherman spent an average of $35 per fishing trip to the Rogue River Watershed. That’s a yearly total of $603,365. What would we do if an area business failed and left the local economy with a $603,365 void? The Rogue River has been a source of food, water, and transportation for humans and animals for thousands of years. The river and its surrounding watershed were formed by glaciers around 12,000 years ago. Today the Rogue River has the distinction of being one of Michigan’s southern-most trout streams. It is known throughout the state and mid-west for being a clean trout stream located within 15 minutes of an urban center. Here it is quite possible to toss fishing gear into the car, dash out of work at 5:00 and have a line in the water by 5:30. When we protect and preserve the Rogue River, we generate income for our local economy by providing a clean and healthy river. Bait shops, canoe liveries, gas stations, and restaurants, just to name a few, benefit from people using the Rogue River. The social benefits are harder to measure yet just as valuable, and intermingle with the economic benefits. A stroll on the boardwalk along the river in Rockford, spying deer at the Rogue’s banks while canoeing in the quiet of early morning, kids splashing and catching minnows in the river on a bright summer day or steam rising from the ice-crusted river on a zero degree morning; these are only a few of the social benefits the Rogue River provides. Protecting and preserving the river doesn’t necessarily mean pumping money into initiatives. Rather it can mean doing something as obvious as not littering. Or, if you own property along the river, choosing to […]
Articles by Squire News
Four former Rockford High School Cheerleaders competed at the 2009 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Competition at Disney World in Orlando, Florida on January 16, 2009. All four girls are currently cheerleaders for Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The Cheer Team sent in A video of their routines and were ranked 14th out of 28 and were invited to participate in the competition. This was the second time that the CMU cheer team was invited to the National Competition and this year CMU placed 10th overall.
Mrs. Barton’s fourth-grade class from Meadow Ridge Elementary took time during their Valentine’s party to decorate sugar cookies for families in need of a little “heart.” The residents of Vern Barry Place in downtown Grand Rapids enjoyed being served a spaghetti lunch followed by the beautifully decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies. In the economic times we are facing, the kids felt good about doing something for families to brighten their Valentine celebration.
Western Michigan and beyond It hardly went noticed in the hustle and bustle of activities that surround the international nonprofit charitable organization SowHope, but the growing organization celebrated its third birthday Saturday, January 31. A fast-growing international organization started by women for women in 2006, it is dedicated to inspiring and supporting women around the world through wellness, education, and economic opportunities. The organization’s “method of operation” is unique and really works. SowHope is one of the only international organizations specifically focused on addressing the basic needs of women internationally by partnering with local leaders, using local solutions to solve local problems. These leaders already have the reputation for helping women. SowHope collaborates with their partners by funding measurable, time-limited, and outcome-based projects that match SowHope’s three program areas. “It has been amazing to realize our dream of helping women in the Third World,” shares SowHope’s president and founder, Mary Dailey Brown. “During of first three years, we have had the privilege of impacting over 6000 women through AIDS care and prevention, literacy classes, and micro loans.” Dr. Diana Sharp, associate vice president, Harper College, Batavia, IL, says she became involved “because Mary asked her” and is now president of the SowHope Board. Having known Mary for 30-plus years, she said from the beginning SowHope’s mission was very compelling, and she believed in the cause of helping the most oppressed women of the world, facilitated locally by those working side-by-side with these women. “However, I stayed involved with SowHope,” stated Dr. Sharp, “Because I continue to be impressed with the documented progress of the women in our programs and to be in awe when I hear about the progress continuing to be made and the care and concern that goes into decision making and goal setting for our organization.” Ainur Nutai, Khazikstan Grand Valley State University International MPA student and SowHope Board Member agrees. Graduating this spring, Ainur will be going back to her county, but will stay involved in SowHope. “I have seen the needs of women first hand,” says Ainur, “and I want to continue to do my part to support this local thinking and global acting organization”. The Honorable State Representative Tom Pearce is another SowHope Board member with strong convictions to […]
McIntyre Builders, Inc. of Rockford, was a gold winner of the 2009 Energy Value Housing Award (EVHA) presented by the NAHB Housing Research Center and sponsored by the US Dept. of Energy in Las Vegas, Nev. on January 19, 2009. The EVHA is the ‘s preeminent energy efficiency award honoring builders who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency into all aspects of new home construction. The gold award is the highest award in the judged competition. Their entry, a Green Built Michigan and Energy Star certified home earned the award in the cold climate, custom home category. Built in Grand Rapids, this Prairie style ranch was also recognized by the State of Michigan for its superior energy and green features. McIntyre Builders, together with the homeowners, designed a home that performs as great as it looks! A pre-cast foundation system, spray foam insulation, two-stage high efficiency furnace and on-demand water heater are only a few of the high performance features. Bamboo flooring, low VOC paints, soy based concrete stains and more helps make this home environmentally responsible. As with all homes built by McIntyre Builders, an independent audit ensured this home is significantly more efficient than a standard house. To marry aesthetically pleasing design with energy efficiency, McIntyre Builders installed two rain gardens adjacent to the home’s patio. These create not only a relaxing location for the homeowners to rest, but also a habitat for native birds and animals. The tranquility is further enhanced by the mature trees that were maintained during construction to buffer the yard from the surrounding homes. Announcing the award, Tom Kenney, vice president of engineering and research for the NAHB Research Center, agreed with the EVHA judges, who were impressed with McIntyre Builders’ ability to integrate best practices while continuing to improve home performance. “McIntyre Builders has a whole-house approach to energy efficiency, and they help their customers understand how many individual elements work together to impact a home’s performance.” Now in its 14th year, the EVHA is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in addition to the NAHB Research Center. The EVHA challenges builders to elevate standards for energy-efficient construction, provides educational opportunities […]