Community Services

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update August 8, 2013

August 8, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President The memorial to Jerry Fox last Sunday in Owosso, Michigan was truly a tribute to a fine man who was such a powerful influence on our town and the people of our area. It was well attended, and he would have been proud of his family members and others who spoke with pride about their memories based on their experiences with him. He certainly had a positive effect on many lives. Memorial contributions in his name have been made to the Rockford Area Historical Society and will be used to benefit our community. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Fox family and will use the memorial money wisely. A couple of weeks ago the “Nugget of Rockford History” question asked for the location of the statue of the civil war soldier immediately before it was moved to its present location beside the Community Cabin. Many readers knew that the statue came from the Rockford Library site. I got responses by phone, by e-mail and by meeting people in person. The following knew the answer: Lue Hawkins, Bob Boyer, Gene Berry, Carole Christensen, Zell Gill, Bob Van Renterghem, Bill Boyd, Sandy Oosdyk, Nancy Simonis, Marty Vogel, Shirley Norman, Vic Krause, Tom Krause, John Krause, Tom Lindquist, Bob Christensen and Mary Eadie. My thanks to all for the interest shown. Several readers told of passing by the statue on the way to school and considering climbing on it. All right, a couple people admitted that they did climb aboard the statue. Zell Gill, who was the Rockford librarian for years, mentioned that many library users commented on the statue and that she used it in some of her library promotional material. Mary Eadie and her husband Jim shared an event concerning their granddaughter, Taylor Wisner. When Taylor joined the navy, she decided that she wanted to be commissioned in front of the statue, so the ceremony took place there. Chief Petty Officer Jeffery Roger came to Rockford and Taylor was commissioned LTJG with the statue in the background. Taylor is now at Camp Pendleton and is an emergency room nurse at the naval hospital. One of her jobs is to teach others how to set up an emergency hospital if needed. I can […]

Rockford Community Garden grows with help of Lions and wolves

August 8, 2013 // 0 Comments

Plots are sold-out for third straight year By BETH ALTENA There is always something growing on in the Rockford Public School’s Community Garden, and this year the Lions have proved their thumbs are green with a large new plot grown to serve the needy. Nancy Seeley said the forty raised garden beds out behind the Rockford Public School’s Administration building on N. Main Street are all spoken for, almost all repeat gardeners keeping their plots from last year. The idea of the garden was brought to the public during a community meeting at Rockford High School where a huge attendance gave organizers the idea that the concept would be well received. Today that is evidenced by the ripening fruits, vegetables and flowers that fill the fenced lot that used to be the site of a ballfield. East Rockford Middle School also hosts a smaller community garden that was started as part of the building’s Earth Keepers magnet, a very popular program available to students whose curriculum is themed with an environmental tilt. The ERMS 13-plot garden is mostly used by students in the magnet, but does have several rented spots taken by nearby residents. In downtown Rockford, the community garden is fenced but not locked and gardeners can come and go as their schedule allows. Walkways are covered with mulch to discourage weed growth and multiple hoses allow for easy access for watering. “Many people don’t have room for a garden or their yards don’t get enough sun,” Seeley said of the popularity of the gardens. She said the price is affordable at $45 per season for a larger plot at 6 by 24 feet and just $25 for a 6 by 12 foot bed. Gardeners can plant what they want, fruits such as strawberries (a perennial crop), vegetables or flowers and a stroll through the garden is a treat for the senses with a variety of scents, colors and textures. Rockford Public Schools Community Services Director Lisa Jacobs said the gardeners all get along well and there have been no areas of concern with the program. “That’s what is so amazing. We have had no troubles,” she said. “The security cameras might have something to do with that.” Lisa said the gardens have had […]

Area families enjoyed first-ever Rhino Challenge event

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Cindy M. Cranmer   Organizers are considering The Rhino Challenge an “extreme success” as families got outside having fun and being challenged by the obstacles of the 5K course and raising more than $1,100 for charities in the process. More than 425 people enjoyed a sunny day at the obstacle course recently, according to Mark Decker, founder of The Rhino Challenge. Participants ran, walked, jumped, climbed and slid their way to fun. “We couldn’t be more excited about it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Decker said. “At the end of the day, everyone had a great time. The weather turned out perfect for us.” The course was set up so three varying levels of fitness challenges were next to each other so families could participate together. The purpose of the event at Grattan Raceway on July 20 was to provide a safe, yet challenging, event that would promote healthy families, strong communities and effective teamwork so as to build courage and confidence in participants. Some favorite obstacles of participants included the slip-and-slide, the mud pit, the lake walk and, as one participant explained, “the uniqueness of other obstacles” such as the log roller. Individuals would use upper arm strength to pull themselves across a series of moving logs while the log they started on rolled with them to help in the process. While the mud- and water-based obstacles were the most popular, Decker said, many considered the rope wall, the rock wall and the other climbing walls as obstacles they enjoyed as the most challenging. “The slip-and-slide was more of a reward than an obstacle. Everyone had the most fun on it and it cooled everyone off after the hike 150 feet up the hill.” Due to the construction and start-up costs of creating such a challenge, The Rhino Challenge did not make a profit. However, they committed to giving money to their causes of Life International and Wedgewood Christian Services. More than $1,100 will be donated after the money from the Groupon sales comes in. “We’re happy with what we could do this year, but we want to do far more in the future,” Decker said. “We chose these organizations because they are family-oriented organizations and follow the things we are supporting […]

Brain Fitness first in 2013 Chamber University series

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

Use it or lose it true in mental wellbeing By BETH ALTENA “What we are doing is really about learning what is going on in our brains, improving thinking and development,” said Greg Mutch, of Thought Design in downtown Rockford. The business was host to the new lunchtime format for Rockford Chamber University events. On Monday, July 22, Mutch described the dual feature of his company as health and nutrition. The office features a large room for classroom-type activities and a large kitchen for food and nutrition education. “Everything we do in there ends in a dinner party,” he stated, pointing to the kitchen. “Everything we do in here ends in a test, so that’s really where you want to be invited to.” Mutch’s modest comment was proved untrue by the interesting presentation that followed, focusing on ways to keep your brain working and fit. Denise VanEck spoke with audience participation for the following hour, which went by quickly. VanEck called her training “alchemy” and said she “throws a lot of things together and see what we can create together.” The session began with a group activity where participants stood in a circle and were given instructions on interacting with the others that started simple and grew increasingly complex, although not exactly hard. It was a fun demonstration and VanEck stated afterward that attendees may have thought the activity silly, but she said she guaranteed that whatever people were worried about in their personal or work lives was forgotten during the time the game was being played. VanEck said the day’s agenda was centered around brain science, particularly neurogenesis, which is the creation of new neurons in the brain. She said every person continues to create new neurons in the brain their entire lives, right up until the day they die. She used another big word, neuroplasticity, which is the rewiring of the brain through experience. “Cells that fire together wire together,” she stated. “Our neurons are born and if they find a purpose and a companion we keep them,” she described. She said that by participating in the game “We all created a new set of neurons.” She said if we think or talk about the experience two or three times, the connections will […]

Preserving the Harvest program open to public

August 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

Greenville Garden Club will be hosting a program entitled Preserving the Harvest at the Flat River Community Library in Greenville on Monday, August 5 2013 at 6:30pm. The program will cover making your own herbal tea bags, syrups, herbal rubs, and vinegars, and provide information on the different methods of drying and freezing herbs. The program is free and open to the public. The Flat River Library is located at 200 W. Judd street.

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