Community Services


January 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6th, 2015 Give Kids a Smile is a national day of donated dentistry endorsed by the American Dental Association and designed to bring dentistry to underserved children in their communities. Give Kids a Smile is one way the dental profession is responding to oral health issues among our nation’s poorest children. In the past few years there has been a marked increase in awareness of this issue, due in part to the public becoming more educated about oral health and how it affects overall health. You may read more about this at On Friday February 6th, 2015 thousands of dentists across the country will be donating their time and services to participate in the twelfth annual Give Kids A Smile program. Last year my staff of 14 volunteers, and I, along with Dr. Laura Fogle, provided over 60 children with dental services, and we are once again proud to be participating in this program for our eleventh consecutive year. My staff and I will be donating our time, our skills, and the supplies necessary to provide underserved children (age 14 and under) with free complete oral exams, cleanings, fluoride, and preventive fillings (sealants). Our event will begin at 8 a.m. at my office located on 6220 Jupiter Ave in Belmont. All appointments are scheduled in advance. Parents or guardians will need to register their children over the telephone to ensure their treatment on February 6th. We will begin taking appointments on Monday, January 5th. Our office telephone number is 616-222-0202. Feel free to download our brochure or get directions to our office by visiting our web site at

John Ball Zoo – It’s not your childhood Zoo!

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

People tend to think of a visit to the Zoo as a summertime activity, but the fall is an excellent time to visit too! For one thing, beginning September 16, John Ball Zoo admission is reduced to $5.00 for adults, and $4.00 for kids. Children two and under are always free. In the cooler fall months, animals are far more active. There’s fewer people so you’ll be able to get up-close-and-personal with the animals, and zookeepers have a little more time to chat and share some insider info. The very first thing you should do before you visit the Zoo is go to the Zoo’s website and click on “Visitor’s Guide” and then “Daily Programs” New this year, the Zoo started to bring the behind-the-scenes animal care to the front of the exhibit for visitors to see and sometimes even participate in. It’s fascinating, cute, educational and just plain amazing! Take for example bear training. If you haven’t seen a grizzly up on its hind legs, you’re in for a eye-popping treat. Then there’s the “entertainers” of the Zoo, the Colobus monkeys. These smart little primates will run thru a list of training behaviors like pros and the female doesn’t even miss a beat with her new baby clinging to her chest! The zookeepers offer these training demonstrations not as a ‘show’, but as a necessary part of animal care in Zoos. If a keeper suspects a wound on a bear foot, they need to be able to examine it without immobilizing the animal. Each day is different but all these new zoo offerings are listed in the DAILY PROGRAMS section of the Zoo website – OR – if you have a smart phone – you can download the new Zoo APP that includes an interactive map, schedule of events, and descriptions of the exhibits. It’s available for I-phone on I-tunes or for Android at Google Play. It’s free. If you haven’t been to the Zoo in the last couple years, you really must explore it. Did you know that two years ago the Zoo nearly doubled its footprint??? There’s an entirely new area, the Forest Realm, which will be the location of a new tiger exhibit in 2014. Right now the area offers […]

Help protect natural habitats at Pickerel Lake Park/Fred Meijer Nature Preserve

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

MSU Extension is partnering with Kent County Parks to host the Annual Autumn Olive Control Project at Pickerel Lake on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 am and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. An orientation is included and all supplies and tools are provided. Pickerel Lake Park provides visitors with the opportunity to hike and cross country ski throughout woodlands, forests, wetlands and around the lake. Floating boardwalks and docks provide excellent locations for fishing, bird watching or just enjoying the beautiful natural areas of this nature preserve. Unfortunately, Autumn Olive is threatening the habitats at Pickerel Lake! This invasive species out-competes native species and increases the nitrogen levels in the soil – affecting entire communities of plants, trees and wildlife. In 2012, more than forty volunteers, contributed over 150 hours working to control Autumn Olive at Pickerel Lake Park. The October 5 control project is a great opportunity to support Pickerel Lake Park and to learn more about how to identify and correctly treat Autumn Olive on your own property! If you are interested in working with a team of volunteers to make a difference, please register for the Autumn Olive Control Project by contacting Ginny Sines, Kent County Parks Volunteer Services, at or call 616-336-3884.

New Rockford Area Museum Prepares for Grand Opening

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

After two years of thinking and planning plus thousands of hours of hard work by dedicated volunteers, the the Rockford Area Historical Society, (RAHS) is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the NEW Rockford Area Museum on September 26. The road to this point has not been an easy one. It started in 1969 when a small group of visionaries formed the Rockford Area Historical Society with the goal of opening a Rockford Area Museum to preserve the heritage of the area for future generations. That dream was realized in 1976 when the Rockford Area Museum opened in a former powerhouse next to the dam in downtown Rockford. That building itself had played an important part in Rockford’s History. It was originally built to generate enough power for the city that would entice the Hirth-Krause Shoe Company to relocate its factory from Grand Rapids to Rockford. As is well known now, that company grew to become Wolverine World Wide, the third largest footwear manufacturer in the world. Without that powerhouse, the face of Rockford would likely look considerably different than it does today. Volunteers operated the museum in that building for over thirty six years under difficult conditions. There was no running water or bathrooms, limited display space, a shortage of parking, and poor climate control, which made the proper care and safekeeping of artifacts, documents, and photographs, difficult. Then, in 2009, Kent County consolidated the District Courts including the 63rd District Court in Rockford, into a new facility on East Beltline at Knapp in Grand Rapids. After a court battle by the City of Rockford to prevent the move, the move was approved. Later, the empty courthouse was purchased by the City of Rockford which began to seek a suitable tenant for it. The Historical Society offered a proposal that would turn the building into a new museum, but the City was skeptical. The City Manager and City Council were understandably concerned that the Society, whose membership was limited and consisted mostly of older Rockford area citizens, would not be able to raise the estimated $350,000 that would be needed to renovate the building and pay for the expansion and move of the museum, as well as the future operating costs. To their […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President   At our first monthly meeting On September 5, 2013, a large crowd turned out to hear Vic Villareal speak about the “Edmund Fitzgerald”. His presentation included possible theories as to why the ship sank during the major storm. During a question time after the program, several in the audience asked about several areas and also added information about the tragedy. It was obvious that some people came because of the topic and that is great. The Rockford Area Historical Society encourages and welcomes everyone to our meetings. It was a very interesting evening! Over the past two weeks we have been carefully removing artifacts from display cases in the old museum and packing them in boxes for storage until we move them. We still have five areas left to pack, but things are moving along. We will have many duplicate things to deal with and some of them will be available in our upcoming auction on September 28. I want to emphasize to readers the importance of our auction. Many have responded already with offers of donation items and also with a willingness to work on auction day. The auction is the major fundraiser of our group and the funds are vital to our budget for running the museum. Please keep the date open in order to take part in the bidding and spread the word to others. The museum will also be open that day for everyone to visit. Do we still need donations? Yes! Please contact us for details (Terry Konkle 616-866-0530 or Al Pratt 485-8144). Recently, the Rockford Area Historical Society lost a dedicated member and friend with the passing of Helen Kies Uren Hessler at the age of 97. Helen was a lifetime Rockford resident, and her knowledge of our area history was excellent. Often, over the years, Helen contacted me to share her thoughts and I enjoyed our talks. She also wrote me at times with comments on our history. Sometimes, her daughter Dianne Skiver would call me and relate what her mother wanted me to know. I vividly recall a presentation that Helen gave at one of our meetings. She took us on a walk through the town of Rockford. We never left the […]

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