Community Services

Gardeners and graves

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

On Friday evening, Aug. 19, Rockford Garden Club President Kathy Healy and members master gardener Nancy Hoovler, Dave Hoovler and Tom Healy assessed the progress of the Rockford Lions Club renovation of the old Pioneer Cemetery next to North Rockford Middle School on Division. To assure a proper landscaping of this historical site, the Garden Club graciously accepted the Lions’ request for their expertise in converting an eyesore into a treasure. Perfectly, the result would be the cemetery as it was originally. Unfortunately, there are missing records, pictures and memories. Comments of longtime Rockford residents Helen Hessler, Bob Gunnell and Lois Gunnell confirm that even in their childhood it was a neglected place with broken and scattered gravestones. Photos or illustrations of the cemetery in its original condition would be of great help in its restoration. Please dig out your old family albums, find great-grandpa’s gravesite and help us restore this treasure to its original beauty. The Rockford Lions have presently opened up a pleasant wooded hillside and valley. Taking this, the Garden Club is marking trees to keep or cut, identifying invasive species to remove, assuring the present carpet of myrtle is protected and developing a site plan that enhances the cemetery’s natural beauty. In the meantime, cutting continues, and free firewood is stacked in the west parking lot. Bring your own saw and join us between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

Local group to clean litter from Rogue

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Local citizens are banding together to tackle litter in the Rogue River. The Rogue River Project, founded by Andrew Kersting, and Trout Unlimited, through the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, are working together to conduct a stream cleanup along the Rogue River on April 23, 2011. Garbage along stream banks is not only unsightly, but it also can be harmful to wildlife. Many plants and animals depend on access to the water for survival. Waste can prevent animals from reaching what they need. Sometimes animals can confuse garbage for food or a suitable home. Waste enters a stream in a number of ways. Storm drains collect storm water from our neighborhoods, parking lots and other public areas, and this water is not treated before it reaches our local waterways. This means that garbage that ends up in a storm drain is washed directly to our streams and rivers. Litter from recreational use and sometimes intentional dumping also pollutes our water resources. You can help by volunteering a few hours of your time to collect garbage along three miles of the Rogue River below the Rockford dam on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please meet at Richardson Sowerby Park in Rockford. Morning refreshments and a pizza lunch will be available for volunteers. You will also be entered into a drawing to win free tickets to Celebration Cinema or the Coopersville and Marne Railway Company. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring gloves if you have them. For more information visit If you are interested in attending, please contact Nichol De Mol at (231) 557-6362 or e-mail Special thanks to the following businesses for supporting this event: AAA Canoe Rental, BC Pizza, Celebration Cinema, Coopersville and Marne Railway, D&W, and The Corner Bar. Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.  

Biggest sale in West Michigan benefits kids

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

The 73rd annual White Elephant Sale is taking place on April 29 & 30 at the former Handy Andy at 3460 Plainfield NE.  The sale is the largest fund raiser for YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin put on by the Grand Rapids YMCA Service Club.  Over $2,000,000 has been raised for the Camp through the years. We are always looking for salable items.  Prior to the sale, drop offs are available on Saturdays at the sale site.  Please contact us to make arrangements of the pick up of large donations. We are looking forward to our best sale ever and hope to see you there. For more information visit    

Many volunteers needed for HCNC management plan

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Adults, teens, everybody, are you looking for a rewarding volunteer experience? Enthusiastic individuals are needed, who would enjoy volunteering in the great outdoors at Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC). Get community service hours for your college resume. Work with friendly naturalists, teach kids about nature, help maintain the trails—whatever your interests, there is a job for you. Learn more at the orientation. Volunteer Day is Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. RSVP with Cindy Perski at or call (616) 325-4554 if you plan to attend. Or possibly at this time you cannot volunteer but would like to make a donation to the endeavor? It costs approximately $45,000 a year to run Howard Christensen Nature Center, and this is with only one part-time employee. If you would like to donate, please do so in the name of Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. (the newly formed nonprofit organization that will run HCNC). Contributions can be mailed to 12380 Pine Island Drive, Sparta, MI 49345. Please make checks payable to “Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. in care of Howard Christensen Nature Center DBA.” Volunteer tasks needed include: • cleaning (mopping, dusting, waxing of floors, organization of teaching materials—inside) and desperately need a librarian-type person to organize books; • calling on other volunteers to volunteer; • calling potential donors; • data input and filing; • help at the many fundraisers to come; • help with guiding tours (must know HCNC grounds); • hold a class/teach at HCNC (classes coordinated can have yourself as a paid instructor with partial income going to HCNC); • help create a great newsletter; • outdoor maintenance of trails (physically line trails with fallen tree branches); • help recruit for special events (events listing to come); • schedule event speakers, or be one if you have a special talent/gift; • donate goods or services (bird seed, animal feed, cleaning products, security cameras, inspections of towers, fax machine, laptop computers, trash pickup, pay a month’s electric/propane bill, children’s learning supplies, office supplies, etc.); • Web support (IT systems)—need an excellent designer (website started not finished); • vernal pond monitoring; • fix signs—update and repair—enhance trails; • forestry help—management of invasive plant species or monitoring; • rake leaves, clean debris from paths; • grant-seeking or […]

Supplies needed for upcoming event

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Residents and business owners are invited to pitch in for an upcoming event which benefits good causes. The Rockford American Legion Post, 330 Rockford Park Drive, will be the site of a Classic Car Show on June 4. In addition to the car show, there will be a BBQ and specialty foods, a chili cook-off, contests, raffle and rock-climbing wall. Organizer Lori Vorpi of Vorpi Chiropractic is holding the event to raise money for the nonprofits Wounded Warrior Project and Pets and Vets. She said there are some items the public or business community can donate to help make the event more successful. Vorpi is asking for donations of athletic shoes in good used condition for girls, boys, women and men in every size to be used for the 30’ rock-climbing wall with the U.S. Army. “People come to summer events in flip flops and can’t climb the wall, so I would like to have some shoes available,” Vorpi said. The event would also benefit from the donation of bottled water, juice boxes, and pop—cans and plastic bottles only please, no glass. Any donation you make is 100% tax deductible. Vorpi thanks you all so much for your help! Please bring any donations you would like to supply to her office anytime between now and May 20. Vorpi Chiropractic is located at 11741 Cedar Rock Drive NE, Rockford. The Classic Car Show lot will be open at 9 a.m. with the show starting at 11 a.m. The cost is $10 per car and will have top 20 awards, best in show, a commander’s choice and people’s choice winners. There will be an awards presentation by local veterans at 3:30 p.m. and goodie bags and dash plaques for the first 100 entries. The show and events are open to the public.