Come stroll through Tear Drop Island and see natives for everyone’s gardening situation. Do you have sun only, mostly shade, or areas that are always dry or wet in your garden? Learn about plants that will thrive in those areas. Why use native plants? Native plants do not require the fertilizers, pesticides and water that plants from Europe, Asia or even other parts of our continent, frequently need. They are adapted to our region’s climate, diseases and pests. Our pollinators and butterflies are adapted to the native plants they have coexisted with for hundreds of years. Come and see how you can have a healthier less needy garden! 5641 Myers Lake Road.
Izaak Walton League
demonstrating the principles of “rocket stoves.” They burn small pieces of wood, with a vertical chimney, creating high combustion and temperatures. Rocket stoves of many forms have gained interest as alternative methods for heating and cooking. Examples vary from tiny tin-can cookers to beautiful mass heaters sculpted with clay. Since they are capable of reaching very high temperatures, they can be potentially dangerous, so careful consideration should be taken in their design, placement, and function. Some designs have won awards for their fuel efficiency. On Saturday, May 30, Shane Celeste will set up some simple examples outdoors. He has spoken at the “Ikes” before, about permaculture. Anyone interested should contact email@example.com. The class is $10 for non-members. It will last a few hours, so bringing a picnic lunch is a good idea. Of course, a fire will be available. The Izaak Walton League is located at 5641 Myers Lake Ave., near Cannonsburg Ski area.
Contaminants found in multiple test sites on Wolverine property by BETH ALTENA About a hundred residents, including city officials and Wolverine Worldwide representatives, attended a public meeting held jointly by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Tuesday, April 24 at the Rockford Freshman Center. A presentation by a team of four representatives of the environmental agencies detailed the background of their investigation, where the testing stands to date, what possible future outcomes of the process may be, and answered questions well after the 9 p.m. expected close of the meeting. Comments from the public regarding the situation were about evenly mixed among those supporting Wolverine in their actions in removing the former tannery and those who appeared skeptical of the company’s actions or worried about contamination. Dave Novak, community involvement coordinator of the Superfund Division of the EPA, began the evening’s presentation, introducing the other representatives. “We are looking for conclusions based on good science, not speculation,” he stated. “We have a great deal of information in a relatively short period of time. We are letting good science lead us on our journey.” He then gave the floor to Naria Nunez of the EPA. Nunez said the EPA was contacted by a citizens’ petition June 21, 2011 describing concerns over releases during the demolition of the former tannery at 123 N. Main Street, Rockford. She said the petition indicated the demolition was of community concern and included photographs of discolored water running off the property and questions about the past use of chromium at the property. The EPA decided to investigate the site, and began testing in October of last year. Nunez said preliminary testing results found some contamination with potential of offsite contact. The investigation is still underway and is in the preliminary stages. At any time the EPA could decide no further response is necessary; could call for removal of contaminates or could refer the investigation to another government program. The EPA could also continue to investigate and at the end of the process could rank the site based on a system called a Hazardous Ranking System. This is an evaluation of the property based on evaluations of groundwater, surface water, air, ground, or […]
Around 70 people came to the Rockford Sportsman’s Club on Monday, March 28 to hear about the programs available to assist property owners with wetland restoration on their land. The Rogue River Watershed Council and Trout Unlimited Inc., in partnership with Timberland Resource Conservation & Development, the Kent Conservation District, the Izaak Walton League, and the Department of Environmental Quality hosted this free informational workshop. Speakers included: Rob Zbiciak, Wetland Restoration and Watersheds Coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality; Becky Otto, Wetland Reserve Program Coordinator for the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Gib King, a fish and wildlife biologist for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Zbiciak started the workshop by talking about the importance of wetlands in our landscape and wetland loss in the state of Michigan. Over half of Michigan’s wetlands have been drained and converted for agricultural use or other types of development. Wetlands serve a very important role in the landscape by improving water quality, flood storage and groundwater recharge. The loss of wetlands has increased the frequency and severity of flood events. An important function of wetlands is that they reduce sediment and nutrients in surface water before it enters our streams, lakes and rivers. Restoring wetlands is one of the best conservation practices available for improving water quality and quantity. Otto and King spoke for the second half of the meeting about the two programs available for wetland restoration. The first was the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), which restores and protects wetlands converted to agricultural use. By enrolling in WRP, landowners with land that was formerly wetlands can convert these lands back to their original state. WRP provides financial assistance to restore and protect wetlands, and to enhance degraded wetlands. For Kent County, landowners can receive up to $3,689 per acre in this program. The landowner can enter into either a 30-year easement or permanent easement that will insure the land is maintained as wetland habitat. In order to enroll land in WRP, the land must be owned privately or by a tribe and cannot have changed ownership within the previous seven years unless adequate assurances can be provided by the landowner. The second program discussed […]
Did you know that restoring wetlands on your property can put “cash” in your pocket? Do you own property that was historically wet but the natural drainage has been altered by the installation of ditches or agricultural drain tiles? Do you own marginal agricultural land that is often difficult to plant in the spring or harvest in the fall because of wetness? Are you interested in receiving technical assistance and cost-share money to improve wildlife habitat on your property by restoring wetlands? You could be eligible to receive between $2,000 and $5,000 per acre for land that is restored to a wetland and protected with a conservation easement! The Rogue River Watershed Council and Trout Unlimited Inc., in partnership with Timberland RC&D, the Kent Conservation District, the Izaak Walton League, and the Department of Environmental Quality, will be hosting a free wetland workshop for landowners at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club, 1115 Northland Drive, on Monday, March 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The workshop will highlight programs that assist private landowners to restore historic wetlands on their properties. Landowners that meet federal requirements may be eligible for wetland restoration payments that pay between $2,000 and $5,000 per acre in Kent, Newaygo and Ottawa counties. Hear from leading wetland experts including representatives from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. If you have an interest in restoring wetland habitat on your property, this is the free workshop for you. Please RSVP by March 21 to Nichol De Mol at firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 557-6362.