by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL The greater Rockford community is blessed with a multitude of accomplished artisans, many of whom participated in this year’s ArtPrize competition. Local artist Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture may have contemplated entering the prestigious competition but found himself engrossed in the creative design and layout of his—to date—largest undertaking. From his home/studio tucked away in the woods between Rockford and Cedar Springs, Anderson along with two of his sons, Troy and Chad, is in the midst of completing a prodigious work of art that will forever enhance the iconic Rockford Rogue River Dam. Anderson’s Metal Sculpture has been designing and creating original metal sculpture works of art since 1975. As opposed to cast bronze sculptures, Anderson’s has carved a niche for itself, working with copper, brass and most recently stainless steel plate. “Our varieties of sculptures range from small garden sculptures to large three-dimensional pieces that bring life and texture to the inside or outside of one’s home or business,” said Anderson. Locally, Anderson’s talent is on permanent display in front of North Rockford Middle School (NRMS) and also in front of the Cedar Springs High School Red Hawk Stadium. The large-scale renditions of the Rockford Fighting Ram and the Cedar Springs’ Tom Brown Fire Hawk are but two prime examples of many gifted creations. The Rockford Dam sculpture, yet to be completed, will be a three-dimensional sculpture of three fish leaping in and out of swirls of water and mist. Working with heavy gauge stainless steel plate over stainless steel frames, Anderson is creating three fish synonymous with the Rogue River. Most fittingly, the piece will be titled “Waterdance.” Incorporating a rainbow trout, a steelhead and a brown trout, the finished piece will be grand in size and scope and will measure approximately 12 by 18 feet. Each fish, itself, will be considerably larger than life-size. The rainbow trout will be some eight feet long with a girth of five feet, the steelhead approximately 10 feet long with a girth of six feet, and the brown trout about 7.5 feet long with a girth of five feet. The gleaming stainless steel fish will be individually textured to be life-like in detail. The large size of […]
Community effort Andrew Kersting is still rounding up recruits and working to keep the Rogue River clean. This year the crew actually saw a smaller amount of trash in the river south of the dam in downtown Rockford. Kersting asks for help each year and is gratified to see how many people will volunteer their time and jump right in (literally) for their community. Kersting said BC Pizza is always generous and donates a pizza party for the crew after the clean up. D&W provides drinking water and trash bags. “I hope the word is getting out about not throwing trash into the river,” Kersting said. This year saw a larger number of volunteers, who deserve a thank you. See you next year and bring a friend.
Sea lamprey control planned for Grand River, Crockery Creek, Rogue River U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel will apply lampricides to sections of Crockery Creek in Ottawa and Muskegon counties and the Rogue River in Kent County to kill sea lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom. The applications will be conducted between Aug. 31 and Sept. 11 in accordance with State of Michigan permits. Tentatively, treatment of Rogue River will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Applications will be complete in about 36-48 hours. The application dates are tentative and may be changed based upon local weather or stream conditions near the time of treatment. Sea lamprey larvae live in certain Great Lakes tributaries and transform to parasitic adults that migrate to the Great Lakes and kill fish. Failure to kill the larvae in streams would result in significant damage to the Great Lakes fishery. Infested tributaries must be treated every three to five years with lampricides to control sea lamprey populations. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency have reviewed human health and environmental safety data for lampricides, and in 2003 concluded that the lampricides (Lampricid and Bayluscide) pose no unreasonable risk to the general population and the environment when applied at concentrations necessary to control larval sea lampreys. However, as with any pesticide, the public is advised to use discretion and minimize unnecessary exposure. Lampricides are selectively toxic to sea lampreys, but a few fish, insect, and broadleaf plants are sensitive. Persons confining bait fish or other organisms in stream water are advised to use an alternate water source, because lampricides may cause mortality among aquatic organisms stressed by crowding and handling. Agricultural irrigation must be suspended for 24 hours, during and following treatment. Extensive preparations are required for a safe and effective stream treatment. Prior to treatment, personnel collect data on stream water chemistry and discharge. In addition, they may conduct on-site toxicity tests with lampricides and stream flow studies with dyes that cause stream water to appear red or green. Lampricides are carefully metered into the stream for approximately 12 hours, and continually analyzed at predetermined sites to assure that proper concentrations are maintained as the lampricides are carried downstream. Applicators are trained and are […]
An imported beetle that eats an invasive plant is being used to restore native wetland species such as cattails. Jim Biener and Bob Stegmier of the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America are looking for some friends with good eyesight and steady hands to again collect these beetles and spread them into loosestrife infested wetlands. Jim, 361-1353, coordinates the efforts in the townships of Cannon and Grattan. Bob Stegmier, 866-4769, coordinates the efforts for the Ike’s and the Rouge River Watershed Council in the Rogue River watershed. Purple Loosestrife is an unwanted “beauty” in our midst. This statement so definitely describes the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant in North America. From a good beginning in 2007 volunteers will again be in the wetlands colonized with the Gallerucella calmariensis beetle collecting the beetle as they emerge from the soil and beginning their spring eating and mating process. The aim of these volunteers is to collect beetles before they lay their eggs and transplant them into areas with P.L. so the eggs will be hatched in the new area. That way two beetles transplanted produces 500 new larva to eat loosestrife blossoms and seeds making our effort very effective. The Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC) with the guidance of Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will continue to collect and spread the Purple Loosestrife eating Gallerucella calmariensis beetle in the Rogue River watershed. This is a volunteer effort to control the spread of the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant. Good progress is being steadily made from the south of the watershed northward. While this plant is pretty with its tall slender purple spikes it is still very much a plant that if left uncontrolled would significantly alter the native plant structure of our wetlands. Native Michigan wetland species find very little value in the plant. The beauty is short lived lasting only a few weeks in July before the blossom and stalk structure dies and turns brown. The damage continues all growing season long as the plant crowds out native plants. The result is that Michigan native wetlands species loose their “preferred” living habitat. Volunteers are needed and folks throughout the watershed are invited to volunteer to help in this […]
Gene Parker takes plunge for $1,035 No good deed goes unpunished and for annual Splash announcer and radio personality Gene Parker, the saying was certainly true Saturday. Parker, who kindly donates his time and talent to many Rockford events, was cheerfully doing a great job Saturday during the 14th annual Sweetheart Splash at the Rockford dam when Rotarian Rick Ehinger decided to ratchet up the crowd’s incentive to donate. He said he’d pitch in $200 to see Parker take the plunge into the Rogue. Parker waffled, saying he wasn’t prepared for a dip in the drink and John Decker and Sandy Waite both upped the ante by another hundred each. With $400 on the line in the fundraiser for the North Kent Service Center, local businesses, Splash jumpers and members of the crowd began throwing in the dough to total an impressive $1,035 guaranteeing Parker’s plunge (and probably the end of donating his time for Splash). With 30 jumpers and an air temperature of 30 degrees, the event went smoothly and was well attended. Rockford Quick Lube team again stole the show with their group jump. Without the Jaycees, who disbanded this year on what would have been the group’s 50th anniversary, competition was low. The Quick Lubies made it up to the crowd with a great limbo routine and challenging other local businesses to up the ante next year with more team groups. Connie Taylor of the Rockford Community Federal Credit Union called the jump very successful with over $2,000 raised for NKSC. Past good hauls included the year Herman’s Boy’s Floyd Havemeier went in at age 65, raising $5,000 from the many people who paid to see him go under.