White Pine Trail
This fall, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank is embarking on a new campaign to defeat hunger in West Michigan: the Million Meal March. It begins on Saturday, September 29, with a 10-kilometer hike from the Food Bank to Belmont and back along the White Pine Trail. The Million Meal March is a multi-faceted fundraising push that runs from September through March. Feeding America West Michigan hopes to raise enough money to send an additional one million meals to local hunger relief agencies in the coming year. Food insecurity remains high in Michigan. Statewide, 1.87 million people worry about purchasing enough food to feed themselves and their families. In our service area, from Benton Harbor to the western Upper Peninsula, more than 354,000 people are food insecure; one-third of them under 18. “A community effort is essential if we’re going to meet this need,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “We encourage everyone who hikes on the 29th to raise $100 for the Food Bank.” Every dollar raised enables Feeding America West Michigan to distribute four meals to people in need. Those interested may register online at MillionMealMarch.org. In gratitude for their hospitality and to help preserve this indispensable West Michigan trail, five percent of the proceeds from the September 29 hike will be donated to Friends of the White Pine Trail. A host of West Michigan organizations are sponsoring the Million Meal March: Friends of the White Pine Trail, The Corner Bar, Reds on the River, Kent District Library, Wolverine Worldwide, Country Fresh, BISSELL, Meijer, Crowe Horwath LLP, ARC Michigan, MLive, GR Outdoor, Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, Eastown Veterinary Clinic, Old Orchard Brands, Lighthouse Group, and Forest Hills Foods. The Million Meal March Trail Hike begins at Feeding America West Michigan in Comstock Park, 864 West River Center Drive. Local bands Hawks and Owls, Chinese Baseball and Suburban 5 & 10 will perform throughout the day, and The Corner Bar and Country Fresh are providing lunch and refreshments. The hike begins at 10 a.m. Participants can begin signing up, dropping off donations, and, for those who have raised $100, picking up their Million Meal March T-shirts at 9 a.m. This is a family-friendly event. Children and pets are welcome, though […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last week Thursday evening, the highlight of the monthly Friends of the White Pine Trail meeting at the Rockford Community Cabin was to be a flat bicycle tire repair presentation by Dave Heyboer, Chairman of the 500 member Trail advocacy group. Unbeknownst to Heyboer, he was about to be upstaged and honored with the presentation of a Tribute from the State of Michigan that had been sponsored by 73rd District State Representative Peter MacGregor. Humbled and almost speechless, (a rarity for Heyboer) the honoree listened while MacGregor read, in part, from the tribute as follows: With the exception of Fred Meijer, no one has been more responsible in making the White Pine Trail, Michigan’s longest linear State Park, what it is today. Mr. Heyboer is a true, “rails to trails” champion, capably handling the demanding and vital responsibilities of establishing a vision, gaining donors and executing plans. We are pleased to join our voice to those of the communities stretching from Grand Rapids, MI to Cadillac, MI, in thanking him for his dedication and honoring his selfless service to our State. This recognition is certainly well deserved. Although the “rails” were established long ago, the paving, convenience and safety improvements, and continued maintenance of, are critical to the transformation of the “rails” to “trails”. The hard work, commitment, and innovation of Mr. Heyboer and the “Friends” are major factors in the overall success and continued improvements of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. The work that Mr. Heyboer has accomplished has made the reputation of the trail possible and provides a model for others to follow. Under the official seal of the Great State of Michigan, Michigan’s Rep. Peter MacGregor, Senator Mark Jansen, and Gov. Rick Snyder signed the framed tribute with sincere thanks and wishes for continued success in all of Heyboer’s endeavors. To his good credit Rep. MacGregor has, since being elected to office some 16 months ago, actively sought to recognize constituents who have made a difference in all of our lives. No one is more deserving of this distinctly high honor than Dave Heyboer. Congratulations Dave from the Rockford Squire and members of the Friends of the White Pine Trail along with linear trail users from […]
‘The days of closing forest campgrounds are over’ A change designed to bolster funding for state forest recreation programs and provide better, more coordinated management of all state-administered campsites and non-motorized pathways was approved at the March 8 Natural Resources Commission meeting. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Rodney Stokes signed a land use order, effective immediately, that classifies state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways as state recreation areas. It requires campers using state forest campgrounds and persons using the state’s non-motorized trails and pathways to have a valid Michigan Recreation Passport on their vehicle. According to Friends of the White Pine Trail Chairman Dave Heyboer, the change is effective only for staging areas owned by the Michigan DNR, not all parking areas with access to the White Pine Trail. “It appears that this will only affect a couple of the staging areas on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park,” Heyboer stated. “Those are the Russell Road staging area just south of Cedar Springs, and the 44 Road Staging area just south of Cadillac.” The parking lot adjacent to the White Pine Trail at Rogue River Park in Belmont, and the parking for the White Pine Trail on Main Street in Rockford, next to the Rockford Footwear Depot, will not fall under the restriction. In January 2012, a reorganization of the DNR’s former Forest Management Division resulted in the transfer of state forest recreation programs to the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division so that all campgrounds and recreation programs of the Department would be managed by one division. Since the Recreation Passport was adopted in 2010, it has only been required to enter a state park, recreation area or state-administered boat launch fee site. By requiring the Recreation Passport at state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas, the DNR hopes to increase sales of the Recreation Passport and provide more funding for state forest-based recreation programs. “We intend to keep all state forest campgrounds open and available for campers,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “The days of closing state forest campgrounds are over. During this transition, we will raise awareness of the Recreation Passport requirement for state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas, and put […]
Stroll along beautiful downtown Rockford with a live band and deejay, and place bids in a silent auction with items including a Nintendo Wii, MSU/Michigan game tickets, a 32GB iPod Touch, a Trek Pure Sport Cruiser bike, or a one-week condo stay in Los Cabos, Mexico, and many local merchant gift certificates as part of the fun of the 13th annual Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford this Saturday, August 20. Twelve hundred runners are already booked to take to the streets and the White Pine Trail as part of the route for the annual race to raise awareness and funds to fight Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. Named after Mitchell Peterson, who, along with fellow Rockford students Alec Lundy and Tyler Fehnesfeld, has Duchennes, the race has inspired other events geared toward the same cause, including Volley 4 Mitchell, Classmates for a Cure, Strides for a Cure, and Mitch Madness. To date, well over half a million dollars has been raised for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. It isn’t too late to sign up for the 5K run/walk that has become a signature event for Rockford. According to Sandy Peterson, Mitch’s mom, the 150 volunteers and multiple sponsors are responsible for the success of the well-run race. She also attributes the generosity of Rockford merchants and the help of the city. She is always quick to point out that the race is more about educating the public on the importance of finding a cure for Duchennes, although the amount of money raised for muscular dystrophy research is impressive. Runners and walkers can sign up at Mitchellsrun.org to register online or can sign up prior to the 8:30 a.m. race Saturday. The silent auction takes place before, during and after the race and ends at 10 a.m. Watch for runners on the team Classmates for a Cure, who have their own t-shirts and are donating money to the Rockford Education Foundation. “Maybe one of these kids will grow up to be a scientist and will find a cure,” said Sandy.