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Find out how communities are turning to sustainable energy May 20

Find out how communities are turning to sustainable energy May 20

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--Are you interested in learning how local communities are investing in sustainable energy?

Join Arnold (Arn) Boezaart, Director of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, at Spring Lake District Library to learn more about this important environmental and economic issue. On Monday, May 20, Boezaart will discuss current trends, technology developments, and policy considerations related to energy and sustainability.

The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center is located in the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone.  MAREC opened in 2003 in response to the growing need for the advancement and development of alternative and renewable energy technology. MAREC is an economic development initiative of the City of Muskegon, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Grand Valley State University.

Guided Kayak trips offered

Guided Kayak trips offered

Have you ever been kayaking? If not, here is an opportunity to take a lesson and enjoy the great outdoors.

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department invites paddlers of all skill levels to join naturalists from the department on the Pigeon River. Even though they started on May 8th, the 3.5 mile guided tour is still on the schedule for May 18th, 21st and June 4th.  The trip begins at 12:30pm and takes about 4 hours with each trip a basic kayaking lesson, and kayak, paddle and life jacket are all included for $35.00. Anyone having their own kayak can join in for a fee of $15.00.

Registration is required by calling 616-786-4847. All trips begin at Hemlock Crossing at 8115 West Olive Rd in West Olive and ends at Sheldon Landing.

Children’s geological history author to speak at Loutit District Library

Children’s geological history author to speak at Loutit District Library

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- Find out what’s under our feet at the moment, and what was there a few hundred million years ago as children’s author Charles Ferguson Baker presents “The Amazing Geological History of Michigan and the Great Lakes”  at the Loutit District Library May 9.

Get perennial gardening tips from the pros

Get perennial gardening tips from the pros

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--Don’t have a green thumb?

Join self-proclaimed plant geek Barbara Balgoyen at Spring Lake District Library May 7 for a free presentation on gardening with perennials. Learn how to incorporate perennials into your landscape for beauty that will return year after year. During the 7 p.m. event, Balgoyen will share information about plants that are low maintenance, easy to grow, and drought tolerant.

Balgoyen is an avid gardener who has worked in the green industry for over 30 years.  She has experience with every aspect of the gardening business including retail and garden design and maintenance. She is currently a customer service representative and a technical consultant for Walters Gardens, Inc., the leading wholesale perennial grower in the U.S.

For more information about this program, call the library at 616.846.5770 or visit the library's website.

April Showers! Learn how to build your own rain barrel April 30

April Showers!  Learn how to build your own rain barrel April 30

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--The public is invited to a free rain barrel education workshop at Spring Lake District Library April 30. 

The guest speaker will be Becky Huttenga, executive director of the Ottawa Conservation District.  Huttenga will discuss the environmental and financial benefits of using rain barrels to conserve water.  She’ll also demonstrate how to construct a barrel. 

Two rain barrels will be given away during the presentation, which starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call the library at (616) 846-5770.  The library is located at 123 E. Exchange Street in Spring Lake.

Earth Day Fair: Create your own rain barrel

Grand Haven, Mich. (Ottawa Conservation District)  – If you have been thinking about putting rain barrels to use in your landscape, then the Earth Day Fair in the Grand Haven Community Center is the place to be on Saturday, April 20, 2013! 

The Ottawa Conservation District will be hosting two Create Your Own Rain Barrel Workshops during this fun family event.   For a pre-registration fee of $30, you will get a pre-drilled barrel and parts along with instructions and tips.  At the end of the session, you will go home with a rain barrel that is ready to go, and you can personalize it anyway you like!  So make sure you drive a vehicle that you can fit the barrel in to transport it home! 

The workshops will be held and 1:00pm and again at 3:00.  Please visit www.ottawacd.org to download the registration form.

DNR looking for Stewardship Volunteers

DNR looking for Stewardship Volunteers

Volunteering for the Department of Natural Resources is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the State Parks, get exercise, and breathe some fresh air while still having fun and enjoying the magnificent scenery that Michigan is known for.

Volunteers are needed from Berrien County north to Muskegon County. The State calls this a volunteer stewardship program throughout the month of May. Come prepared with appropriate clothing for outdoor work, layered, if possible, for a good days' work. Gloves and drinking water are a must.

Youth groups, scouts, service clubs and classes are needed to locate and remove the invasive weed, known as Garlic Mustard. This plant is a threat to wildflowers like trillium and bloodroot along with others.