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Environment

From Blandford to NASA: Alumnus returns to share success story

From Blandford to NASA: Alumnus returns to share success story

An alumnus of the Blandford Environmental Education Program who now works with NASA will return to West Michigan August 9-10.

 Dr. James Ashley has earned three degrees in planetary sciences and is currently working on two NASA missions: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

He largely attributes his success to attending Blandford Environmental Education Program during sixth grade.

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County will be accepting household hazardous waste from residents Saturday, July 20. 

Residents with proper ID can drop off items from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 5068 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood.  The county will also accept drop-off items at the following times and locations:

  • August 10: 2908 Ten Mile Rd. in Rockford
  • August 24: 1500 Scribner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • September 7: 5068 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood
  • September 21: 2350 Ivanrest SW, Grandville
  • October 12: 2908 Ten Mile Rd. in Rockford
  • October 26: 1500 Scribner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Chemicals including weed killers, bug sprays, antifreeze, gasoline, oil-based paint, wood preservatives, paint thinner, pool chemicals, deck cleaners, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers and thermostats will all be accepted.  Latex paint, medical waste, prescription drugs, ammunition and fireworks are prohibited.

Green roof added to once-vacant building

Green roof added to once-vacant building

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—An environmentally friendly roof now sits over Rockford Construction’s new home in Grand Rapids.

Advanced Green Architecture (AGA) began installing the roof system July 8.  It contains 3” to 6” of soil covered with a variety of sedum plants, ornamental grasses and other perennials. 

Rockford Construction’s new offices are located at 601 First Street NW, which was once home to Miller Products before it sat vacant for many years.  The company is working to make its new facility LEED Gold certified before moving in. The newly-renovated building will feature a courtyard with green space and a deck, along with a rooftop patio.

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  "Friends of Grand Rapids Parks" is getting reading to plant a new green space for Grand Rapids, made possible by 17 area breweries.

The ceremonial planting of Brewers Grove will take place October 17 at Riverside Park.  The event will also include a beer-inspired movie showing inside the park at dusk.  Visitors will be allowed to bring growlers.

Brewers Grove is being funded by tree beer sales.  Each participating brewery created their own version of tree beer.  The fundraiser began August 5, with many breweries donating $1 from each pint sold to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks' Urban Forest Project.  Other participating breweries created events and promotions for the fundraising campaign.

Participating breweries include:

Hazardous Waste Day for Kent County Households

Hazardous Waste Day for Kent County Households

Saturday, June 22nd, is the day to finally get rid of some household hazardous waste products that most people seem to have. So many items need to be disposed of in a safe manner and this is your chance to do just that.

Kent County Department of Public works is holding this event from 8:30am until Noon at 1500 Scribner NW, in Grand Rapids. These are items they will accept: oil based paint & thinner, fertilizers, pool & photo chemicals, bug spray & weed killer, fluorescent tubes & CFL bulbs, cleaners, fire extinguishers, gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, mercury thermostat & thermometers and aerosol cans.

Items that will NOT be accepted: fireworks, ammunition, propane, tires, medication needles, latex paint and business & non-Kent County wastes.

For additional information, you may call, 616-336-2570 or 1-888-217-2850 or you may go on line to: www.accessKent.com/hhw

Go Green Youth Challenge: How to get fresh trees in your community

Go Green Youth Challenge:  How to get fresh trees in your community

Applications are being accepted for the Go Green Youth Challenge tree planting grants.

Children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate.  Participants are challenged to collect change individually, with their class or with a club each spring.  The change will go toward community tree plantings by the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance, as well as program outreach efforts.  The team that raises the most for the Go Green Youth Challenge will be awarded with a tree planning in their community.  They also get an invitation to the state Arbor Day celebration in April at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing.

Local governments, public educational institutions, public libraries, non-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, churches and tribal governments can also apply for a Go Green youth Challenge tree planting grant by visiting this websit

Explore Millennium Park, Saturday, May 18th

Explore Millennium Park, Saturday, May 18th

 Millennium Park is offering trolley rides to explore the park on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This is a free discovery program sponsored by the Kent County Parks Dept along with the Kent/MSU Extension Master Naturalist Program. Docents along the way will explain and talk about the park.

The trolley, funded by Meijer will leave John Ball Zoo at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., returning at 9:50 a.m., 10:50 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 12:50 p.m. and 1:50 p.m.

Park volunteer, Martha McCleery said, “this a day we are making available to people in the city who may not be able to drive or come to Millennium Park otherwise.”