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My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—What does a Kalamazoo area school, Ottawa County hops producer and the West Michigan Sports Commission have in common?

All three are teaming up with Consumers Energy to produce solar power.

Consumers has selected 22 projects to back, including  five non-residential programs at Paragon Die & Engineering in Kentwood, Monsignor Hackett High School in Kalamazoo Township, Pure Mitten Hops in Ottawa County, the West Michigan Sports Commission in Grand Rapids and Bonobo Winery in Grand Traverse County.

In addition, Consumers is backing 17 solar projects for residential customers, including those in Kent and Ottawa counties.  The customers were chosen as part of Consumers’ Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.   Consumers will soon be accepting applications for the next phase of EARP.  The deadly to apply is 5 p.m. Aug. 6.

My Town: Volunteers needed for Park Spring Spruce-Up May 31

My Town: Volunteers needed for Park Spring Spruce-Up May 31

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Volunteers throughout Grand Rapids will be rolling up their sleeves this weekend for the Spring Spruce-Up event organized by the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Everyone is invited to help pick up trash, debris and brush at the parks as well as installing new Parks Alive amenities and recognition plates.  The volunteer work will take place Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To register to help, click on the park you’d like to work in:

My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  What does the Grand River need?

That’s the question students of Kent Innovation High are trying to answer, with the community’s help.  Inspired by Grand Rapids Whitewater, a group of sophomores have been surveying Grand Rapids residents downtown and on social media to find out what they would like to see in waterfront’s future.  They are taking that information to make a 25 foot long replica of the river and its banks, complete with ideas to revitalize the space.

 The replica will be on display during the Grand River Innovation Showcase Friday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the school, located at 1655 East Beltline Ave. NE.  For more information, click here.

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  High School students from six area districts will showcase their efforts to protect the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes during the Groundswell Student Showcase May 14.

Grand Valley State University is showcasing the exhibit, which provides hands-on environmental learning for students throughout Kent County.  The projects will be on display on the big screen and in the Beacon Lobby at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.

My Town: Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

My Town:  Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

WYOMING, Mich.—A new greenhouse made out of 2,000 water bottles now sits outside Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center.

Students, along with teacher Char Walsh and school staff teamed up with Goodwill AmeriCorps members to build the eco-friendly greenhouse last Friday, using water bottles collected by the Heart of West Michigan United Way and Grand Rapids Community College.  Many of the additional building materials were donated by a local lumber company.

Students, teachers and the female clients of Dégagé Ministries will grow and harvest vegetables in the greenhouse to make salsa, which will then be sold, with all proceeds going to  Dégagé.

My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan parents will try to set a new diaper world record this weekend.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change starts at 11 a.m. on April 26 at Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center on Cherry Street.  Participating parents will try to break the current Guinness World Record of simultaneous cloth diaper changes- 8,301 diapers changed in 15 countries last year.  This year, 23 countries are expected to take part in the attempt.

This is the fourth year Grand Rapids has taken part in the Great Cloth Diaper Change, which is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental benefits of cloth diapering.  Hop Scotch is teaming up with Grand Rapids-based Smart Bottoms Cloth Diapers to provide additional activities, starting at 10:30 a.m.

My Town EGR: Aquinas College hosts Earth Day event for students

My Town EGR: Aquinas College hosts Earth Day event for students

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- On April 22, 2014 Aquinas College celebrated Earth Day with a series of student activities.

Themed "Love Your Mother", the event included activities such as decorating TOMS shoes, a showing of the movie "Wall-E" and musical performances by Rhett Price and Joey Hyde. The event also featured a series of educational and fun activities sponsored by student clubs and school departments. These included a toxic cosmetic dump, recycling and compost games, do-it-yourself green cleaners, henna tattoos and beekeeping demonstrations.

Aquinas College is working to become the first zero waste college in the nation. The student Earth Day event was designed to entertain, educate and engage students on the importance of sustainability and the benefits of working towards a greener tomorrow.