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My Town: The Princeton Review names the nation's greenest colleges

My Town: The Princeton Review names the nation's greenest colleges

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- While many people are participating in eco-friendly activities this Earth Day,  seven Michigan colleges and universities are doing their part to help the environment on a more regular basis.

Grand Valley State University has made the cut as one of The Princeton Review’s Green Colleges.   This is the fifth consecutive year GVSU has made the list.  Nationwide, 332 schools were deemed Green Colleges, including:

My Town Kalamazoo: City to begin ticketing trash-filled yards April 21

My Town Kalamazoo: City to begin ticketing trash-filled yards April 21

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The snow has melted away, exposing months of litter on many residential and commercial properties.

The City of Kalamazoo wants to remind residents of a city ordinance requiring all garbage be properly stored in trash bins, to prevent rodents and other unsanitary situations.  The city is giving residents a grace period to clean up the litter on their property; starting Monday, April 21, city workers will begin citing properties in violation of the Trash Ordinance.    Violators will receive a ticket and a $74 bill, then get another 10 days to clean up the mess.  If the trash remains, city crews will be called in to clean up the property, and the property owner will be billed for their work.

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

UPDATE: Three more buildings have joined the competition.

Organizers say the MATS administration office, Community Mental Health and the Hall of Justice, all in Muskegon County are now involved in the Battle of the Buildings, bringing the total square footage to more than 9 million.  The new goal is 10 million square feet by the registration deadline of March 31.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—More than three dozen local businesses are competing in cutting down energy in the West Michigan Battle of the Buildings.

The owners of 45 buildings representing nearly 9 million square feet of space have signed up to take part in the inaugural competition, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. The organization is teaming up with Consumers Energy and Hurst Mechanical to provide workshops on building improvements, optimizing operations and maintance and engaging building occupants to curb energy use.

Western Michigan University awarded grant for STEM research

Western Michigan University awarded grant for STEM research

 KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University is getting more than a half million dollars to figure out how to encourage students to follow a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

 The National Science Foundation awarded WMU two grants totaling $529,000 to address the issue.  The money will go toward a six-university research project to help instructors understand how to overcome student misconceptions about STEM coursework.

 “A huge percentage of students drop out of science majors after their first year," says Dr. Mary Anne Sydlik, SAMPI director and head of WMU's evaluation team. "STEM undergrads struggle, for a number of reasons, which in turn can lead to low grades and the impulse to transfer into non-STEM majors." 

Communities get share of $500K for drinking water

Communities get share of $500K for drinking water

LANSING, Mich. (AP & WZZM) - The state says 45 Michigan communities will get a share of nearly $500,000 through the Wellhead Protection Grant Program to help safeguard public water supply systems.

The Department of Environmental Equality announced the funding this week.         

The DEQ says groundwater is the sole source of drinking water for nearly half of Michigan's households and the grants are an important part of protecting the groundwater supply.    

Funding includes $70,000 each for Battle Creek, the East Lansing Meridian Water & Sewer Authority and the Lansing Board of Water & Light.

Come Kayak down the River

Come Kayak down the River

Kayak the Kalamazoo River with DeGraaf Nature Center in Holland, MI on Saturday, September 28th, from 10:30am – 3:30pm.

This three hour paddle begins within the Allegan State Game Area and ends at New Richmond, a beautiful 9-mile stretch of water on the Kalamazoo River with lots of wildlife sightings. This is a great time to see and hear migrating songbirds too.

The nature center will provide transportation from DeGraaf for kayaks, life jackets, paddles and guide. You provide the energy, snacks, waterproof lunch, (no coolers please), hats, sunscreen & insect repellant.

Fees for this trip are $25 but only $20 if you are a Friend of DeGraaf.  If you have your own boat, transfer fee is $15. Please call 616-355-1057 to register.

DeGraaf is located at 600 Graafschap Rd. in Holland, Mi. Website: www.degraaf.org

Local businesses among the '101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies'

Local businesses among the '101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies'

More than two dozen West Michigan companies are among the “101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies” in Michigan.

The annual list was released September 11, one week before the award celebration at Davenport University.  The 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies list celebrates organizations that inspire and produce green technology, positively impacting the industry and environment.  An independent research firm selected the winning companies based on the following categories: education, communication, strategic planning and operational implementation, innovation and problem solving, building and grounds, community leadership, workforce and financial performance.

The list of 2013 winners includes: