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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:

Can pond scum fuel our future?

Can pond scum fuel our future?

HOLLAND, Mich.—Pond and lake scum might be the key to fueling our future.

Learn how algae can be transformed into a biofuel during a free lecture Wednesday, September 11. Western Michigan University chemistry professor John Miller will present “Algal biofuels: Energy, Environment and Economy” at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, starting at 3:30 p.m. 

According to Miller, algae can yield more biofuel than other plants and is much simpler to process.  Miller says the leftovers can also be used to amend soil.

Wednesday’s presentation is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.  For special accommodations, call (517) 432-4499. 

Rediscovery of rare mineral deposit set to boost Michigan economy

Rediscovery of rare mineral deposit set to boost Michigan economy

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Western Michigan University)--Rediscovery of a long forgotten mineral deposit located under two West Michigan counties is set to spark a new multi-billion industry in Michigan that will quickly position the state as the nation's leading source for a critical agricultural tool that is in demand internationally.

Potash--potassium chloride--is an essential plant nutrient and critical ingredient in fertilizer. Currently mined in only three locations in the nation, supplies are dwindling and prices skyrocketing. Now, one of the highest-quality potash ore deposits in the world has been identified below the surface of West Michigan.

Former strip club site now a safe haven for butterflies

Former strip club site now a safe haven for butterflies

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--  The former site of a strip club is now home to a butterfly sanctuary.

On August 9, Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones teamed up with Monarch Watch and Downtown Tomorrow, Inc. to transform a 500 square foot space located at 1311 Portage St. into a feeding ground for butterflies. The plants donated by all three organizations are all Michigan native.  Dave Wendling, president of Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones says the lone tree on the lot is a Bur Oak, a species which once covered Kalamazoo’s landscape before settlers moved in.

The new sanctuary, called "The Edison Neighborhood Monarch Haven,"  is meant to support Monarch butterflies which are in severe decline, as well as make the space more appealing to potential buyers. The site will be registered as a Monarch waystation, providing milkweeds, nectar and shelter for migrating butterflies.

West Michigan Summer 2013: Send us your photos!

West Michigan Summer 2013: Send us your photos!

Tammy Cunningham snapped this photo on Muskegon's Pere Marquette Park beach July 26.

Send  your West Michigan Summer 2013 photos to mytown@wzzm13.com  and we'll add them to our photo gallery!