Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Bunny Visits York Creek Community - Enjoys Easter Egg Hunt

This beautiful sunny Saturday morning brought the Easter Bunny out of hiding and to York Creek to witness the first annual Easter Egg Hunt. It became quite apparent early on that there were more kids than eggs so it was back to work for the bunny and assistants and drop more eggs.  Kids (large and small) had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the bunny and then the hunt began.  The littler kids had first crack at the eggs.  Then all the older kids got to search and within minutes it was all over, every leaf turned over and every corner inspected, and the hundreds of eggs that had been dropped were gathered into baskets and bags. 
Every one had a great time and most are already looking forward to next year.

Tenants lined up early for a picture with the Easter Bunny
A few of the Easter Bunny's Assistants

There were big kids.....
....and little kids

......and more kids

and the hunt is on
It was a great family event

exhausted and enjoying the sun rays

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

REAP Annual Meeting and In-Service

The Ridge Economic Agricultural Partners (REAP) held their annual meeting Tuesday evening at the Alpine Township Hall.  REAP is a 501 C3 organization and as part of its charter they  provide training and awareness for their members as well as the broader community.  This included a presentation on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program  (MAEAP). There were also presentations on obtaining funding for installing Seasonal High Tunnels,  and the just announced USDA simplified Microloan Program.  Also giving a presentation was local grower and MSU Extension District Horticultural Agent Phil Schwallier who presented  optimistic predictions on this year's crop expectations.
Earl Krom (left) Kent Conservation District and Matthew Soehnel, District Conservationist with United States Department of Agriculture were two of the featured speakers

Phil Schwallier (left) and Joe Klein

Sarah Possehn, Farm Loan Officer for the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency



Saturday, March 23, 2013

No Place like Home

In February of 2009 the Alpine Township Blogs was launched and the first article to appear here was titled "No Place Like Home", a story about Alpine Township artist Sheryl Budnik and her paintings of scenery around the "Apple Ridge"
Sheryl's artwork was featured at the Keeler Gallery at Fountain Street Church and after the exhibition Sheryl allowed some of her work to be displayed at Alpine Township Hall.
More than 4 years have passed and we still have our blog and Sheryl Budnik is still painting.  This month her work has been on display at the Terryberry Gallery at the St. Cecelia Music Center.  Sheryl's interests have expanded from scenes from the Ridge  to water and Lake Michigan. In addition to her exhibition at St. Cecelia, some of Sheryl's work is also on display at Richard App Gallery.  "I still love the Fruit Ridge", Sheryl said recently, and plans do more paintings from here.  We wish her continued success and hope to be able to display some of her works at the Township Hall again. More information at Sheryl's website at

September Fire

Orchard Tree (At Alpine Township Office)

Apple Trees Dancing


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Frolic on the Titanic

There was plenty of frolic Tuesday night as Rotarians from local clubs gathered together at Wolverine World Wide in Rockford for their annual Interclub meeting. The theme of the meeting was the Titanic    and club members ate what was thought to be close to the last meal ever served on the Titanic, which perished on April 10, 1912.  Club members were entertained and educated as a program was presented not only about the sinking of the ship and the aftermath, but also about many real characters that were on board of the ship.  One of those on board was me, Karl Backstom, a Finnish carpenter who was offered a job as a construction foreman in the United States. I convinced two of my wife's brothers to accompany us on the trip.  Tragically neither the brothers or myself survived, but my pregnant wife made it back to Finland. My body was never recovered.
Sharing all this information with the audience was David Kaplan.  Dave's interest in the Titanic began when  he was nine years old. He has spent a lifetime studying the tragedy, the ship and its passengers. He has been a member of the Titanic Historical Society for over 30 years and has been lucky enough to meet 18 of the survivors, including Melvina Dean, the last living survivor that passed away in May 2009.
David Kaplan



Sunday, March 17, 2013

How Does My Garden Grow?

The Alpine Township Historical Committee held its monthly meeting at the Community Building on 7 Mile Road this Sunday, with guest speaker Kim Evango, owner of Creek Side Garden Center Inc4015 Fruit Ridge Avenue NW.  Kim shared quite a few gardening tips and introduces the attendees to some of the new plants and flowers being introduced for the first time this year.

Kim Evango

An indoor/outdoor arrangement

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Comstock Park Rotary Sponsors Alpine Township Leadership Breakfast

Saturday morning the Comstock Park Rotary sponsored the third Alpine Township Leadership Breakfast.  Local leaders from schools, churches, local government, business and service organizations were invited for breakfast at Family of Christ Lutheran Church to get insight into their community and and help set direction for the future.  Included in the audience were 17 members of the Kenowa Hills High School Interact Club as well as 3 students from Comstock Park High School.
Those providing updates included Rotarian Sharon Steffens,  State Representative Rob VerHeulen, State Senator Mark Jansen, Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends, Superintendents Ethan Ebenstein from Comstock Park Public Schools and Ethan Ebenstein from Kenowa Hills Public School.  Ethan Ebenstein also provided the audience with some eye opening statistical data revealing that poverty does exist in our community and how some of this is addressed by various service organization. He also shared information about Comstock Park Community Outreach.  John Weiss, executive director of Grand Valley Metro Council wrapped up the meeting with the help of Alpine Township's Planning Director Sue Becker and solicited comments from the audience. 

Alex Arends, Missi McPherson, Ethan Ebenstein
Given special recognition by the Rotary were Randy Perrin, for his vision  and entrepreneurial spirit,  Dan Clark for his vision and commitment addressing many of the social issues in the community, and Missi McPherson, Educational Support Services at Comstock Park Public Schools, for her dedication and devotion contributing to the betterment  of the Alpine Township/Comstock Park Community.   

Representative Rob VehHeulen and Senator Mark Jansen

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Send Your Child to Summer Camp for As Little as $5!

Have you always wanted to provide your child with the positive, confidence-building, life-changing experience of summer camp but thought your budget couldn’t afford it? Think again. Camp Blodgett is offering a week of summer camp for as little as $5! There are no catches or gimmicks involved.

Really. To find out how you can register your child for a week-long session of camp, go to to read about their programs and download a registration form, stop in their office at 1545 Buchanan Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, or give them a call at 616-940-9874.
This summer let your kids shine!



Friday, March 8, 2013

Westgate Neighborhood Park Meeting Rescheduled

A meeting of the Alpine Township Parks and Recreation Committee to discuss improvements to Westgate Neighborhood Park has been rescheduled from Tuesday March 12 to Tuesday March 19 at 7:00 PM at the Alpine Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave. NW. The public had been invited via the Harvester, the Township Newsletter, which has the incorrect date. The park was closed the entire season last year because of the construction of new sewer trunk lines and is currently in need of repair. Westgate area residents interested in having the park maintained or having suggestions about new playground are encouraged to provide input at this public meeting. Restoration will include repair to the tennis courts.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

At Rotary Today

Melody Polasek
The Comstock Park Rotary inducted its newest member today, Melody Polasek, Banking Office Manager at the Comstock Park Branch of Independent Bank. Melody was sponsored by Brent Beuschel.
Guest speakers at today's Rotary meeting were Kent County Commissioners Richard Vander Molen and Harold Voorhees, who presented a program on the West Michigan Sports Commission.
The mission of the West Michigan Sports Commission is to promote Michigan’s West Coast as the premier venue for hosting a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events, enhancing the economy and quality of life in the region.
More information about the Commission can be found at
Rotary President Alex Arends, Melody Polasek and Brent Beuschel
Richard Vander Molen(left)  Brent Beuschel and Harold Voorhees

Board of Review Prepares to Hear Appeals

Members of the Alpine Township Board of Review were sworn in and held an organizational meeting this week in preparation for listening to property owners who wish to appeal their tax assessments.  Meetings have been scheduled for next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mary Wilcome, Jim Momber, Chuck Jakems

 What type of appeals will the Board hear?
The Board of Review has the authority to act on appeals of:
CLASSIFICATION: this is roughly equivalent of the use of your property. 
STATUS: certain properties such as Churches are tax-exempt. Sometimes there are unusual situations that create appeals.
EQUITY: All properties within the jurisdiction are to be assessed at the same ratio; 50% of True Cash Value.
HARDSHIP: Poverty stricken property owners can request tax assistance from the Board of Review. Household financial documentation will be necessary.
 VALUATION: This is by far the bulk of the appeals. It is important to remember that neither the Assessor nor the Board of Review can affect the millage or the taxes. They can change an assessment if shown that it exceeds 50% of the True Cash Value.
Property owners or their representative being interviewed have scheduled appointments.  The meetings are open to the public.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happenings at the Alpine Township KDL Branch

Margaux Drake,  Master Raw Food Chef and WOTV Channel 4's Women's Healthy Eats Expert says dessert never tasted so good, especially when it isn't served with a side of guilt! She says that as we all try to adopt a healthier lifestyle that does NOT mean that we have to completely fore go dessert. Margaux's desserts are full of whole food, plant-based nutrition that can actually do your body good, when eaten in moderation. On Saturday, Margaux and her daughter Ellie brought that message as well as demonstrations to a group of women  at the Alpine Township Branch of the Kent County Library System.  (KDL).  Margaux's recipes are plant based with a heavy emphasis on the use of spices. More information  and recipes can be found at or see planned programming for all KDL branches, go to

Also at the Alpine Township Library this Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening,  it was story time and crafts, all about Pete the Cat.  Numerous Pete lovers were on hand each day for this fun library program.