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Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte

ArtPrize winner among participants in Fallasburg Fall Festival 2013

ArtPrize winner among participants in Fallasburg Fall Festival 2013

The winner of ArtPrize 2010 will be among the more than 95 artists taking part in Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.

LowellArts!  recently released the list of festival vendors, which includes ArtPrize grand prize winner Chris LaPorte. LaPorte’s 28-foot wide pencil drawing “Cavalry, American Officers 1921” earned him $250,000.

 Artists from as far away as Florida will be showcasing their skills during the festival, which runs September 14 and 15.  Visitors can enjoy live music while shopping for new art.

This is the 45th year for Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.  For more information about the event, visit the LowellArts! website here.

State-owned land in Muskegon up for auction

State-owned land in Muskegon up for auction

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering more than 20 parcels of state-owned land for sale in nine Michigan counties.

The sealed-bid auction began Wednesday and runs through Sept. 4.

Properties in Arenac, Alpena, Gladwin, Lake, Montmorency, Muskegon, Otsego, Presque Isle and Saginaw counties are available.

The properties range in size from less than an acre to 40 acres. Some are wooded tracts; others are in close proximity to lakes, ponds and recreational trails. You can find the complete list on the DNR website here.

Family Farm & Home opening a new store

 Family Farm & Home opening a new store

SPARTA, Mich.-- The former Pamida building located at 53 Applewood Dr. will be the location for the new Family Farm & Home store coming to Sparta.

The Muskegon-based Family Farm & Home business is expected to open this 27th store by late August 2013. The new facility is expected to include lawn and garden, hardware, automotive, agriculture, sporting goods, clothing, toys and pet departments. There will be something for everyone, giving the community a shopping alternative that has been missing from the area since Pamida closed its doors last year.

Check out www.familyfarmandhome.com for more information about the store coming to your town.

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

West Michigan growers are seeing high demand for berries this summer.

Many farmers have closed their fields for a couple days after visitors picked their plants clean.  The increasing demand also led to a shorter cherry season for some growers.  

Here's a list of some of the U-pick locations open in West Michigan this summer. Prices, fruit availability and hours vary daily, so it's best to call ahead before visiting any farm.

 

Ionia County

 

Bird Berry Farm

5256 Belding Rd. Belding, MI

(616) 794-5041

Blueberries $1.75 per pound

Patch picked out early Friday morning call back for update Wednesday, July 17

 

 

Kent County

 

North Ridge Berries

3555 20 Mile Rd. NW Kent City, MI

(616) 675-5919

Raspberries $3 per pound

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

A program aimed at helping low income families eat healthier is back for another season.

Double Up Food Bucks runs July 1 through October 31, 2013.  Participating markets will match the amount spent by shoppers using a SNAP Bridge Card.  The maximum match is $20 per day, and shoppers do not need to use their Double Up Food Bucks the same day they get them.

In West Michigan, participating farm markets include:

  • Ada Farmers’ Market (7239 Thornapple Dr.)
  • Byron Farmers’ Market* (84th & Byron Center, Byron Center)
  • Downtown Market Grand Rapids (435 Ionia St. SW)
  • Fulton Street Farmers’ Market* (1147 East Fulton St.)
  • Greenville Farmer’s Market (1325 W. Washington, Veteran’s Park)
  • Healthy Street Farmers’ Market (431 Cass Ave. SE, Grand Rapids)
  • Holland Farmers’ Market (150 W.

Tickets on sale for Jazz Fest on White Lake

Tickets on sale for Jazz Fest on White Lake

WHITEHALL, Mich. – A wine tasting, live jazz, appetizer and desserts, art for sale and a silent auction will be featured at the premier White Lake Wine & Jazz Fest on Aug. 3, 2013 from 3-7 p.m. at Goodrich Park.

This lakefront festival will include a variety of wines for tasting provided by Montague Foods wine distributors and served by local celebrities.  Live jazz will be performed by renowned area musicians Dave Collee and The Skylarks. Crosswinds On The Lake Restaurant will prepare a delectable variety of cheeses, and The Book Nook & Java Shop/Wine Cellar will offer tempting desserts.  Six Arts Council of White Lake artists will be on hand to display and sell their creations.