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Environment

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

---NEWS RELEASE—

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

Energy Efficiency Rebate Presented to City of Grand Rapids

Energy Efficiency Rebate Presented to City of Grand Rapids

---NEWS RELEASE---

The City of Grand Rapids is saving energy and money for its residents with improvements to its water pumping facility, resulting in a more than $147,100 energy efficiency incentive payment from Consumers Energy.

Mayor George Heartwell and city administrators recently received a $147,172.08 rebate check from Consumers Energy representatives during a presentation at Grand Rapids City Hall.

“The city and its residents have greatly benefitted from these energy efficiency programs,” Heartwell said. “With this most recent project, the city has received more than $430,000 in energy efficiency rebates from Consumers Energy since 2009,” Heartwell said. “The city’s focus on sustainability and energy efficiency has resulted in programs completed or underway saving nearly 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity. These important programs are saving energy and money for the citizens of Grand Rapids.”

My Town: TV recycling no longer free in Kent County beginning Feb. 16

My Town: TV recycling no longer free in Kent County beginning Feb. 16

----NEWS RELEASE---

GRAND RAPIDS – It seems most households now have flat-screen televisions these days, but many people may still have an older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) television in their home. Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW) has collected 5.6 million pounds of electronics, including televisions, since 2001, without charging residents a fee. These items are processed by a third-party recycler. CRT televisions contains approximately 5-10 pounds of lead, a toxic component for our environment that can cause a variety of health issues. Due to the increasing cost of recycling televisions, Kent County DPW will begin charging a recycling fee starting February 16.

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

Registration is officially open for Michigan commercial and industrial buildings of all sizes interested in joining the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan's (USGBCWM) second annual Battle of the Buildings competition. The statewide competition is an expansion of the Battle of the Buildings that started in West Michigan last year.

Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction. The competition is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state of Michigan and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. Steelcase, Western Michigan University and Nichols have already committed for the 2015 competition totaling over 3,000,000 sq. feet.

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division are sharing their top tips to stay safe in this extreme cold.

"As we saw last winter, these arctic blasts can create hazardous situations," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "Citizens are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures."

Exposure to these subzero temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.

To stay safe during cold weather:

My Town: Time to trash the tree! Free Christmas tree recycling locations

My Town: Time to trash the tree!  Free Christmas tree recycling locations

Christmas is over, which means it’s time to trash the tree.

Many municipalities are offering free tree recycling services to residents with a natural tree.  Some communities are planning to put the trees through a chipper and use the remnants to cover park trails and other green spaces.  Here is the schedule for live tree drop-offs:

Ada Township (Through Jan. 12)

  • Ada Township Park, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Alpine Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Behind Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave. NW

 

Cannon Township (Through Jan. 10)

  • West side of the township building; RHS Honor Society will help unload trees Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (donations encouraged)

 

Courtland Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Fire Station #1 on 14 Mile Road

 

The Aquinas College Foundation Announces $2.5 Million Gift From Wege Foundation

THE AQUINAS COLLEGE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES $2.5 MILLION GIFT FROM WEGE FOUNDATION

Gift to establish the nation’s first collegiate economicology program as envisioned by Peter Wege

Aquinas College and the Aquinas College Foundation today announced a $2.5 million gift from the Wege Foundation to establish the nation’s first-ever economicology program at the collegiate level; which the late Peter Wege envisioned for Aquinas. Peter Wege coined the term economicology to define the balance necessary between economy and ecology. He believed in the importance of educating the public about how a prosperous economy depends on maintaining a healthy environment.

“The Wege Foundation has long been a generous friend and supporter of Aquinas College,” said Juan Olivarez, Aquinas president.