Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

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The Boardman River Nature Center

Erin Crowell - April 19th, 2010
Wild Times in the City : The Boardman River Nature Center
By Erin Crowell
Before the Boardman River Nature Center opened its doors two years ago, there wasn’t an education facility dedicated to conservation efforts in the Grand Traverse region.
“It’s kind of shocking for this kind of community,” says Colleen Masterson-Bzdok, education director of the Boardman Center.
Located on Cass Road, just south of Traverse City in the Boardman River Valley, the center opened in 2008 as the gateway to seven miles of trails running through 500 acres of forest, fields, marshes and wildlife habitat along the river. In addition to being the starting point for a trail system along the Boardman River, the center has provoked a positive response from the community with the multitude of programs and events. It is also at the center of activity with the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

‘NATURE IS CALLING’
The motto of the nature center is “Nature is Calling,” and visitors both young and old can find a way to answer. With programs geared to preschools up through adults, the nature center’s goal is to get everyone involved.
“This has allowed us to reach the whole community, especially children,” says Masterson-Bzdok. “Kids are much more disconnected from nature. The things they actually do outside like soccer and baseball and soccer are structured activities. There’s not a lot of free play and they’re allowed to do that here – to explore nature.”
Every Tuesday, preschoolers and their guardians are invited to participate in Peepers – the program with seasonal nature themes, from 10-11:30am. Families of all ages can enjoy weekend programs like All About Owls, held Saturday, April 24, from 1-2pm. Most programs have a recommended donation of $5, unless otherwise noted.
Other eco-conscious organizations have used the nature center to present programs, including the Grand Traverse Audubon Club and the Grand Traverse Hiking Club. On Thursday, April 22, the Audubon Club presents a program on wind power, from 7-9pm for teens and adults. On Tuesday, April 20, from 7-9pm, listen to the story of Ray Raehl’s and Roger Landfair’s journey through Bhutan by bicycle, presented by the Hiking Club.
“Generally we expect anywhere from 10 to 20 people at a program,” says Jon Prins, outreach specialist with the center. “At our spring break nature program, we got over 300.”

ECO CONSCIOUS EFFORTS
While educational programs remain at the heart of the center, residents can put that knowledge to work. Conservation programs such as the Land Management Service and the Native Plant Rescue Program have maintained trails, uprooted invasive species, and restored eroding stream banks.
In 2009, the Land Management Services team maintained 24.5 miles of trails on 3,000+ acres in eight parklands, according to the Conservation District’s Annual Report. Over 4,500 plants were rescued from areas booked to be bulldozed.
The nature center also hosts an annual seedling sale, offering a variety of native plants, with close to 8,000 white pine seedlings to be donated to area schools. With financial support from Traverse City Light & Power, the seedling sale is one of the major fundraisers for the Conservation District.
The center relies on grants, contracts and donations to support its operations – an expense close to $706,000. Last year, education programs accounted for $11,000, contributing to the $642,000 that helped cover 2009’s operating expenses.
Masterson-Bzdok says the community plays a big role in supporting the center financially. “We know it’s difficult to spend money on extracurricular activities, and so we try to keep program fees low,” she says.

The Boardman River Nature Center is located at 1450 Cass Road in Traverse City. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4p.m. For more information on programs, visit www.natureiscalling.org or call 941-0960.


 
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