Neighbor John Elias recalls the fence lining Elizabeth Park clear of any entanglement from trees or brush creating a clear view of the park
Photo by Madison Job

Lansing Township working to keep parks in order

John Elias, who lives across the street from Elizabeth Park in Lansing Township, recalls his neighbor, Cheryl Basey, putting her ambitions into action. Basey had a family to worry about. Before passing away, Elias recalls her being the driving force behind creating Elizabeth Park, and arranging for the upkeep of it afterwards. “Most people in this area rent houses and have kids. Cheryl’s house was right next to this empty lot and on top of that she couldn’t see her kids when they were playing outside,” Elias said.

Owner of Gluten Free Rox stands proud behind her table at Meridian Township   farmer's market.

Meridian Mall hosts farmer’s market

 

 

On the first and third Saturday of every month from December to April, shoppers at Meridian Mall can stop and browse the natural and locally grown produce sold at the Meridian Mall farmer’s market. Instead of the usual limitation of fast food served at the mall’s food court, shoppers can bypass the food court and browse tables filled with an assortment of different homemade and homegrown goodies. “The farmer’s market has been around for over 40 years,” said Christine Miller, Meridian farmer’s market manager. “The success of the market has been from the great support of customers and vendors over the years. This affects the community by providing them with access to fresh, local products and helping the local economy.”

Meridian Township’s Director of Parks and Recreation, LuAnn Maisner, said around 45 vendors set up shop up and down the JCPenney corridor.

Elliott Elementary School Park photo by Denise Patterson

What to do with kids after school? There aren’t many cheap options in Holt

Holt is one of the many school districts that no longer have free or affordable after-school programs. Parents that cannot afford before-and-after care are left cutting their work hours to pick up their children, leaving them home alone, or having family or friends pick them up until they are able to get off work. Unfortunately, Holt Public School District has a strict budget that does not include coverage for free after school programs at every school in the district. Parents can either switch schools or come up with a solution themselves. According to David Hornak, Holt Public Schools superintendent, “keeping in mind how the budget is set up, adding free after-school programs to each school in the district year-round is simply impossible. There has to be money to pay the staff who will lead these programs and money to feed the children who participate in the programs.”

After school programs are not meant to be “babysitters” but they are the reason why crimes committed by young people are decreasing.The lack of after school supervision put children at a higher risk to participate in criminal activity and an array of other problems that could have been prevented because of free after school programs.

Maria Sanchez mother of three Elliott Elementary boys says that she has missed several days of work this week because she is not comfortable with leaving her 8-year-old triplets home alone with the recent burglaries that has happened in the neighborhood.

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A hidden gem in the woods of Okemos

 

On the south bank of the Red Cedar, hiding behind thick oak trees and melting snow sits Meridian Townships hidden gem: The Harris Nature Center. A little building with a big job- preserving the surrounding quality of nature. The Harris Nature Center, established in 1997, is home to six miles of various wildlife and nature trails. The work done at the center and by its faculty prove the animals are not the only ones dedicated to their ecosystem. The Harris Nature Center offers learning opportunities for all ages and special events for every season.

Voters renew tax to support Potter Park Zoo

Ingham County voters leaned heavily toward renewing a property tax to support Potter Park Zoo. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, 77 percent of voters elected to renew a 0.41 mill tax to support the Lansing zoo. For the owner of a $200,000 home, this tax costs $41 a year. Because it is a renewal, residents’ taxes did not go up. Potter Park and the Potter Park Zoo have been a staple of the Lansing community for more than 100 years, since 1915. The park and zoo were under control of the city of Lansing until 2006, when the cost of maintaining the zoo became too big a burden for the city.