As the warmer seasons come to a close, the Red Cedar Garden Club is just getting started. With monthly educational meetings, and guest speakers, the group of 48 landscaping-loving individuals work towards one goal: taking their gardening abilities and bringing the art of landscaping to the town of Williamston and its residents. “The purpose of the garden club is two-fold, one is to beautify Williamston, so we maintain civic gardens,” Red Cedar Garden Club president, Catherine Ware said. “But the other one is to educate our members and the Williamston public on various topics that would be relevant to gardening.”
Ware said that while most people would believe the main purpose of the gardening club included things such as monthly meetings, that is the minority of events planned. Instead, Ware said that the main purpose of the club was the educate the members, and invite others who are interested in the specific art to come join and learn more about.
Every fall, the community of DeWitt partake in the Fall Leaf Pick Up Program. The Fall Leaf Pick Up Program is a citywide program that begins each year with a city wide sweep in early October and will continue until the final week of November. Even though it is not a mandatory program, however it’s encouraged for community members to get involved. If residents are looking to burn their leaves instead of leaving them on the curb of your house, it’s prohibited. The City’s Fire Prevention Code prohibits the open burning of grass clippings and leaves.
Herbison Road can be found on the southern border of DeWitt. Alongside it runs a few parks, DeWitt high school and the Prairie Creek Golf Course, which have all been there for years. However, there is now a new attraction to Herbison Road, a bike path. “The path is part of the City of DeWitt’s non-motorized master plan that was created in 1998,” said City Administrator Daniel Coss. “The Herbison Road path was a priority to connect the DeWitt Sports Park to the DeWitt Schools campus and make a connection to DeWitt Township.”
Connecting a community is what the city council is all about in DeWitt, and that is what council members, such as Dave Hunsaker, look for in the job.
The City of Dewitt, Dewitt Township and the Clinton County Road Commission have come together to provide walking and biking paths throughout Dewitt Township. Dewitt Township is calling it the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, which will be making walking and biking much more desired modes of transportation.
“The township adopted a non-motorized transportation plan in 2013, so this is one of the projects that was identified on that plan,” said Rod Taylor, Dewitt Township manager. We started working on it in a concentrated fashion in 2015.”
“The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan identified 60 different projects where we ranked those projects based upon a weighted system that looked at safety issues, connection with commercial areas, schools, and neighborhoods,” said Taylor. “In addition, this project was a joint venture with the City of Dewitt as well as the Clinton County Road Commission.
The DeWitt Dog Park is a new attraction for dog owners in the DeWitt Township area who are looking to remove the leash and let the dog run freely. The dog park is a new gated park that is located at 3577 West Herbison Road, directly next to Padgett Park.
“The project took about 12 months to put together, with the construction taking place this previous summer,” said DeWitt City administrator Daniel Coss. “The fences were installed in May of 2017 and we started planning it in May of 2016. It was a group effort by the city and the township.”
Coss said the City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township worked together to select a location.
Williamston City Councilwoman Sandy Whealton tearfully celebrated the renaming of Deer Creek Park to Howard Dahlstrom Memorial Park at the Oct. 9 council meeting. Whealton was a longtime friend of Dahlstrom, a beloved member of the community who died suddenly on Sept. 22. The park was originally named after Deer Creek that runs behind the park.
Potter Park Zoo welcomed Ingham county tourists with free admission on Oct.7. This event happens every year on the first Saturday of October. “Doing a free day is a sort of giving back to them (residents), since they supported us,” said Sarah Pechtel, the general curator of the zoo. “Free day is also a great way to experience something positive from that,” Pechtel continued. Encompassing over 20 acres and featuring more than 500 individual animals of 160 different species, the Potter Park Zoo has three conservation efforts that support the black rhino, red panda, and Puerto Rican crested toad.
Whether it’s to head down to the river to relax and watch the water flow over the dam or to try and catch a meal, the Grand River and the Brenke Fish Ladder have become a communal place for people of all backgrounds to appreciate what nature and Old Town have to offer. “I come down to the fish ladder almost five days a week,” said Kurt Scobie, a fisherman from Everett, Michigan. “I love being by the water, it’s peaceful, calms me down and allows me to catch some dinner.”
The Brenke Fish Ladder was built in 1981 as a way to aid fish who were swimming upstream to spawn. Designed as a circle, the fish jump over barriers that slowly get taller and taller until they are safely above the dam and can continue up the river. “I fish here all the time,” said Azid Rodriguez, a Dewitt local who was fishing for catfish.