Backyard habitats with native plants are beneficial to wildlife.

Small backyard habitats can have high impacts

BACKYARD HABITATS: Backyard habitats that attract wildlife can be as small as a balcony, porch or postage stamp-sized yard. A National Wildlife Federation certifies wildlife habitats. Experts from the DNR’s Outdoor Nature in Detroit explain how to create and sustain backyard habitats. By Rayna Skiver. FOR DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS and ALL POINTS.

Study raises health concerns for sand and gravel workers 

SAND & GRAVEL: The first-ever study of miners working at Michigan’s sand and gravel mines found none with silicosis but a higher rate of asthma than other production workers, as well as a risk of shortness of breath and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The state has more than 3,500 surface miners, 1,200 of whom participated in the MSU-led study. Allegan, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland, Roscommon and Washtenaw counties all have five or more sand and gravel mines. We hear from the study’s lead author, the Michigan Tech mine safety director and the Okemos-based Michigan Aggregates Association. By Jada Penn. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, DETROIT, FOWLERVILLE, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN and ALL POINTS.

Watershed groups fight decades-old pollution

CONSERVATION PROJECTS: Legacy pollution from agriculture and industry threatens the health of Michigan’s watersheds. The Huron River Watershed Council is working on projects in a key Metro Detroit watershed. Meanwhile, the governor has released her administration’s MI Health Climate Plan. The state’s approximately 30 similar groups include River Raisin Watershed Council (Adrian), Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Petoskey), Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay (Traverse City), Middle River Grand River Organization of Watersheds (Lansing) and Crystal Lake & Watershed Association (Beulah) We also hear from the Department of Environment, Energy and Great Lakes. By Hope O’Dell. To editors: A full list of watershed organizations can be found here for localization. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, PLANET DETROIT, MONROE, ADRIAN, BLISSFIELD, BENZIE COUNTY, MANISTEE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND, LEELANAU, GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS, IONIA, WKTV and ALL POINTS.

Ingham parks to become more accessible and inclusive

In an effort to make recreational parks and spaces more inclusive, a variety of accessibility developments will be implemented as a part of Ingham County Parks and Recreation next five-year Master Plan. The county hopes to better accommodate citizens of all abilities.

Repair work underway on the abutment for the Byron Road bridge over the Black River in Ottawa County.

Repairs planned to 78 bridges rated in poor condition

BRIDGES: From 2017 to 2021, the number of Michigan bridges in poor condition increased from 1,146 to 1,240. MDOT’s recently launched bridge bundling program plans to repair up to 78 locally owned bridges in serious or critical condition. It’s starting repairs on 19 bridges this year, including ones in Macomb, Ottawa, Clinton, Lapeer and Jackson counties. Other counties with future projects are Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Lenawee, Lapeer, Luce, Muskegon, St. Clair and St. Joseph. We hear from MDOT, the County Road Association and the Kent County Road Commission. By Sydney Bowler. FOR DETROIT, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HILLSDALE, ADRIAN, BLISSFIELD, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV and ALL POINTS. Editor’s note: A list of bridge repair locations can be found here.

Students at the Great Lakes Boat Building School build a wooden boat, an iconic mode of transportation around Les Cheneaux Islands

Cedarville: The little town that upholds Michigan’s marine industry

CEDARVILLE BOATS: A one-of-a-kind boat building school helps Cedarville’s economy stay afloat and preserves a heritage important to the Great Lakes region. Experts estimate that a planned expansion of the Great Lakes Boat Building School could bring an additional $2.5 million to the small town of Cedarville.We talk to the school’s president and the head of a community foundation. By Kayla Nelsen. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, BAY MILLS, CORP! CHEBOYGAN and ALL POINTS.

Legal marijuana shops opening across Michigan

DISPENSARIES: Michigan’s marijuana landscape continues to evolve almost four years after voters legalized its recreational use. We hear from city managers in Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie. References to Pentwater, Alpena, Detroit and Gaylord. By Lindsay M. McCoy. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, WKTV, LANSING CITY PULSE, DETROIT, ALPENA, OCEANA COUNTY, PETOSKEY, LUDINGTON and ALL POINTS. Editor’s note: A list of municipalities receiving marijuana revenue can be found here.

Remains of the Francisco Morazan off South Manitou Island at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Shoreline shipwreck viewing predicted to be excellent

SHIPWRECK TRAILS. You don’t need to scuba dive to see some Great Lakes shipwrecks – you can see them from a trail, with a snorkel and mask or by canoe or kayak. We look at some off the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks national lakeshores, a nature preserve in Benzie County and a state park on Lake Huron in Presque Isle County. The Army Corps of Engineers says this summer will be a good time to do that because water levels in lakes Huron and Michigan are expected to be almost 2 feet lower than usual. By Jim DuFresne. FOR LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, ALPENA, ALCONA, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, HOLLAND, BENZIE COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, ST. MARIE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN, MONROE, ST. IGNACE and ALL POINTS.


Delhi teen center Building Twentyone rising from ashes

DELHI TOWNSHIP — When Building Twentyone burned down in October 2018, the owners had no question it would be back. This week, the Delhi Township Planning Commission approved Journey Life Church’s final site plan to rebuild the teen center in the place it once stood. 

 Lead Pastor Jared Stepp said he knew the church would find a way to continue the building’s mission in a video update posted on the church’s Facebook page after the fire,

“We’re going to figure something out because our vision hasn’t changed …” Stepp said in the update. “We lost a building. We lost a lot of stuff. But the passion is still there.