04-19-2019 Paw Paw River County Park contractor begins Watervliet project; marking trails on island;

Paw Paw River County Park contractor begins Watervliet project; marking trails on island

By Annette Christie The new park coming to North Berrien has begun to show activity in its new home as scheduled. Contractor TJM Services of Allegan has been on the site, located on the east side of M-140 in the City of Watervliet, and have shown progress. Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey said the access to the island has been established, the island trail has been flagged and tree trimming has begun. In addition, material has been installed to prevent erosion. The park development includes approximately 20 acres, one mile of Paw Paw River frontage, and is directly across the river from Hays Park. The plans for the park include improvements to the river frontage, a pedestrian bridge connecting to the island, mature trees, birding, fishing, scenic walking trail on the island and other recreational opportunities. The park will connect Watervliet directly to the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan on the designated Paw Paw River Water Trail. This location will be a trailhead for the water trail with an ADA kayak launch, hard surface walkways, a parking area, security lighting, trash and recycle bins and bench seating which will enhance recreational opportunities for the region. The estimated cost of the project is $646,321. The funding for the project came about by Berrien County receiving a $296,000 grant from the State of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and a generous $25,000 donation from the “Friends of Paw Paw River County Park.” Berrien County will be funding the balance of the project. This is the first county park in the northern part of the county. Other county parks include Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Rocky Gap in Benton Harbor, Galien River in New Buffalo, Madeline Bertrand in Niles, and Love Creek in Berrien Springs. The park project coming to Watervliet nicely compliments the local and state initiative to clean debris out of the Paw Paw River Water Trail. The 68-mile water trail begins in Waverly Township in Van Buren County and flows through Berrien County converging with the St. Joseph River just above its mouth at Benton Harbor. The Paw Paw River offers a scenic view to kayakers or canoeists through heavily wooded areas. Currently there are 22 access points where paddlers can get on the river, including the Paw Paw River campground, and Watervliet’s Hays Park. Another access point will be included at the Paw Paw River County Park.

4-H Spring Achievement celebrates Berrien County youth at fairgrounds

The 2018 4-H Spring Achievement Program will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20 at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds in the Horticulture and Wonders of Birth barns. Youth participants in 4-H will showcase their projects and conduct demonstrations that they have been working on throughout the 4-H year, in order to educate the public about the Berrien County 4-H Youth Program. Spring Achievement is the only all 4-H exhibition in the county that showcases the accomplishments of 4-H members in Berrien County. This free event is open to the public on Saturday, May 19. Visitors will be able to view exhibits such as sewing, quilting, animal science notebooks, veterinary science, photography, woodworking, crafts, cake decorating, and more on the 19th, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. One should not be surprised to catch a glimpse of a 4-H goat, chicken, llama, miniature pony or rabbit along the way! Saturday will include special highlights; 4-H’ers will host a 4-H Dog Project Evaluation demonstration that includes Canine Good Citizenship from noon to 3:00 p.m. A leathercraft demo will be conducted during noon to 2:00 p.m.; an educational demonstration on horse care and a String Art project as well. Also on Saturday will be a 4-H talent show at 3:30 p.m. in the Youth Memorial Building. The 4-H Spring Achievement Information Booth will be staffed by 4-H volunteers and members that will answer questions about 4-H and the 4-H Spring Achievement event. Lastly, to round off Saturday, they will end with their traditional 4-H Style Review in the Youth Memorial Building at 5:00 p.m. 4-H members will be modeling sewn, personalized, knitted, and crocheted garments and accessories, which they have constructed. Everyone is invited to join them for a wonderful weekend of 4-H experiences! More information on the 4-H program can be received by calling the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at (269) 927-5674.

Democratic Congressional Candidate Forum at the Citadel

On Saturday, April 28, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Berrien County Democratic Party will sponsor a forum featuring the candidates for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress from the Southwest Michigan 6th Congressional District. The candidates will answer questions about their qualifications and positions on the issues. Democratic candidates for State Representative and Senate will also be available to talk with attendees. Light refreshments will be served. The Candidate Forum will be held in the Oak Room at the Citadel, 91 Hinkley St., Benton Harbor. This event is free and open to the public.

Gorenflo announces candidacy for 79th District State Representative

Bruce Gorenflo has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for 79th District State Representative. Also a Republican candidate for 79th District State Rep. in 2010, Gorenflo is seeking the office currently held by Kim LaSata, who is seeking the Republican nomination for State Senate, 21st District.