05-16-2019 Letters and Commentary

TREE HUGGER Rick Rasmussen of Watervliet measures the girth of a giant tree on the river island at the Paw Paw River County Park in Watervliet this past winter. Estimates of the age of the tree ranges from 180 years to 300. Rick plans to enter the tree in the Michigan Big Tree Contest mentioned on this page. (TCR photo by Karl Bayer)

2019 Little Red, White, and Blue & 2019 Baby Independence entry deadline May 21 Parents of children ages 0-3 as of June 28, 2019 have until Tuesday, May 21 to enter their little ones in the Little Red, White, and Blue (18 months to 3 years old) contest and Baby Independence (0 – 18 months) contest. A photo is needed for entry. Mail a 4×6 photo and information to 324 N. Main St., Watervliet MI 49098 Attn: 4th of July. Photo will not be returned. Or, a photo can be sent through Facebook in a private message to “WBA Baby Independence & Little Red, White, and Blue”. The needed information to include is child’s name, parent’s name(s), Watervliet city or township address, phone number and date of child’s birth with age. An in-person registration can be done on Tuesday, May 21 from 4-6 p.m. at JW Morlock and Girls Farm Stand, 5000 N. M-140 in Watervliet. Don’t forget to bring a 4×6 photo. This is a fundraiser for the Watervliet Business Association Independence Day Celebration held in 2019 on June 28-30. Voting will take place May 27 – June 27 at Arclight Brewery, B&B Grocery Discount Outlet, Coloma Harding’s, JW Morlock and Girls Farm Stand, and Frosty Boy. One dollar per vote. The child with the most money raised wins. Winners will be announced June 28 at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage downtown Watervliet.

Easiest way to summer fitness The PARCOURSE at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet is 50% completed – please help them reach their goal by June 30! The Trapeze Rack shown in the photo will be in phase #2, construction begins soon! Go to patronicity.com/parcourse to become a part of this project. The PARCOURSE is free to use and open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Residents, sports teams, patients undergoing rehabilitation at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet, and even the physical education classes at the middle and high schools utilize the PARCOURSE. Today is the age of the active American. Health conscious women, men, and children are more concerned with physical fitness than ever before and yet the nation, and especially Michigan, continues to experience unprecedented increases in the obese and diabetic populations. Whether you’re young or old, fit or out of shape, anyone can use the PARCOURSE equipment to enhance their exercise routine. You’ll know that you’ve achieved a full-body workout incorporating cardio, balance, agility, strength training and stretching when you’ve finished the PARCOURSE circuit. The course will be open from dawn to dusk and allow individuals with disabilities or assistive devices to enjoy the outdoors while getting exercise. The Community Hospital Foundation has raised over $295,00 in cash and pledges towards their $365,000 goal and anyone’s donation can help them get to the finish line. If they meet their additional goal of $35,000 before June 30, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will match that, essentially doubling each donation. Visit the website patronicity.com/parcourse, take the fly over of the proposed PARCOURSE and become a part of this project by donating! Cash or check donations can be mailed to Lakeland Health Foundation/Parcourse Campaign, 1234 Napier Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

Michigan Big Tree Hunt Contest is underway ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree planting and education organization, is celebrating Michigan trees with its 14th Michigan Big Tree Hunt Contest. This free contest runs now through September 3, 2019 and is open to participants of all ages. Join Michiganders across all 83 counties to hunt for the largest trees in the state. Big trees can be found anywhere: a backyard, a local park, or a hiking trail. When the contest closes certificates and prizes will be awarded for the largest tree submitted from each Michigan County, the largest tree found by a youth hunter (15 and younger) and adult hunter (16 and older), the largest Eastern White Pine found in the state and for potential state champion trees. To enter your big tree, visit www.bigtreehunt.com for an online entry form or for information on where to find a paper entry form. ReLeaf Michigan started the Michigan Big Tree Hunt in 1993 to celebrate our state’s beauty and gather information about Michigan’s biggest trees. Contest entries provide potential state champion trees to Michigan’s Big Tree Registry as well as the National Register of Big Trees. Since Michigan champion trees die or may be removed, contest entries are a wonderful opportunity for all age groups to help track these vital, historical, living landmarks. More contest details available online at www.bigtreehunt.com. If you have a question not answered on the website, email ledwards@ReLeafMichi- gan.org