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11-07-2019 Watervliet Parks & Recreation survey deadline Nov. 12; PPL Rotary Club is host to c

Watervliet Parks & Recreation survey deadline Nov. 12

The City of Watervliet is asking the public to take a short Parks & Recreation survey before the Tuesday, Nov. 12 deadline. The City Commission recently approved funds for a 5-Year Parks & Recreation Plan at their October 1 meeting. The plan will allow the City to pursue various grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, and Waterway grants. To be eligible, the City must have a plan on file by February 1 to receive grant funding for that year. The City’s current plan is set to expire in January of 2020. City Commissioner and Parks Committee Chairwoman Deah Muth says, “There’s a lot of energy building around our parks system right now. This survey will not only offer an opportunity for the public to provide input to the city, it’s a necessary component of the plan that will allow us to pursue future grants and really make an impact throughout the city.” The survey asks several different questions pertaining to current and future park uses as well as an opportunity to provide comments on an array of items. City leaders hope to use this data to help lead the path towards future park investments. The city will hold a public meeting to discuss the draft plan and survey results sometime in January before it is formally submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on February 1, 2020.

BE COUNTED BERRIEN… presented to Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club at weekly meeting. Pictured (from the left) is Dan Schofield, Rotary President, Lisa Cripps-Downey, President, Berrien Community Foundation, and Kathy Stady, Hub Coordinator, Berrien County Census.

PPL Rotary Club is host to census presentation

Kathy Stady, Hub Coordinator, Berrien County Counts and Lisa Cripps-Downey, President, Berrien Community Foundation presented “Be Counted Berrien” to the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club. They shared the importance of the 2020 Census and how every person living in Berrien County needs to be counted. The census number needs to be accurate because this number affects the funding for the roads, highways, and bridges, education, the school lunch program, WIC (Women, Infants, & Children Food and Nutrition Service), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), child care, housing, employment opportunities, Public Health, and transportation funds. The first U.S. census was in 1790 started by George Washington. The census determines how each district is funded, determines the redistricting lines for federal and state representation, and the school district lines. There is a population of people who are hard to count. These are people of color, immigrants – documented and undocumented, homeless, low-income households, children under 5 years old, mobile individuals like students who move around, and those with limited internet accessibility. Collecting the census will be different this year. In the past the process was strictly done with paper forms. This year the primary focus will be the internet. People will get a letter asking them to fill out the form online. If not completed then they get a reminder letter, and then finally they will get the paper form to complete. People often fear their information will be shared. However, the census has been confidential for 72 years and is protected information. The information is not shared with anyone, any other government agencies, law enforcement, FBI, DSS or any others. For the 2020 Census the first mailing goes out on March 12. Census starts April 1 and goes through July 31. People will be encouraged to complete their census forms between March 20 and April 30. The rotary would like to encourage family, friends and colleagues to fill out the forms. Also to follow and share the Census posts on social media, post posters in workplaces, and encourage people to be counted. Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets Wednesday’s at 12:15 p.m. at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet.

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