July 22, 2014 by Adventures of a Granola Ginger
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Out for a boat ride with @farmbrookdesign and his mom Glenda. #lovelansing #grandriver (at On The grand river aboard The Michigan princess)
July 22, 2014 by Jerome Espy
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Detroit’s Belle Isle is hopping with green activity this summer. Thanks to a student jobs program, created and sponsored by Johnson Controls (JCI), teams of volunteers are rolling down their sleeves, loading up on bug spray and clearing out sections of the island and other sites during a six-week timeframe. The project, in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), is clearing the way for a greener metro Detroit.
The student crews through JCI’s Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC), with help from JCI employees and more experienced team leads, work on projects, including outdoor classroom construction, new trail development, green space acreage expansion and planting native trees, grasses and flowers.
The CLC, in its seventh year in Detroit, provides students with professional development, leadership skills and environmental conservation experience, while completing fundamental projects in local community parks, like Belle Isle.
“This is a huge project we have undertaken and the students play a big part in restoring Belle Isle for everyone to enjoy,” said Amit Weitzer, Detroit program manager with the SCA. “Part of the preparation process this year was having student teams walk the majority of the island and help map large wet areas for invasive species.” These “invaders” have prevented the island’s native plants and trees from growing.
Removing invasive species like poison ivy, buckthorn and honeysuckle is not easy work in the hot summer sun, but you wouldn’t know it, looking at the students smiling and laughing as they chop, cut and clear. Some of these weeds are as big trees on the island, which means students have to know what they are looking at before the hack away at the overgrown brush.
“This area was impervious when they started,” said Melva Dean, affectionately known as “Mebby” by students. “Dealing with some of these invasives is an ongoing process. We have to get them cut down. We have four wet areas we will be treating over the next two years here on Belle Isle thanks to a Department of Natural Resources grant.”
Organizers and students say they have cleared quite a bit of debris so far. At the Belle Isle work area, one of the students mentioned in passing, “We did a lot of damage, in a good way.” For nearly six hours a day, the teams work to make a dent in the massive effort. “What the CLC students do is invaluable,” added Dean.
Diamond Hudson will be a freshman this fall at Michigan State University. She describes herself as “not an outdoor person,” but loves what she is doing through the CLC.
“It’s nice to know we are helping the environment for everyone” she said. “I have learned a lot this summer that I can use for the rest of my life, no matter where my career takes me. I’m becoming a better person and I’m helping make a better community.”
The environmental project, in its seventh year, is designed to build leadership and professional development skills in hands-on, outdoor classrooms. The venues are not typical learning environments, but the conservation experience, helping beautify a Detroit jewel at the same time, is priceless.
Belle Isle is just one of several locations where students, experienced team leaders and JCI volunteers are making an impact. They will also focus their efforts in Detroit’s River Rouge Park, Eliza Howell Park, the Brightmoor neighborhood and D-Town Farm.
“The Conservation Leadership Corps program is important to us as it has a positive impact on the city of Detroit and the area’s high school students,” said Karen Sommer, director, global public affairs, Johnson Controls. “The students have a unique opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while developing professional skills and learning about the importance of environmental conservation.”
Throughout the course of the six-week program, students will work with seven crew leaders and seven crew leader apprentices and focus their efforts in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, River Rouge Park and the Brightmoor neighborhood.
CLC participants were selected for this highly competitive program from more than 150 applicants based on their interview. Student candidates were assessed on leadership, work ethic, civic engagement, and interest and commitment to the environment.
Students also will cultivate vital professional development skills, including help with resume writing and interview skills.
On August 14, the students will participate in a professional development day – hosted by Johnson Controls’ Automotive Experience business at the company’s headquarters in Plymouth, MI. There, they will learn about sustainability, energy efficiency, hybrid battery technology, and the expectations of today and tomorrow’s leaders.
The program will culminate in a graduation ceremony on August 15 at Milliken State Park and Harbor, where the CLC students, crew leaders and community partners will present awards to the CLC teams.
Support for the program is also being provided by the City Connect’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent Program, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, National Parks Service and U.S. Forest Service.
I, the Queen, am not a boring person. Typically, I’m not bored, either. I can usually find ways to entertain myself to distract me from the boringness of this particularly inactive summer that I’ve been having.
Sure, I’ve been doing stuff. Things. But not every single day. Which is probably what makes me appreciate the stuff and things even more than I normally would.
So, if you are having a summer much like mine, may I suggest some activities in which to keep you preoccupied? These work for me and I am happy to help my royal subjects find their entertainment. Oh and…don’t mention it, you are so welcome.
1. Facebook Quizzes: I limit myself to 5 a day. I wouldn’t want to run out of quizzes before the summer ends. Although, it does seem that they are being produced rapidly and I’m thankful for that. I’ve learned so much about myself through these quizzes. For example: my mythical creature is a unicorn. I should have been born a vampire…or a witch, depending on which day I take the quiz. I was a rebel in high school…which, I didn’t need a quiz to tell me, it just confirmed the truth. I have a husband who is 91% awesome. And just today, I learned that I’m a woman in my mid-40′s. Oh, the things you can find out about yourself by just taking a few hours out of your day to partake in these very informative quizzes.
2. Beyond Candy Crush: I’ve crushed enough candy and have since moved on to bigger and better games. Currently, I am busily aiding in protecting the jungle animals in Forest Mania. I’m also quite proficient in Juice Cubes except I can’t find anyone to send me a ticket to move onto the next level. So instead, I play the same levels, over and over, in hopes of beating the person who holds the high score. Turns out I’m pretty competitive so watch out!
3. Amazon Kindle: I enjoy looking up free or .99 books, reading the reviews, downloading the books and then…never read them. My Kindle library is quite impressive in its diversity and I’m not sure I know many who can rival my collection.
4. Scour Craigslist for RV’s: My husband and I decided we want to buy and RV. Only, we don’t have $250,000 for the one we want. So, we spend way too much time searching Craigslists both near and far, in search of our future Kingdom on Wheels. Also, it will come in handy for that Zombie Apocalypse. We’ll be like what’s his face from the first couple seasons of the Walking Dead…hit me up if and when the time comes and we’ll swing by and get you!
5. Groupon Vacation Deals: I live to dream. Because realistically, I’m not going to be buying a Groupon to travel to faraway places anytime in the near or distant future. But OMG..I have such bad Wanderlust. I need to go somewhere soon or I’m going to spontaneously implode. Or explode.
6. Obsess over the news: Right now, my main obsession is what’s going on over in Israel and Gaza. It’s driving me insane. I just want them both to shut up and learn to get along. I mean, how hard can that possibly be. Anyway, it keeps my mind busy. Kinda.
7. Looking at YOU: Your pictures come through my Facebook timeline and I start looking. And somehow, I get lost all the way back to 2009. Wow you guys, you have really cute kids! I love your gardens. You look like you have a nice marriage. And I love your dinners.
8. Laundry and Swiffer: At this point, it’s not even about household chores, it’s about the salvation of my sanity. Swiffering is a monotonous motion and, to be honest, I have a lot of pets so there is a lot of swiffering going on. And the laundry mountain…is unending. Unending, I tell you. Like…it never, ever ends. So, I turn on music and fold. And switch loads. And clear out the lint filter because I can’t afford to buy another dryer…or another house, for that matter.
9. Stare into space: Yeah, I sometimes do that. I sometimes even throw in a little fantasy, like I’m joining Daryl in the war against zombies. Hey, don’t judge, I’ve come up with great story lines simply by staring into space.
10. Wander around aimlessly: It is kind of amazing how much I can accomplish by wandering. I’ve weeded my gardens which is home base to mutant weeds. My efforts are usually rewarded by more weeds growing within a day. I’ve also cleaned bathrooms, kitchen counters, walls and other places that I wouldn’t have noticed had I not been wandering around aimlessly.
There you have it. These are some sure things to keep you from being bored.
I, the Queen, approve this message.
On a side note: I’m going insane and need a vacation. Send an RV and money, STAT!
When Eddie was 3 months old and I was going back to work after maternity leave, Cortney was laid off from work. Cort spent his days being a stay at home dad, looking for work, and watching documentaries on Netflix. So many documentaries. And the topic really didn’t matter to him. He would watch films on subjects such as beer as well as fonts.
You think I’m kidding. He totally watched a documentary called Helvetica. Yes, it was almost 3 hour devoted to the history of a FONT.
He’s not the only one who loves to mix some learnin’ in with his TV watchin’. I’ve been known to camp out in front of Modern Marvel marathons myself. Remember when channels like History actually had shows about history of stuff on it? Ah the good old days…thank goodness for Netflix!
I was going to try to list for you the documentaries Netflix has available, but then I spent almost 30 minutes falling down the rabbit hole of what is available and wanting to see about 50 of them.
So instead I’ll tell you the learning stuff the boys love.
We went through a pretty heavy Busytown Mysteries phase here in Sluiter Nation. It was the go-to bedtime show. Recently Eddie and Charlie discovered The Magic School Bus which brings back fond memories for me. I never watched the show, but my brothers had a lot of the books and when I babysat them, I read those books over and over. I think my mom still has them at her house. I should try to find them.
As I type this, it is nap time for Charlie, and Eddie is watching Turtle: The Incredible Journey. He claimed to know everything about turtles, but he is pretty entranced in watching all those baby turtles book it off the beach to the sea.
So you’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to shut down my computer now and watch about the lives of turtles with Eddie.
Share some documentaries or learning shows you and your family love!
July 22, 2014 by bryanwillmert
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July 22, 2014 by bryanwillmert
Filed under Uncategorized
July 22, 2014 by Scott McKee
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In this month’s Leaders in the Know Podcast, I interview Pastor Christopher Brooks from Moody Theological Seminary (Michigan Campus). Pastor Brooks is a bright voice in the city of Detroit for Jesus and for His Church. Chris is one of the most Kingdom-minded people I know. His perspective on what God is doing in our region will inspire and challenge you.
Leaders in the Know is a new resource for church leaders. These regular audio recordings are designed to inform, inspire, and equip leaders and insiders of Ward Church and of other like-minded churches. Each podcast is about 30 minutes in length and can easily be listen to during a morning commute, workout, walk, or Oragami-folding session –whatever you are into. Leaders in the Know is a resource for people on the go.
I welcome your feedback on this new resource and your recommendations for future topics.
Thanks for listening!
P.S. Save the date for the next Leadership Community gathering, Monday, September 8, 2014. We meet at 7:00 p.m. in Knox Hall.
There are two chances to hear the hard rock band White Shag in a way you haven't heard them before! They will be performing two unplugged acoustic shows this summer!
For more information on the band check out www.whiteshag.com or reverbnation.com/whiteshag