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Community Updates: Friday, August 12

Grand Rapids Public Museum to hold nature-based, educational programs for students in August; Kent County Health Department seeks to increase vaccine awareness; and more
The lights of downtown Grand Rapids at night

The lights of downtown Grand Rapids at night /John Rothwell

Grand Rapids Public Museum To Hold Nature-Based, Educational Programs for Students in August 

On August 27, the Grand Rapids Public Museum will be introducing three new educational programs as part of a series called The Intersection of Art and Nature. These programs, specifically geared towards children between third and eighth grade (as well as their parents), will explore the biological diversity of the Grand River while also incorporating aspects of art and creativity. Each class is an hour long and can accommodate up to 20 people:

  • The first course is called Bug Lab and will run from 10:00am to 11:30am. During this class, students will learn about the various species of insects that live in and around the Grand River -- including their anatomy and acclimatization. Afterwards, they will return to the museum and collaborate with KCAD Professor Nancy Hart to make their own drawings and diagrams. 
  • The second course is called Aquatic Life and will run from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Marty Holtgren from Encompass Socio-ecological Consulting will be teaching participants about the different species of fish that can be found in the Grand River. Then, students will be able to create prints of aquatic species using carved petroglyphs.
  • The third and final course is called Exploring Birds and will run from 1:30pm to 2:30pm. True to its title, this session will focus on the anatomy and unique characteristics of birds that reside along the Grand River. According to the GRPM website, children will also learn about "the important role color plays in the bird kingdom and how we, as humans, have used those plumages for inspiration for our own color palettes." 

Registration is required and costs $2 (in addition to the cost of admission to the GRPM). However, residents of Kent County receive discounted admission -- with children aged 17 and under getting in for free. For more information, visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum's website here.


Kent County Health Department Seeks to Increase Vaccine Awareness

In a press release sent out on August 4, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) announced that it would be engaging in a project to raise awareness about vaccines and to "address falling vaccination rates in the county." After receiving $300,000 from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, the KCHD has begun its campaign -- working with Well Design Studio (located in Grand Rapids) to create promotional materials across a variety of different media formats. These materials will be available in both English and Spanish. They are also seeking to provide residents with digital resources and information about vaccines. For example, the Vaccinate West Michigan website has been updated to provide information about everything from "age-appropriate vaccine timelines" to "[finding] a local health department clinic."

For more information, visit the Kent County Health Department's website here.


Also in the News:

  • The City of Grand Rapids and Priority Health held an opening ceremony/ribbon cutting for a new outdoor fitness court at Ottawa Hills Park on Thursday, August 11. 


  • The City of Grand Rapids has announced that it will be closing a portion of Monroe Avenue (between Michigan Street and Lyon Street) for maintenance work. According to the press release sent out on Monday, the road will be closed through August 21.


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