Protecting Cedar Creek One Plant at a Time

Tom Mabie
Volunteer Tom Mabie

Thursday, July 24, 2014 was a perfect day to plant a stream buffer and rain garden! The temperature hung around 70 degrees and the sun shone beautifully.  Trout Unlimited (TU) had already prepared the ground at the corner of 5th and Cherry Streets on the lawn of Cedar Springs Tool Engineering. TU worked with Calvin College to design the stream buffer and rain garden, including determining the right type of native plants to put in the ground.  The project was funded by Cedar Springs Manufacturing Company.

There were volunteers from Kent County Water Conservation, Plaster Creek Stewards, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Izaak Walton League and of course TU and Calvin College to work and to teach the  volunteers from Cedar Springs what and where to plant. Tom Mabie, Kathy Bremmer, Perry Hopkins, Carolee Cole, Mark Laws, Rose Powell, Michelle Andres, and several young citizens from the neighborhood were the volunteers from Cedar Springs. Bob Truesdale brought drinks and pizza to keep everyone going.

Cedar Creek is a coldwater trout stream and a beautiful feature of Cedar Springs. The DDA and the Community Building Development Team have been working with TU, as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, to protect and improve the Creek so it can become a more visible and enjoyable attribute of our town as well as a defining characteristic of our community.

The stream buffer was planted to protect the stream bank from eroding into the Creek. Both the stream buffer and the rain garden were planted to shade the Creek and to filter storm water as it runs off the roads and parking lots as well as to cool the water before it enters the Creek. Plants selected have long roots, are natural to the area, and grow tall enough to provide some shade. Over 2,000 plants were put in to the ground at this site!

TU is planning more rain gardens and stream buffers, so there will other opportunities to volunteer. If you want to get in on the next planting opportunity or learn more about how we’re working together to develop Cedar Springs into an even more amazing community, join us for a public presentation on Wednesday, September 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the Kent Theatre.

You can also get connected by “liking” the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team on Facebook and watch for our new web page,, to be out in the next few weeks! If you would like to find out more about the TU Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or

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