General Guide to Summer Outdoor Fun

 

The General Guide showcases cultural places and events along the I-94 corridor between Battle Creek and Jackson, including Albion, Marshall, and Homer.

The primary focus of the Guide is to build bridges between Albion and Marshall by sharing information that welcomes people into each community.

Since gasoline prices are a bit higher this year than they were a year ago, many families are opting out of larger vacations and going on day-trips along the I-94 corridor for fun and entertainment. The General Guide can help to figure out what places to go to on what day. The Guide is designed to be posted on a refrigerator showing the three months calendars and art of “Summer in the City” as the banner design.

Summer in the Cities banner for General Guide XXXII shows events in July, August, and September in Calhoun County Michigan. These include the Field of Flight and Balloon show in Battle Creek, the Battle Creek Bombers, Albion Recreation Department, Marshall Blues Fest, Kanoe the Kazoo, Calhoun County Fair in Marshall, Yard Sales, Cruise-ins, Swingin at the Shell, Back to School including Albion College with the Equestrian Center, Briton Eight, 5K runs, and Marshall Public Schools.

One of the most exciting recurring events this summer is the 15th anniversary season of “Swingin’ at the Shell,” the free concert series at the Victory Park bandshell on Sundays at 6 p.m. This ongoing event goes from mid-July through mid-September and features top local music bands that play original and cover songs.

Many people in Michigan know about the Mackinac Labor Day Bridge Walk, but the Albion Labor Day River Trail Walk over the Bridge is also gaining in popularity. This event starts in Victory Park at 10 a.m. on Labor Day and will be promoted more as the big day draws near. The walk is open for people with all levels of mobility.

Recreation Millage 2018

The Election on August 7 includes an opportunity for Albion residents to increase funding for the Recreation Department and Senior Services.  The exact ballot language of this item is:

ALBION CITY RECREATION MILLAGE PROPOSAL Shall the City of Albion increase the current levy to a total of two mills ($2.00 per $1,000.00) on taxable value of property located in the City of Albion for three years beginning with the 2019 tax levy year and running through the 2021 tax levy year (inclusive), which in the first year of such tax levy will raise an estimated revenue of One Hundred Seventy Two Thousand Dollars ($172,000.00) used for the specific purpose of continuing operation of City of Albion recreation programs for young people, adults, families, and senior citizens? Taxes within the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) districts will be distributed as prescribed by law. If approved, this would be an additional one-half increase of the current millage levy.

This information is posted on the Calhoun  County website at this location:

http://directory.co.calhoun.mi.us/ckeditor_assets/attachments/529/all_language_aug_18.pdf?1528318894

If this millage passes – how will it affect the taxes on a $50,000 home?  Keep reading at the bottom to find out!


If this millage passes, it will support the Albion Community Center, the Albion Senior Center and many recreational programs for our city – programs such as Adult Flag Football, the Cardboard Classic Sled Race, Adult Water Aerobics, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Youth and Adult Basketball, Dad and Daughter and Mother and Son Dances, Youth Baseball and T-Ball, Swimming Lessons, as well as a full range of social and recreational activities for seniors.

Supporters say that programs for young people are especially important as they help our youth forge an Albion identity and form lasting relationships.

As per the Deputy/Clerk-Treasurer of Albion:

“If a home has a market value of $50,000 that would mean a taxable value of one half that, or $25,000. The proposed new recreation millage would be $25,000 / 1,000 = 25, times the proposed new 2 mills = $50 per year. However, please remember, there is an existing 1.5 mills levied for recreation, so the actual proposed increase would only be on the extra half a Mill (going from 1.5 to 2.0 Mills).

An older debt service millage has expired this year. On this same $50,000 home, the 2018 tax bill would decrease by $25 per year just due to this 1 Mill expiring. In addition, the flat $50 per property Sidewalk Assessment ended this year as well – this would result in an additional $50 per year savings for this same $50,000 home.  So in summary, if all of these changes happened on the same year, like this year for example, it would look like this:

Proposed new half a Mill increase in the Recreational Millage = a $12.50 increase per year above the current 1.5 Mills currently charged on a home with a market value of $50,000;

Reduction  from the expired 1 Mill Debt Service Millage – a decrease in $25 per year on a home with a market value of $50,000;

Reduction from the flat $50 parcel Sidewalk Assessment Program – a decrease of $50 per year on every real parcel in town, regardless of value;

The NET change would be a DECREASE of $62.50 per year on a home with a taxable value of $25,000 and/or a market value of $50,000.”

Swingin’ at the Shell 2018 Poster

Swingin' at the Shell, Albion Michigan 2018 lineup of concerts

The 15th annual Swingin’ at the Shell concert series takes place at Victory Park Bandshell in Albion Michigan from mid-July through mid-September.   As usual, the concerts are on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m.  This year there are some new Albion businesses downtown that will be open before the concerts including the Courtyard by Marriott, Albion and the Albion Malleable Brewing  Co.

Swingin' at the Shell, Albion Michigan 2018 lineup of concerts

Ride the River – 2018 Albion Community Bike Ride Program


The weather was surprisingly cooperative for the Albion Community Bike Program Launch on Monday, May 14, 2018. The next ride is Monday, May 28, 2018, for the Brewery Ride, starts from City Hall at 5:30 and will also tour the Albion River Trail and end up at a new destination in downtown Albion.

Future rides are scheduled for:

Monday, May 28, 2018,  Memorial Day – Brewery Day 5:30 pm – Meet at Albion City Hall

Saturday, June 9, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Saturday, June 23, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Saturday, July 7, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Saturday, July 21, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Saturday, August 4, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Saturday, August 18, 2018 Community Ride – 10:00 am – City Hall

Art of Seasonal Gardening

 

It is a time we dream of summer, and sometimes feel a hint of it in the wind.  We plan our growing season, gather our seeds and prepare the soil.   The season of Spring is upon us, and extends through the Summer Solstice on June 21.  The art of seasonal gardening was created for General Guide XXXI. It shows a timeline of the growing season.  In the distance there is also a visual road map of the connected communities between Battle Creek and Jackson, connected by I-94 highway, and in other ways as well.

Each community has a symbol.

  • The Michigan Central Railroad Depot (Clara’s Restaurant) for Battle Creek.
  • The Heatherbrook Farm mural  just west of Marshall. near Marshall, Michigan at M115 highway was once a part of Stuart Farms.
  • Brooks Fountain in Marshall, that is the location for several annual events.

We’ll post more about each of these community landmarks later, and also more about the gardening clubs and projects in each community.


Note from Albion enews.  (Sign up for Albion Enews here!)
SIGN UP FOR THE ALBION COMMUNITY GARDENS NOW

Albion Community Gardens will hold sign-up sessions for 2018 garden plots on Friday, April 6 (5:30-7PM), Saturday, April 7 (10am-2pmFriday, April 20 (5:30-7pm), and Saturday April 21 (10am-2pm).

Garden plots are available at three sites: Pearl and center (SW corner) Albion and Erie (NE corner) and Vision of Life (1009 N. Jefferson)

You should go to the site most convenient for you to sign up. In case of rain, the sign ups will take place at St. James Episcopal Church, 119 W. Erie St., Albion.

Plots, seeds, and plants are free if you volunteer 20 hours per year with the Community Gardens or a comparable community organization.

There are tools that you can use at each site as well as gardening information.

Sign up will be at St. James Episcopal Church, 119 W. Erie St., Albion on April 6 if there is inclement whether, as well as at the Albion Winter Farmers Market Saturday.

If you have already signed up for a plot, a member of Albion Community Gardens will be in touch with you by April 6.
For more information, contact Trisha Franzen at 517 629-5618.

Earth Day in Albion Michigan, Walter Cronkite

It was 48 years ago, another time, but not another place.

The year was 1970, and Albion,  Michigan is recognized on CBS News, national tv by our old-time favorite broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, for its efforts to work towards a more sustainable future.

The story tells of Albion’s population being 14,000 and taking a claim to be “Manufacturing Town USA.” Albion’s population is now 8,534, and we think of ourselves more of a college town now, since much has changed.

 

We didn’t get Earth Day into the General Guide XXXI, but we’ll post more environment information here as we go along.

 

Bur Oak near I-94

 

A stately Bur Oak tree, welcomes visitors who happen to exit highway I-94 at exit 124, coming into Albion from the east. This tree was here for over 100 years, and was here to welcome visitors along the old Michigan Avenue long before the highway was here. With each season are changes, and some of them are very welcome.

Here is a statement about this tree from an authority on trees from Albion College: ” It’s a bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa . Botanists prefer a different spelling of the common name than do street-namers. I would not want to guess an age, but probably at least 100-120 years old. It’s a nice specimen tree. There are two smaller ones across the street. ”

This was the illustration for General Guide XXX (30) for March 2018.

There were also drawings of oak leaves and acorns, but these did not truly match the fruit and foliage of the bur oak tree.

Interesting information about Bur Oaks in Texas:

Quercus macrocarpa, the oak with the large fruit.  Even his description is a bit of an understatement considering this oak can grow to exceed 80 feet in height, have leaves longer than 10 inches, and grow acorns the size of lemons.  Bur oak, which is also known as mossycup oak and is sometimes spelled with and extra “r”, gets its common name from the distinctively rough and shaggy acorn cap that can often enclose much of the acorn itself.  The acorns are a highly desirable food source for wildlife, but their size alone provides a challenge for squirrels anxious to dig a hole large enough to bury them or to find the strength to hoist them to their cache.  To a squirrel or other wildlife, bur oak acorns are like a huge steak dinner.”

Source:

Tree Species Profiles – Bur Oak


To learn more about trees in Albion, including the bur oak, visit this page: http://campus.albion.edu/albiontrees/bur-oak/

Adapted quote from this page:

“Albion, like many other midwestern cities, has a ‘Burr Oak Street’ named after this tree. The middle English spelling variant ‘bur’ has been used traditionally and more or less adopted by botanists as the spelling for the common name of this species.

The bur oak has relatively long, fuzzy bracts on the acorn cap that make the acorn look a little like a burr that could stick to clothing or fur.   It’s also known as a mossycup oak.  At Albion College, biology students and their professor refer to the bur oak as the ‘T. rex’ of oak trees.  The trunks may be massive, but they often sprout wimpy branches near the base, not unlike the relatively tiny forelimbs of a massive tyrannosaur.”

Walk for Warmth 2018 – Albion, MI

Albionites have invented quite a few different traditions and events.  One of them is Walk for Warmth, where volunteers get pledges to raise money for local residents struggling to pay the cost of heating their home.

On Saturday, February 24th, 2018, the home of Walk for Warmth celebrated the 33rd annual fundraising event for Community Action. Each year, Community Action of South Central Michigan raises money to help keep the heat on for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, and St. Joseph counties.

Pictured below are the participants of Albion’s 2018 Walk for Warmth, outside of the First United Methodist Church on Michigan Avenue.

Walk for Warmth 2018 – Tenant Hall – Albion, MI

In Albion during February 1983, Pastor Tim Kurtz, then Community Action Coordinator, held a 24-hour walk to raise funds and awareness of the need for heating assistance. “Helping the Poor in 24” was his motto. Pastor Kurtz’s dedication to supporting the most vulnerable in a critical way has made a tremendous impact.

Over the years, the event has grown to provide household utility relief across the nation, ranging from Lexington, KY to Willimantic, CT.   The funds generated through this event provide assistance in the form of deliverable fuel, metered gas or electric.

2018 Walkers Begin Their Trek

In 2017, 19 families and 57 family members from the Albion, Marshall, and Homer region were helped from the funds raised during Walk for Warmth that year. 52% of the households assisted last year had children and 31% had seniors. The average assistance provided by Community Action was $275.84.

For more information and to support the cause, please visit Community Action’s website: https://www.caascm.org/menus/walk-for-warmth.html

The Contestants – Cardboard Classic 2018

The contestants from the Cardboard Classic 2018 ranged from families including two-year olds to adults who were as happy as youngsters to have a successful race.


The Grand Prize for the design category went to the Glass Slipper Sled.
Click here to see a very fun one minute video of the most exciting race.


Most exciting video from the Cardboard Classic 2018

 

 

Most exciting video from the Cardboard Classic 2018 – click the image to see it

Cardboard Classic 2018 – Original Albion Event

The Cardboard Classic Sled Race  began in Albion Michigan in 1990 and was created by the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce.  The event was originally sponsored by World Corrugated.
In 2018, the race was held the day after a Winter Emergency, and there was 10 inches of fresh powder snow, and brisk 18 degree temperatures.
This photo/video essay is divided into four sections:

The Location
The Racers and their Sleds
The Crowd and Dignitaries Viewing the Race
The Races

 

The Location:  Victory Park in Albion


The Contestants


The Crowd and the Local Dignitaries Viewing the Race

Click here to see more info


The Races

The Bunny Hill


Under 14 Category


Super Customized Over 14 Category

 

See the Cardboard Classic from its first time being on the web in 2003

http://www.albionmich.com/cardboard/mainpage.htm

No other Cardboard Classic was posted before this time