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
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.
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, Quercusmacrocarpa . 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.”
“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.”
The Sledding Hill in Victory Park Albion is already a destination for those who love to race on a snowy hill, but once a year it is the host to hundreds of people for the Cardboard Classic Sledding Race. In 2018 the date is Saturday February 9. The date was carefully chosen to coincide with the winter storm that arrived earlier in the week and just ended the day of the race for the a foot of the finest powder for the sport.
The sledding hill in Victory Park Albion is a popular destination in the area. There are straw bales on either side, and a light at night so sledders can enjoy the lovely trees and view in Victory Park.
The sledding hill is home to the Cardboard Classic Annual Sledding contest, with prizes for the fastest, and most uniquely designed sleds made of Corrugated Cardboard. The event usually happens in January or February, weather allowing.
This view of the sledding hill is part of a 56-foot long mural in the drive thru of First Merit bank in downtown Albion. The mural is called the Albion River of Time because it shows a linear scene depicting things happening in all four seasons in Albion, along with the river, brick streets, river trail, and parks.
The end of one season and the beginning of another is quickly approaching. This time of year thousands of people will be headed to our upper peninsula in anticipation of walking across the Mackinac Bridge. For those not participating in this annual walk, you are invited to share in Albion’s Labor Day Walk the Trail.
The Albion Health Care Alliance invited the community out on Monday, September 4, 2017, Labor Day, to walk the trail. The event took place at 10:00am until 11:00am. Participants were asked to meet at the beginning of the trail, just off Hannah Street in Victory Park, close to Victory for Kids playground area.
Everyone is welcome to attend and walk: families, Albion College faculty, staff, and students, youth and those young in heart from the community and surrounding areas. It is a fun event that celebrates the walking trail and the end of summer. The Albion River Trail is approximately 1.6 miles long. One can walk the length in one direction, and then return by the same route, or choose another one to your own liking; walking at your own pace.
The Albion River Trail is now part of the North Country National Scenic Trail. See the map about this part of the trail on this link:
“Trail Town Designation The City of Albion has been recognized by the Michigan Department of Resources (DNR) as the “hub” for Michigan trails. Two national walking and biking trails – the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) and the Great Lake‐to‐Lake Trail – along with Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail converge at Albion’s historic Victory Park, one of Albion’s 17 scenic parks. In addition, Albion was awarded a $294,000 Trust Fund Grant from the DNR to expand the Albion River Trail. The trail will extend past the newly‐renovated Albion College Equestrian Center. The City recognizes the importance of the community’s trails as an asset and seeks to be designated as a Trail Town. Trails would have signage posted that would allow for promoting and identifying the amenities and attractions that would be of interest to trail users at access points.”
The traditional Albion Labor Day River Trail Walk is sponsored by the Albion Health Care Alliance. Everyone is invited. Here is the official event page: albionhca.org/events.html
We are now including more options added for limited mobility and limited time walks. At 10 a.m. on Labor Day (September 4, 2017) please meet for a group photo by the Victory for Kids playground in Victory Park. After that we will do the Labor Day Bridge Walk over the Albion foot bridge. From there, some people had a car waiting on the other side of the bridge, others continued the walk on the Albion River Trail to Harris Field. (1.5 miles) Most people opt to walk back for the full walk of 3 miles.
Others had dropped off cars previously at Harris Field and carpooled back. In this way more people decided to customize the walk to their own schedule. Fresh cold bottled water was supplied at the 2016 walk by Culligan Water in Albion. It was a refreshing day, all around.
There was a trail to the north before the Civil War, that was unmarked, except for stories of following the North Star, looking for moss on the north sides of trees, and key words that helpers would know. This was called the Underground Railroad. Across Michigan and into Canada, there is a trail today, that is marked with much more visible reminders of this challenging time in our history. Today we can visit monuments, or just read about them here online, and learn about how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.
The Kick Off ride is Saturday, May 14, 2016 10:00 a.m.
All other rides start at 9am.
Have some safe bike riding fun this summer in Albion on Saturday mornings.
Here is how to do it with commentary from the General Guide to Arts & Trails, AlbionMich.net.
Meet at Albion City Hall (112 West Cass Street, Albion, Michigan) It’s the same day as the French Market and Farmer’s Market – both in Stoffer Plaza. We will end up there after the ride – fun to see people there, and maybe pick up some fresh produce.