Iron Bell Trail grant funding apps
LANSING — The application period is open for the fifth round of grant funding for work along Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. Proposals are due Friday, with selected grant recipients announced in May.
The trail offers two distinct routes for hiking and bicycling that, together, when finished, will cover more than 2,000 miles of trail. Right now, the trail is roughly 70 percent completed.
DNR state trails coordinator Paul Yauk said this latest round of funding will focus on segments ready to go into construction this year or next, as well as project engineering and design, and the purchase of Iron Belle Trail signage.
Iron Belle Trail partners, communities and eligible nonprofits can submit applications for grant amounts up to $50,000. A funding match, though not required, is strongly recommended.
This is the fifth year the DNR has administered Iron Belle Trail mini-grants. The total amount of funding available for this year is still to be determined. Since 2015, though, more than 75 Iron Belle Trail projects have shared over $1.4 million in funding.
The Iron Belle Trail is made possible by federal, state and local units of government and many organizations and partners, including the DNR, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The mini-grant application and an interactive trail map are available at Michigan.gov/IronBelle.
For details, contact Dakota Hewlett at 517-284-6082.
Seeking young artists for contest
SAGINAW — Calling all young artists: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting entries for the 2019 Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest administered by the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw. Entries must be postmarked by Friday.
The USFWS has hosted the contest in Michigan since 1995 to boost education and awareness about North America’s waterfowl and wetland resources. In 2018, Alice Ying of Novi won the contest with her acrylic drawing of nene (Hawaiian) geese.
Entries will be judged in four groups, according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Submitted artwork can feature one of the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, brants, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails or Hawaiian ducks. Judging will be open to the public this spring at Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw. Entries will be judged on original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-inch by 1.5-inch stamp.
In addition to first-, second- and third-place entries, contest judges will select a “Best of Show” entry that will be submitted to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
The first-place art from the national contest is used to create a national junior duck stamp each year. The junior stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many national wildlife refuges. Proceeds from stamp sales support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.
A downloadable entry form, a list of permitted species and full information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults are available at FWS.gov/JuniorDuck.
For details, contact Holly Vaughn at 313-396-6863.
Empty Bowls event held Friday
MARQUETTE — Marquette Empty Bowls 2019 will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Marquette Alternative High School, 1175 Erie Ave.
People can select a handmade bowl to eat lunch, and then take it home. The price is $8 for children, $10 for students and $15 for general admission.
Proceeds will go toward Harbor House Women’s Center and the Cat Packs kids’ food program.
Spring ladies’ event to be held
CALUMET — Gitche Gumee Bible Camp will be hosting a spring ladies’ event on Friday night.
The speaker will be Dr. Kendra Turpeinen, a Copper Country native, English teacher, and experienced Bible teacher.
The event will be held at the Siskiwit Reception Hall in Calumet.
The evening will begin with registration and appetizers from 5:30-6 p.m. and will include dinner, worship through music, teaching from Scripture, and dessert.
For more information, go to Gitche.net or call the camp office at 906-337-0527.
SERA to hold members meeting
ESCANABA — State Employees Retirement Associaiton Upper Peninsula Chapter 16 will have a members meeting April 1.
The meeting will be in the conference room of the State Building in Escanaba at 1:30 p.m.