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My Town: Boxed water company riding sales wave to New York

My Town: Boxed water company riding sales wave to New York

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Less than a year after opening a new facility in Holland, a Grand Rapids-based boxed water company is looking to New York to expand its brand nationally.

Boxed Water recently hired Matt Merson to serve as its vice president of sales.  Merson  previously worked with Zico Coconut Water,  SmartWater and Coca-Cola Enterprises.  Merson will represent the company in New York.

“Boxed Water has seen incredible growth in many ways because it knows what it is, what the brand stands for. It has the potential to be a leading, mission-focused brand, and I am eager to help build our national distribution network,” said Merson. “

Merson says Boxed Water also feeds into the focus on better health and wellness, as well as more environmentally friendly living.  The Boxed Water container is made of trees that come from certified, well-managed forests that are constantly replanted to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

My Town Holland: Maple Sugar Time on March 15 & 16

My Town Holland: Maple Sugar Time on March 15 & 16

HOLLAND, Mich.-- The public is invited to experience the spring ritual of making maple syrup at the historic VanRaalte Farm located at 1076 Adams Street in Holland.

On March 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 16 at 12 p.m., participants have the opportunity to tap a tree, gather the sap, witness how Native Americans made sugar and then a visit the sugar house.  In the old barn, enjoy samples of ice cream topped with homemade maple syrup and check out the collection of maple syrup, maple candy and maple soda for purchase.

Admission is $1.00 per person. No registration is required,  but guests are asked to park in the 16th Street parking lot and walk to the Barn to check in.

For additional information, call (616) 355-1490 or visit www.cityofholland.com and click on the calendar.

My Town Holland: Tulip Time preparations underway

My Town Holland: Tulip Time preparations underway

HOLLAND, Mich.--  The festival poster is out and a new campaign is underway, as Holland prepares for Tulip Time 2014.

This year, organizers have added the Tulip Time Membership Program, which gives participants a behind-the-scenes look at Tulip Time, as well as discounts on merchandise and a members-only poster and pin.  The first 50 people to sign up as members will also get a wristband and parking pass to the “Bloom Boom” party Saturday May 3.  Members will also be entered into a drawing for Bill Cosby tickets.

Memberships are $35 per person or $85 per family, up to five people.  For more information about the program, as well as festival event and ticket information, visit the Tulip Time website.

Tulip Time is May 3-10.  The theme is “Join the Dance”.  Artist Karin Nelson’s painting, “Resilience” was selected for this year’s Tulip Time poster.

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—The West Michigan winter is carrying on, even though the Ottawa County Road Commission budget has dried up.

The road commission says $2.6 million was budgeted for winter-related work on roads, but more than $3.4 million has already been spent this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation has also had its budget blown by the extreme winter conditions.  MDOT had budgeted $1.3 million for winter maintenance of state highways in Ottawa County; so far it’s already spent more than $1.7 million.

The Ottawa County Road Commission will review its budget plan in April and likely cut back some planned road improvement projects and other maintenance activities to balanace the budget.

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

HOLLAND, Mich.—Holland is home to one of the best wedding venues in the state, according to The Knot Michigan magazine.

This is the fourth consecutive year Windmill Island Gardens has earned the honor which is part of The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” section.  The 36-acre park is home to DeZwaan, a 260-year-old working windmill from the Netherlands.  The windmill serves as a backdrop to many bridal party photos.

Windmill Island Gardens also features a reception pavilion that can fit approximately 200 guests and a gazebo for wedding ceremonies.  Every spring, the park comes alive with more than 100,000 blooming tulips.  The floral explosion continues through summer and fall, with thousands of annuals and perennials.

“We’re so pleased that Windmill Island Gardens has received this award again,” said Sally Laukitis, Executive Director of the Holland Visitors Bureau.

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

ZEELAND, Mich.—If you live in Zeeland, it’s time to think about spring.

The city is looking for resident greenthumbs interested in renting a community garden plot for the upcoming season.  Each plot measures 8’ x 8’ and is located at Huizenga Park.  Rental is $35 per plot with the possibility of a $20 rebate at the end of the garden season.

For more information, contact the City Services & Infrastructure Department at (616) 772-0870.

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

WEST OLIVE, Mich.—Even though many birds have abandoned Michigan’s feeders for warmer southern weather, bird watchers are in for a treat The Parks Nature Education Center.

 Using a new app from GeLo, visitors can enjoy a guided bird tour complete with bird songs and calls, even if all the birds are gone.

“Eight beautifully carved birds were donated by local artist Michael Vanhouzen, and strategically placed around the exhibit area,” said Parks Naturalist, Kristen Hintz.