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Aug 12

City environmental team receives multiple grants

Posted on August 12, 2022 at 1:57 PM by Jessica VanderKolk

With Patty Hoch-Melluish, environmental and storm service manager

The City of Battle Creek is getting some financial help to protect our natural resources. We have received a number of grants in 2022 to support our environmental programs.

Pollinator Habitat

  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources provided $17,500 to install 8.5 acres of pollinator habitat along the city’s Linear Path on Jackson Street and in the Leila Arboretum. This included the cost of site preparation, pollinator seed mix, 25 trees and 760 native plant plugs. This pollinator area was converted from mowed turf grass, and now provides food and habitat for wildlife, while also reducing fuel use and emissions with less-frequent mowing.

Two women kneeling in grassy area, planting native plants.

Volunteers plant native plants along the Linear Park path to draw pollinators.

Stormwater Management

  • Dart Container Corporation in Mason, Michigan, awarded the City $4,000 worth of stormwater management products through their “Keep Marinas Clean” program. These grants are available to organizations that conduct work near stormwater inlets where pollutants have the potential to be transported to local surface waters. The City received 15 “gutter guards” and 18 “filter socks” to prevent sediment from entering the storm sewer system. Remember that water – and anything that flows with it – that enters our stormwater inlets goes straight to our waterways without treatment.

Two woman install a gutter guard around a curbside storm inlet.

City Engineering Technicians, Melissa Whitcomb and Amber Whitcomb, install gutter guards at a storm sewer inlet.

  • The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership awarded funds to the city for support of the project diverting stormwater away from Goguac Lake to an existing retention pond. This project will eliminate stormwater additions from nearly 35 acres of urban commercial and residential areas draining to the lake. The $75,000 grant will go toward improving water quality and fisheries habitat within this popular Battle Creek lake.

Linear Park Improvements

These projects are possible in part by grants from the Battle Creek Community Foundation (BCCF).

  • BCCF provided $4,000 assistance for an invasive species survey along seven miles of the Linear Path, from Emmett Street to Stringham Road on the north side of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Rivers. Invasive species can degrade wildlife habitat, outcompete beneficial native species, and create nuisance conditions. This survey and management plan will help guide the city’s future invasive species management efforts to more efficiently manage the resource.
  • BCCF provided $1,500 for the purchase and installation of a new park bench along the Linear Path on Jackson Street. The bench will provide a much-needed spot to take a rest and enjoy the Kalamazoo River and the new pollinator plantings.
  • The BCCF Thelma Greer City Tree Fund will support the purchase of and site preparation for 15 trees along the Linear Path on Jackson Street. We will select tree species to enhance the habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, while also providing shade and increased aesthetics for park visitors.

Five people help plant a tree. River in the background.

Volunteers from DENSO plant trees along the Linear Park path.

River Cleanups

  • We received a  grant for $3,839 from the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) to purchase supplies to host a river cleanup event. The city was able to purchase two boats, a trailer and accessories, and a picnic lunch for our volunteers. The boats will be used for future in-stream cleanup events to help keep the City and our waterways clean. Thanks to city staff suggestions and voting, look for The Creek Battler and The Kalamazoom on a waterway near you!

Two people stand in river, guiding a boat full of trash, including tires.

Volunteers celebrate a successful cleanup on the Battle Creek River.

Person floating on river in kayak points to boat floating nearby full of collected trash.

A boatful of trash removed from the Battle Creek River.

We want to extend a big thank you to all the organizations that provided funding, and to all the volunteers who gave generously of their time to support these important projects in our community. It is making a big difference!