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Lots of controversy on a proposed wind farm in Lake Michigan about

1-2 miles off the West Michigan shore.  Wind Farms  are up and

contributing to the grid in Texas, Iowa, California, Washington, and

Minnesota, which are the top 5 wind power states.   Wind power

grew by 39% in capacity over 2008, for a total of 35 gigawatts,

according to the American Wind Energy Association.


Indiana windmill farm

A proposed offshore Wind Farm that would cost $3 Billion dollars is

trying to get public support for its plan.  The Scandia Wind Energy

LLC say it would create thousands of jobs, primarily  constructing the

massive wind turbines in the waters of Lake Michigan just south of

Ludington.  The company says that location is positioned to transmit

electricity to Chicago or Detroit areas perfectly.

wind farm access road


A new jet engine wind turbine with 4 times the efficiency has interested

the DOE enough to give $ 8 Million in grants for further testing.  The theory

is that it would take less electricity to power the turbines, so output would

be doubled.  This could be the look of the future, with massive wind

turbines scattered over the countryside and in our lakes.


Grand Rapids is proposing putting two 300 foot wind turbines on land they

own in Grand Haven, on Lake Michigan to power their water plant.  If this

project goes forward it would be the first of its type in Michigan.


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The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate, the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in West Michigan. Grand Rapids Michigan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a diverse business community, great medical research & services, numerous universities, plus lively arts and entertainment of all kinds.

We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

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Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

                          Contact Terry   616-292-7263


Holiday traditions to celebrate the winter solstice are common

to every culture around the world.  The transition from the shortest,

darkest day in mid-winter to the longest day of light at the beginning

of summer are a common theme to our world.


Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids 

celebrates the light by showing the traditions of many countries

and cultures around the world.  Besides the forty one gorgeous

Christmas Trees that are decorated as they would be in their native

regions, they also display Kwanza, Jewish, and Buddhist traditional

decorations.  New this year is Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese

celebration of the lunar New Year; pronounced day wen don,

it literally means, “the first morning of the first day.”


Meijer Gardens is celebrating the completion of a $7.6 million

renovation and expansion that was awarded a silver level LEED

certificate in energy and environmental design.  The renovation

and expansion was centered around the cafe, visitor areas, office

and storage spaces.  The new cafe has a stunning Dale Chihuly

blown glass sculpture of colored glass flowers hanging from

the ceiling.


We have put together a few photos we took at the gardens

recently, so you can see some of the holiday decorations from

near and far.  The gorgeous Christmas trees are all 12-15 feet tall

and loaded with beautiful ornaments.  This is just a sampling of the

Christmas Traditions displayed here:

Our Holiday Wishes for Peace & Goodwill to all of you!

There are so many golf courses in Michigan, over 900 public courses,

ranking third in the nation in public golf courses and over 400 member

clubs to play.  We are crazy about golf in Michigan.

With courses like Spring Lake Country Club, it is easy to see why.

Spring Lake Country Club is an old course, founded in 1911, and it is a

private, member owned facility.  From the longest tees, it is 6525 yards.


“Going green” is taken seriously at Spring Lake CC.  In May of 2005,

they received the honor of being named a Certified Audubon Cooperative

Sanctuary, only the 14th course in Michigan to be recognized.  In 2007,

SLCC was named #1 for total number of bird species counted on the course

in the Great Lakes region and 3rd in the entire country for the Audubon

International North American Bird Watch Open, held in May each year.


Spring Lake CC is seriously into Junior Golf.  Don’t be surprised to

see a few future PGA professionals hail from this course.  Last year

they had 180 Junior PGA Golfers (aged 7-17) in their Annual Junior

Golf Tournament held in August.


We were invited to play this fabulous course last week by our friends,

Charles and Joann.  We had a beautiful day to play golf and enjoy the

aesthetics of this picturesque golf course.   Spring Lake CC is heavily

wooded, and indeed,  we saw several oak trees with trunk girths of

15-20 feet or more. 

75-80 degrees, sunny and a slight breeze off the Lake (Spring Lake is

open to Lake Michigan) is a perfect Michigan summer day.  And we

couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.  Because Spring Lake is

connected to Lake Michigan, it is a prime resort area and has many

elite homes on the lake.

We are sharing our photo montage of Spring Lake Country Club.

Grab a cart and ride along!




Spring Lake Country Club

18496 Fruitport Rd

Spring Lake Michigan 49456



Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids Real Estate

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Photos by Bonnie Westbrook

Forest Hills Michigan – Home to a Growing Public School District

We just received the Superintendant’s News Letter with all the Forest

Hills Public School news.  Of course, there was talk of budget challenges

and difficult times.  Even school districts that are well-funded, like Forest

Hills Public, are having budget issues because of state funding reductions.

Forest Hills is focused on student education, and is still reducing

administrative overhead. 76.7% of the school budget is spent on

classroom and instructional support.



2009 Forest Hills School News:


  • 3 Teachers recognized on state & national levels for excellence
  • Conserved 1.9 million in reduced energy costs
  • ALL Forest Hills Schools receive Green Certificates
  • Received David D Smith Award for Environmental Stewardship
  • Growing enrollment while 80% of Michigan districts are declining
  • 2007 Bond Issue allows investment in infrastructure
  • 10,100+ students, 2nd in size in Kent County, 23rd largest in

      Michigan, out of 552

  • 2009 Student MEAP Scores Highest in Michigan


Grand Rapids Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved


What’s the Impact of Paying Bills Online? : TreeHugger has a great article

that shows exactly how much energy you can save and how it will affect

your local environment.  Gone are the days when we can say, “ Oh,

my little contribution doesn’t matter in the overview of environmental

change. Each of us has an impact and we can each change our world

one bill-day at a time.

I went to the site and used their green calculator to

see how much I am saving by going online to pay my bills.

In one year, I will save 7# of paper, 65 gallons of water, 3.3 gallons

of gasoline, and 146# of greenhouse gases.  WOW!!  This amount of

greenhouse gases is equivalent to 144 miles not driven in my car, 2 trees

planted( and grown for 10 years), & 20 square feet of forest preserved

from deforestation.

I had no idea my little effort would make such a dent in our environment.

I’ve paid most of my bills online for quite a while. Won’t you join the

online gang and make your effort at greening our environment a little

bit better?


Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Arbor Day Festival                Ada Park & Arboretum                     Free

Saturday, April 25                   10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.    

                               Donations accepted

Michigan Oak Tree

Bring your family out to the Locke Arboretum at Ada Park for this festival

of events to celebrate Arbor Day.   Ada Park will be set up with activity

stations for all ages including workshops on tree pruning and care,

backyard wildlife habitats, nature displays, conservation exhibits,

youth crafts and games, wildflower & tree walks and fishing for kids.

Special "tree theme" snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

One free tree sapling to each family as supplies last.


Westbrook Realty ~ Grand Rapids Real Estate

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved

Photo of Ada Maple Tree by Bonnie Westbrook

I assume we are all trying to do our best at saving the environment and

doing our small part in protecting our planet, but sometimes the obvious

is overlooked. 

I am a bibliophile (a.k.a. book-aholic) I love books. I collect books,

I read books. Books area large part of my life.  Do I buy books? Yes,

but I usually do the “green “ thing and borrow the latest best seller

from my local library.


CascadeTownship Public Library

Once I have read a novel, I usually don’t reread it.  So why waste the

paper, trees, and space to own books for a short period of time.

This has never made sense to me when I could go to the public

library and request anything I could desire to read.  I go online in

my jammies and when my requested book comes into my local branch,

they notify me!

Your local public library also has movies on DVDs and  books on CD’s

and books on tape.  All for free.  And by using your local library, you

are making a small effort to improve the environment.


So do the “green thing”  with your reading. Visit your local library.


Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Cascade Township Public Library Photo by Bonnie Westbrook

I feel like George Jetson is moving to Michigan. I just read a Treehugger article

about a new magnetic train proposed for Michigan in a Detroit to Lansing run. 

 It will be a magnetic train powered by solar and hydrogen. Wow, the Jetsons

seemed so out there when we were younger but all those far fetched ideas are

becoming everyday reality; such as smart machines, exercise machines,

robotic household help, and the visual phone.  We don’t have a talking dog

 or fly to work yet but who knows, anything is possible.

Talking dog?

Talking dog?

The magnetic train system would be built along I96 expressway. It would

stop at local exits for commuters to get off and  drive home or just have a

 refreshment break from traveling.  The rail would include fiber optic cables

for communication.  All this is proposed to be built with private funds and

powered by hydrogen and solar power.  I am not sure when this is supposed

to be started but the announcement alone is a glimpse into our future.

Transportation is changing and I am not surprised that Michigan will be at

the forefront of these significant changes. 

Would you ride in a magnetic train if it were available to you?

Magnetic Train Proposed: Detroit To Lansing Michigan – Hydrogen and Solar Energy Powered : TreeHugger


Grand Rapids – Ada Real Estate  – Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved

Grand Rapids Photos


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