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Squirrel at our feeder

Caught me

Posing for his close-up

Sideways Warrior Position is best for eating

What? Like you will miss a few seeds here or there.

Lunch is Over - See ya Soon!

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Michigan is an agricultural state. In fact, in agricultural products,

Michigan is second only to California among the diversity of its

products.  Agriculture and farming is a large segment of our local

West Michigan economy.

West Michigan is nationally known for its fruit production, including

blueberries, cherries, apples, grapes and peaches.  Add to this local

organic farmers that sell to local restaurants and grocery stores and

you can see how important growing food is to our local economy.

We like to support local businesses and farmers. Local produce is

the best!  So visit your local farmers’ Market in Kent County and

see what you have been missing.  Fresh produce is here in Michigan

and available in most areas near you.

fresh west michigan produce

Ada MI Farmers’ Market – Community Church Parking Lot

Tuesdays June 22 – Sept. 28, 2010  2:00 – 7 pm

Project FRESH accepted

“Chef in the Market” cooking demonstration program, also accepting

food basket donations for delivery to food pantry

Allendale Famers’ Market6101 Lake Michigan Dr – Heritage Town

Square Parking Lot ( North side of Lake Michigan Dr)  June – October

Tuesdays and Fridays  11:00 am – 4 pm  Project FRESH accepted

Byron Center Farmers’ Market – Pathway Church Parking Lot or

grassy area north of the Post Office – 8350 Byron Center Av.

May – October Saturday 8am-1 pm Project FRESH accepted.

Caledonia Michigan Farmers’ Market – M 37 & 100th St Intersection

Saturday  8am –  12 pm until Oct 30th 2010

Coopersville Farmers’ Market – North Main St parking lot pavilion

May 7- Oct 29  Wednesday 8 am – 1 pm  Project FRESH accepted

Fulton Street Farmer’s Market – 1147 E. Fulton St Grand Rapids MI

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday  8:00 am – 3:00 pm

May to Christmas

Grand Rapids South East Area Farmers’ Market

Corner of Franklin & Fuller   Grand Rapids Michigan

June – October Thursday  10am – 4 pm

Project FRESH & Food Stamps accepted

Grand Rapids West Side Farmer’ Market

Alpine at 11th St ( City View Church) Grand Rapids Michigan

Thursday May 6 – October 7  Thursday  10am – 6:30 pm

Project FRESH accepted

Ada MI farmers market

Grandville Farmers’ Market – 4055 Maple St SW Grandville, MI

North of the Grandville Library

May 4 – Oct 19 Tuesday  8 am – 1 pm

Howard City Famers’ Market – 120 W. Edgerton at the White Pine Trail

staging area near the depot at Ensley and Edgerton St. Intersection

May 8 – October  Saturday 9 am – 1 pm

Hudsonville Farmers’ Market & Crafts – 3302 Prospect St  corner of

Prospect and School just off Chicago Dr.

June 2 – October 6, 2010   Wednesdays 8 am – 2 pm

Project FRESH accepted

Lowell MI Farmers’ Market – 225 S Hudson Lowell Fairgrounds

Thursdays May 13- Oct 7 2010   2 pm – 7 pm  Handicap Parking Avail.

Metro Health Hospital Farmers’ Market– Metro Health Village

5900 Byron Center Ave Wyoming MI – easy access off M-6

May 6 – late Sept. 2010  Thursday 9am – 1 pm

Project FRESH accepted; free health screenings; live entertainment

Plainfield Township Farmers’ Market – 4411 Plainfield Ave NE

(corner of 5 Mile Rd and Plainfield Ave) adjacent to Fire Station # 3.

June 15 – Oct 14, 2010 Tuesday & Thursday   2 pm – 7 pm

Rockford MI Farmers’ Market – South Squires St Parking Lot off Main St

June 5 – Oct 30, 2010  Saturday 8 am – 1 pm

Walker Farmers’ Market – 4300 Remembrance Rd at Rylee’s Ace Hardware

Saturday June – Sept    8am – 2 pm

Link to Michigan Farmer’s Markets

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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!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Contact Terry   616-292-7263

OUR FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM

Ada Park in Ada Michigan is going all out for Earth Day/ Arbor Day

this year with a Festival.  The celebration will start at  10 AM and

continue until 2 PM at Ada Park & Arboretum on Saturday,

April 24th, 2010.  Ada Park is located at 1180 Buttrick Ave.

Festival admission is free, although donations are accepted.

The Festival will celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with exhibits

on trees, landscaping, native plants, invasive plants and insects.

Ada park entrance sign

Activities for all ages include:

  • Games
  • Crafts
  • Fishing in the pond

Activities are also free, except for one craft and ‘tree themed ‘ snacks.

Each group will receive a free white pine sapling as long as supplies last.

The white pine is Michigan’s state tree.

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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!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Contact Terry   616-292-7263

OUR FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM

We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful entertainment venue

in our Forest Hills Area.  The fabulous Fine Arts Centers Shows this

winter-spring season have something for everyone.  Not only the

headlining events like Amy Grant, and  Whose Live Anyway, the local

high school productions are not exactly the amateur events I remember

from my school days.  The musicals we have seen have had seriously

talented young performers from our local high schools.

There are still quite a few shows to catch this season. If you haven’t

been to our fabulous gold star LEED performance center, you should

stop by and take a look.

It is open every day from 8am to 5 pm with a featured artist-in-residence

work displayed in the lobby.  This month, fiber artist Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk

displays vessels that explore the concept of containment.

Fine Arts Center Forest Hills MI

February 22 – Forest Hills Central -Evening of Percussion 7 pm

February 23 – Jazz Night 7 pm

March 11 – Cynthia Hagedorn Artist Reception – 6-7:30 pm

March 12-13 – Grand Rapids Balley Company Interactive 7:30 pm

March 25,26,27 – Forest Hill Central MusicalThe Wizard of Oz – 7:30 pm;

+  3:00 pm matinee Mar 27th

April 17 – An Evening with Amy Grant – 7:30 pm

April 18 – Grand Rapids Symphony – Percussion Explosion – 3:00 pm

April 20 – Forest Hill Public Schools K-12 Student Artists Reception, 6 – 7:30 p.m

Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Whose Live Anyway

May 26 – National Senior Health and Fitness Day, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m

June 3  – International Society of Experimental Artists’ Reception, 6 – 7:30 p.m

Fine Arts Center 

We volunteer at the Fine Arts Center and find it a very entertaining and

rewarding way to give back to our community.  We have ushered shows,

taken tickets, handed out programs, placed posters and guided people to

their seats.  The Fine Arts Center is a part of the Forest Hills School

System but must survive financially on its own, which means volunteers

are vital to the program. Without volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible to

fund the shows and events that take place to enrich the community.

Fine Arts Center GR MI 49546
Fine Arts Center GR MI 49546

 

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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!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

                          Contact Terry   616-292-7263

Would your kindergartener come home and ask for a bowl of cereal

in Mandarin Chinese?  If you live in the Forest Hills School System

in Grand Rapids Michigan, this isn’t as far fetched as it sounds.

The Meadowbrook Elementary School is home to the Forest Hills

Chinese Immersion Program.  This program is the first of its kind in

West Michigan.  The program just received a Federal Grant of $238,000

for the first year.  If all program objectives are met, it will receive

additional funds for the next 2 years.

fhps meadowbrook school entrance

Leaders in Forest Hills educational community decided to add Mandarin

Chinese Immersion to their bilingual offerings with the assistance

of Michigan State University’s Confucius Institute.  Currently 2

Chinese teachers are  on the school faculty to give students in

the program an early start in bilingual education.

The Forest Hills District is continuing to expand Mandarin language

courses at middle and high school levels.  With 55 percent of the

world’s population speculated to be from Asia in the year 2025 and

5 percent from North America, being fluent in Chinese will be a real

asset in the future business world.

Forest Hills also has a Spanish Immersion Program running at the

Ada Vista Elementary School.

Additional Forest Hills Schools Articles:

Forest Hills Schools Get Face-Lifts This Summer

Forest Hills Schools Update 2009

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

                          Contact Terry   616-292-7263

FH Foods family bathroom

You might have to really look at this picture to see the details. 

When I went to our local food store recently, I needed to to make a

necessary stop.  When I saw the bathroom, I had to go to my car and get

get my camera to take this shot above.  Our local grocery store is one of

the best I have ever been in.  They listen to their customers and try to

make life easier and more convenient for them.

We (and everyone we know) love Forest Hills Foods.  This is just one of a

dozen reasons.  If you have little children, would they like to go to the

bathroom where they can have a stool and sink at their height?

Would it make it a fun experience for them?  You bet!

Thanks again, Forest Hills Foods, for thinking about your customer’s

grocery store experience.

Six different schools in the Forest Hills Public School District are under

some kind of construction this summer. 

Every school site will receive different combinations of security cameras,

roof repair/ replacement, parking lot resurfacing, and energy

conservation/sustainability improvements (window replacement,

lighting and mechanical system upgrades).

See details at Forest Hills District News Site

Some photos of the Construction Sites:

Warning -  if you like hard hats, you will be in 7th heaven!

FHS ada Elem construction

Ada Elementary School

Piles o dirt Ada Elem FHS construction

Ada Elementary School

CMS construction

Central Middle School

 

FHS CMS construction pics

Central Middle School

FHC construction

Forest Hills Central High School

FHC parking lot redo

Forest Hills Central High School

FHC Frt Construction

 

School districts reflect the interest people have in their

community public education systems. Forest Hills Schools are

one of the best in our state in almost every category.  New

school updates are one of the ways we try to keep you informed

on what is happening in the Forest Hills District.

 

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.

 

FHC HS Sign

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

Watermark Country Club in Cascade Township has a wonderful pool facility.

We are not members but being members of the golf course we are allowed

to use the facility several times a year at a small charge.

Yesterday was POOL DAY!!   Our grandson, Jeffy is up from Indianapolis for

his yearly “Grandparents Camp Week” with us. The pool is one of his favorite

places to go.

It was in the eighties and humid—perfect pool weather, even though the

clouds looked menacing.  We had tried on Monday but got rained out before

we could get wet. The pool staff keeps  a sharp eye on the weather and closes

the pool if a storm threatens. Watermark has lunch available poolside and

we had hamburgers and a hotdog to keep our energy up for the big day.

We took a couple of pictures, so you can see what a great place it is.

view of pools

This is a shot of both pools, the adult pool with slide tower in back, and

the kid’s pool in front. There is a putting range behind the storage

building in the background for the kids to use.

kids pool

The kids pool is THE MOST popular area – a small slide, 2 water shooting

animals to ride,and the dumping pails tower in the center make this fun

for big and little children.

lunch area

The pool house has a men’s and women’s locker room with showers,

toilets and changing stations.  An additional restroom is located close

to the pool. Grilled burgers and other lunch favorites are available until

the pool closes at 8 pm.

sand & play structure

The sand box is a draw for big and little children.  A small play structure, a

large play fort with slide, and a swing set are all set in this huge sand box.

Jeffy is on the right heading for the water spigot, he is excavating a water

trench with buckets and shovels.

TW at the driving range

That’s me taking a few swings at the driving range – just over the fence

from the pool.

The Watermark Residences

The Grille at Watermark

Watermark Country Club

If you would like further information about Forest Hills Homes, please

contact me directly:  1-888-240-1968

Terry@TerryWestbrook.com

Grand Rapids Michigan Real Estate Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved

Photos of Watermark pool area by Bonnie Westbrook

fhcentral-entrance.jpg

Forest Hills Central HS Entrance

Tamarron Estates is an upscale suburban development with large

wooded lots, walking access to Thornapple Elementary School and

the Thornapple River Backwaters.  It is located just off of

Thornapple River Drive and Cascade Road in Cascade Township.

The house styles vary from large, comfortable ranches, traditional

two stories, to contemporary homes.  Many of the homes were built

in the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, though there is a new street

that has much newer homes on acreage settings.  Some houses close

to and surrounding this development are in the upper price brackets

in the Grand Rapids real estate market.

 

                    Tamarron Residential Real Estate 

                      December 2008 Market Report

                      5 Sold,  7 For Sale, 7 Expired

 

Tamarron Active Listings: 7

Tamarron Average Active Price – $ 500,329

Tamarron Average Active Price/SqFt – $ 137.25

Tamarron Average Active Days on Market – 138

Tamarron  SOLD Listings: 5

Tamarron  Average Sold Price $ 339,480

Tamarron Average Active Price/SqFt – $ 98.11

Tamarron Average Sold Days on Market – 63

Tamarron Expired Listings: 7

Tamarron Average Expired Price – $ 265,629

Tamarron Average Expired Price/SqFt – $ 112.74

Tamarron Average Expired Days on Market – 124

 

234 homes have sold in Cascade Township in 2008

Average home selling price is $306,712

 

At the current selling rate, we have an Absorption rate of 16.8 months,

which means if no new listings come on the market, it will take 16.8 months

 to clear the current supply of homes.

 

MARKET SYNOPSIS: Tamarron homes are selling but not at the prices that

some sellers would like to see. Today’s market is accepting homes under

$100.00 a sq ft. This is a price reduction for this area.  As you can see,

most sellers think their homes will sell at $ 137 a sq ft. This isn’t happening.

Even the expired listings aren’t selling at $ 112.00 a sq ft. If you have to

sell your Tamarron Estates home now, be sure you are price competitively with

 other properties on the market. Condition plays a large factor in these older

 homes.  If you haven’t updated, you aren’t going to get top dollar for your

home, the market place is telling you that you need to be at $ 100 a sq ft or

less to see your home sell.

 

Cascade Township has seen tremendous growth in the last fifty

years, though the growth rate has slowed considerably since 2000.

The majority (82%) live in a single family home, and the median

value is  $220,00.  Household incomes in Cascade Township are the

highest among surrounding Grand Rapids areas at $ 87,290.  Most

people in Cascade Township prefer to live here because of the quality

housing, safe areas, and quality schools.

 

Tamarron Estates Market Report June 2008

Tamarron Estates Market Report July 2008

Tamarron Estates Market Report August 2008

Forest Hills Market Report Sept 2008

Tamarron Estates Market Report Oct 2008

Tamarron Estates Market Report Nov 2008

 

If you have questions about the value of your Cascade or Forest Hills

Home, please contact me directly.

Grand Rapids -Ada Real Estate  Copyright 2008 All rights reserved

Photo of Tamarron North Entrance by Bonnie Westbrook

Grand Rapids Photos

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