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OCC students showcase work at annual film festival

Filmgoers and the community are invited to the 8th annual Oakland Community College Student Film Festival featuring the works of OCC student filmmakers. Students will screen their short films to the public on May 24, 2018 at the college’s Smith Theatre in Farmington Hills.

“OCC’s Student Film Festival is a juried event showcasing a diverse and outstanding selection of short films created by OCC students,” said Jack Cronin, OCC Cinematic Arts faculty member.

According to Cronin, the jury is made-up of a three-person panel including former cinematic arts students, industry professionals and faculty. “There are several criteria the jury looks at including technical and aesthetic quality. The jury decides which films are shown at the Festival and which ones win. Each year we feature a grand prize winner and two honorable mentions. The grand prize winner receives a GoPro camera to continue their great work.”

The Festival is produced by OCC’s Cinematic Arts Program. Featured films cover all genres and each is under 15 minutes in length. The free event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. The Smith Theatre is located at 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, Mich. For more information about OCC’s Student Festival, contact Jack Cronin at jdcronin@oaklandcc.edu.

About OCC’s Cinematic Arts Program - The Cinematic Arts Program awards an Associate in Arts degree. This program incorporates a theoretical and practical field of study, providing the student with a multidimensional experience in the study and application of cinematic arts. Subsequent to completion of the program, students will be prepared to enter the film/video industry or pursue a bachelor’s degree in film/video production studies.  

About OCC - With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than 40,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

Clarkston Food Truck Rally to feature 16 food trucks

Excerpt

The Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Network will host the third annual Food Truck Rally on Friday, May 18.

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Chef plans Japanese bakery with traditional, cutting-edge pastries

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Chef Doran Brooks promises his pastries will never bore you. 

Comfort you? Yes. Bring a little fun to your dessert plate? Absolutely. Add an unexpected twist to a traditional tiramisu or chocolate mousse? Expect it.

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Eighth Annual Tulip Festival and Photo Contest hosted by White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery

Tulips in bloom is a highlight of spring in southeast Michigan. Notably, a spectacular palette of blossoms with all the dazzle of Holland’s best, without the cross-state drive can be seen during the Eighth Annual Tulip Festival and Photo Contest at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery in Troy, beginning April 30 through May 20, 2018.
 
The 2018 Tulip Festival promises to be the best showing ever. White Chapel has planted more than 50,000 tulips across its walkable acres, in more than 30 different varieties, including numerous rare blooms. Rich and colorful combinations will blossom into a vivid sea of petals. The gardens of White Chapel will feature favorites like Red Impressions, White Triumphators, and Orange Emperors as well as rare blooms such as hot pink Barcelonas, yellow and red La Courtines and double pink Capetowns.
 
“Our annual tulip display is a wonderful tradition and celebration of spring,” said David R. Krall, Vice President, White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery. “We have a colorful display of tulips, imported directly from the Netherlands, including new and unique varieties rarely found anywhere else in the world.”
 
White Chapel has made it easier for everyone to participate in its Eighth Annual Tulip Festival Photo Contest with the addition of a “Selfie” prize category along with its traditional photo awards. White Chapel is offering gift cards to photo contest award winners.
 
Criteria for the photography contest include:
  • Photos must be taken in the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery tulip gardens. 
  • Individuals can enter the photo contest by uploading photos to its website located at (www.whitechapelcemetery.com). 
  • People can vote for the best photos on the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery website. Visitors also will find a tulip garden guide and map on the website. 
 
Photo contest prizes include:
  • First Prize – a $500 gift card and a $500 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • Second Prize – a $200 gift card and a $200 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • Third Prize – a $100 gift card and a $100 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • “Selfie” category – a $200 app gift card (such as Apple store or Google Play).
 
For a complete list of photo contest details, visit www.whitechapelcemetery.com.
 
Southeast Michigan residents can see the tulips in bloom at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Holidays. For bloom times, call White Chapel at (248) 362-7670 or visit www.whitechapelcmetery.com to receive an exclusive Bloom Alert! email notice with the latest information describing when the colors are at their peak. The Tulip Garden Guide & Map is available from the White Chapel website and can be used to help visitors plan their individual flower tour. White Chapel encourages local tulip aficionados, garden and photo clubs, church groups and families to come and enjoy this wonderful right of Spring.
 
“We plant new tulip bulbs yearly because we want to expand and enhance our variety of flowers,” added Krall. “We invite the community to stop by to see our wide variety of tulips.”
 
Once tulip season ends, a mix of flowers will be planted in the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery gardens for everyone to enjoy throughout the summer.
 
White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery is located at 621 W. Long Lake Rd. (just West of I-75) in Troy.  For more information, visit www.whitechapelcemetery.com.

Fillmore 13 sets out to manufacture and distribute craft beers from Pontiac with $100,000 grant

Fillmore 13 Brewery was one of several Pontiac businesses receiving funding on March 14 as part of The Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program funded by Flagstar Bank. The grant program aims to offer one award annually to support manufacturing businesses to grow in Pontiac.

 

The brewery, which opened its doors in downtown Pontiac in March of 2017, was awarded $100,000 to launch manufacturing and distribution of its craft beers under the brand Fillmore 13: Brewed in Pontiac, MI.

 

Lee Roumaya, the owner of Fillmore 13, says he plans to use the funds to acquire canning and bottling materials as well as hire two new staff to assist with distribution. Funds will also support marketing and promotion of the product line regionally to bars, restaurants, and retailers.

 

“This will be a huge help for us, and it'll give us the opportunity with the funding to move forward,” says Kourmaya. “It'll help pay for more labor in the brewery, more products, a canning system, and a promotional program to get our name out there, and let people know we exist, and we are making beer in Pontiac.”

 

Kourmaya expects it will take three to six months before Fillmore 13 products will be available in bars, restaurants, and stores.

 

Brewer Bo Holcomb recommends Fillmore 13’s Abricot Belgian Ale. “It’s served right to the line between being a traditional Abbey Pale, and then with the addition of the apricot, opens it up to a lot of other beer drinkers that might sort of stay away from a Belgian style.”

 

This is the second announcement of grants under the Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program. On January 8, 11 grantees were announced in the first round of funding. Today, nine more are being announced in the second round of funding including:
 

  1. Fillmore 13 - $100k

  2. Your World Electric - $10k

  3. Libby International - $10k

  4. K&R Studios - $10k

  5. Plug N Play - $10k

  6. Upholstery with Class - $4k

  7. E&K Arts and More - $5k

  8. Epiphany Studios - $6k

  9. Max Out Fitness - $10k


The Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program is committed to investing $700,000 per year into Pontiac over five years. Of the total $3.5 million overall planned investment, approximately $500,000 will be allocated in the form of grants and $250,000 in the form of business loans, with an average grant size of $10,000 and an average loan size of $5,000 to $25,000. The disbursement is being leveraged through a partnership with CEED Lending, a Small Business Administration lender.

Family creates Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation in honor of late OU graduate

Inspired by their daughter’s memory, the parents of an Oakland University graduate and psychology major who was killed last June in a car crash on I-75 have established the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation as a way to keep their daughter’s legacy alive while continuing to support the research she was passionate about at OU.

“Shelby was a kind, generous, passionate, strong and intelligent person,” said Marc Seyburn, Shelby’s father. “It was her passion for the Posttraumatic Growth lab at Oakland University that inspired us to create the foundation. Shelby had a vision for the PTG program, and we wanted to help support that vision because there are so many people that could be affected by this research.”

Posttraumatic Growth, or PTG, is defined as the positive psychological changes that can occur through the struggle with traumatic experiences, with the idea that human beings can be changed by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways.

“The current direction of health psychology is to help people to be more resilient,” said Kanako Taku, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at OU and Shelby’s mentor. “But Shelby and I discussed that while that may be good, if we help people to continue struggling instead of bouncing back quickly, then there may be a deeper or broader sense of personal growth. Shelby thought maybe we don’t have to be resilient; maybe we can still be vulnerable and experience personal growth.”

According to Taku, Shelby joined the PTG lab in the fall of 2015 and specialized in the study of PTG in adolescents.

“She had always been interested in this particular age group and found that there are numerous areas with undiscovered information,” Taku said. “Generally, Shelby explored the different mental states and personalities of adolescence before and after they experience trauma, along with looking at the different levels of trauma and social support.”

Prior to her death, Shelby Seyburn worked in the PTG Lab for two years, and spent the last year as lab manager.

“Shelby was my mentor in the lab,” said Velinka Marton, a junior at OU. “Between school and family, she was spread in so many different directions, but she always made sure everyone else in the lab was doing OK. She was a very nurturing and loving person.”

As a member of Dr. Taku’s lab, Shelby was able to become a published author and speak at national conferences. She also helped establish the “Teen Parent Program” within the Department of Psychology. The program is designed to reach teen parents through a psychoeducation that encourages them to think about PTG and build social support.

“Pontiac has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Michigan, and Michigan has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the U.S.,” said Whitney Dominick, a third-year Ph.D. student at OU who worked with Seyburn in the PTG lab. “This is a major problem because teen parents are much more likely to drop out of high school early, not be able to find a stable job, and they’re also at risk for pre-term births, postpartum depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Shelby really wanted to focus on how we could help these teen parents.”

According to Dominick, the goal of the Teen Parent Program was to foster a sense of social support.

“Shelby wanted the teen parents to connect with each other and be able to have that social support with each other, the school staff and with us on the research team at Oakland University,” Dominick said. “She also wanted to educate them about posttraumatic growth, about how they could experience this, and how they could help other people, thereby extending that social support.”

Initially funded by a $1,500 Community Engagement Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences, Dominick said the Teen Parent Initiative will be able to continue thanks to the generous support of the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation.

“I think Shelby would love it,” she said. “Shelby was very passionate about her research, which really focused a lot of social support. This program (the Teen Parent Program) really helps with that aspect by helping people get involved, and I think she would appreciate knowing that it was going to continue.”

Currently, the program has only been implemented in one school in the Pontiac area, but with funding provided by the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation, Dr. Taku is hopeful it can be expanded to other areas.

“Shelby’s passion is still alive and this is a great way to continue her legacy,” Dr. Taku said.

In addition to funding PTG research at Oakland University and helping to expand the Teen Parent Program, the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation will also help fund undergraduate and graduate student travel to regional, national and international conferences via “travel grants.”

The grants are specifically targeted toward students in the Oakland University Psychology Department that are participating in a research lab and desire to attend a professional conference to present materials. All psychology students participating in a lab at Oakland are eligible to apply for the grant, which will vary in amount between $250 and $500. The grants can be used for travel, lodging, registration and meals.

“I think it’s very rare for something like this to happen,” said Lauren Harrison, a research assistant at OU who joined the PTG lab in the winter of 2016. “Typically, if a child passes away, the family mourns; but something massive like this, that has multiple purposes, doesn’t really emerge. I think it’s very admirable, and a perfect way to honor Shelby’s memory.”

For more information about the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation, or to make a donation, visit shelbystrong.life.

To learn more about OU’s Department of Psychology, visit oakland.edu/psychology.


66 Michigan shelters and rescues to participate Empty the Shelters free adoption day

After successfully placing nearly 10,000 cats and dogs in loving homes through nine free adoption events in the last 24 months, BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF) announced its next Empty the Shelters (ETS) event will take place in 13 states, including Michigan, on May 5, 2018. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based nonprofit will pay all adoption fees at 66 shelters and rescue organizations across Michigan, including the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center. BPF will thank families for choosing adoption by giving them an AdoptBox filled with: a 5lb bag of pet food donated by Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, treats, toys, valuable wellness information and coupons for new pet owners, where available while supplies last.
 
“We are a small organization doing our best to give every pet a loving home,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Getting animals out of shelters and into homes is critical. Empty the Shelters does just that by encouraging people to choose adoption first.”
 
Nationwide, approximately 2.7 million pets are euthanized each year because they can’t find homes. Currently, only 23% of dogs and 31% of cats in family homes come from an animal shelter or humane society. BPF’s events have demonstrated that waiving fees motivates quality adopters, with more than 6,000 pets adopted in the state of Michigan alone in the last 2 years. Surveys from previous ETS events found 99.4% of adopters have already, or plan to, recommend adoption to family and friends; 52% of adopters were first-time adopters.
 
“This event will give national attention to the importance of adoption,” continued Bissell. “May 5 will be our largest Empty the Shelters event to date and we expect it to have a significant impact beyond the states participating.”
 
Shelters and rescues taking part in ETS are required to partner with other animal welfare organizations to help fill the empty spaces once pets have been adopted. Families adopting at ETS will be required to pay licensing fees for their pet – costs may vary by county.Standard adoption requirements will apply. Adopters are encouraged to review those requirements prior to May 5.
 
This year, BPF is appealing to people to choose adoption and find the pet of their dreams or to help give the gift of a family to a pet through a donation. 100% of donations for the event will fund adoption fees for homeless pets in the 13 participating states. For more information about Empty the Shelters, including a list of participating shelters and rescue organizations, and to donate, please visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/ets.
 
About BISSELL Pet Foundation:
BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc. Up to $10 for every pet product purchased helps fund the foundation’s mission.
 
About BISSELL Homecare, Inc.
For more than 140 years, BISSELL Homecare, Inc. has developed innovative floor care solutions that make cleaning up after families and pets easier. BISSELL supplies households across the globe with many products that are specifically engineered with pet families in mind; offering solutions for stains, odors, pet shedding and accidents for those who love their pets, but not the mess. For more on the complete line of BISSELL products, visit www.bissell.com.

Troy Chamber hosts 13th annual Nonprofit Management Conference, presented by PNC Bank

The Troy Chamber of Commerce and its Non-Profit Network (NPN) will host the 13th Annual Nonprofit Management Conference, presented by PNC Bank on Thursday, May 17, 8 a.m.–3:10 p.m., at Walsh College, Troy campus (3838 Livernois). This affordable management conference for nonprofit professionals, board members and volunteers is sponsored by PNC Bank, Walsh College and the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
 
 “We are proud to say that throughout the 12-year history of this conference, the Troy Chamber has provided low-cost training and networking opportunities to more than 1,500 nonprofit professionals from all over southeast Michigan,” explains Jody House, Troy Chamber Vice President and Staff Liaison to the Non-Profit Network. “The kind of training offered during this one-day conference can be key to growing nonprofit core competencies among staff, board members and volunteers alike,” she says.
 
Patricia Mooradian, President & Chief Operating Officer of The Henry Ford, will be kicking off the conference with a keynote presentation. Since joining the Henry Ford in 2000, Ms. Mooradian has developed a ten-year strategic plan focusing on increased attendance, new visitor experiences and amenities, new educational products and benchmark hospitality. She also introduced new tourism and sales initiatives and spearheaded The Henry Ford's brand development.
 
Following the keynote, continental breakfast and networking, the conference continues with two breakout sessions, lunch, and two afternoon sessions. Throughout the day, there will be a mini-expo with exhibitors showcasing products and services to help nonprofits operate their organizations better and more efficiently. 
 
At each breakout session, attendees choose one of four sessions with topics covering eight core areas of nonprofit management: Governance/Operations, Marketing, Technology, Human Resources/Volunteers/Staff, Fund Development/Donor Relations, Leadership/Board Development, Strategic Planning and Finance/Accounting.
 
The cost for the conference, breakfast & lunch included, is $60 for Troy Chamber members and $110 for non-members. Two or more attendees from the same non-member organization will receive a $10 discount per person. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance.

To register, call the Troy Chamber at 248-641-3694 or email: jody@troychamber.com. For more details on the event, including topics and descriptions of the breakout sessions and speakers, click here.

OU Anthropology professor deploys drone to combat hunger in Africa

Oakland University professor Jon Carroll, Ph.D., is part of a pioneering team of scholars harnessing the latest advances in science and technology to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa. 
 
Carroll recently traveled to Liwonde, Malawi to work on a research project helping farmers boost crop production in the face of mounting threats posed by climate change. The project, called “Precision Agriculture for Smallholder Systems in Africa,” is part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and is in collaboration with Michigan State University’s Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, and Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.
 
Carroll worked extensively with the Center for Global Change while in graduate school at Michigan State and was asked to join the project because of his expertise in using unmanned aerial vehicles for various research endeavors. These include archaeological excavations in Israel and a historical survey of Chateau de Balleroy, a 17th-century castle in Normandy, France.
 
“They knew of the work I had been doing in different parts of the world, and they thought that drone capability would be a great asset to the project,” said Carroll, a Registered Professional Archaeologist, FAA-licensed drone pilot and assistant professor in OU’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice.

So, how can a drone be used to counter the ill effects of climate change on crops in Africa and elsewhere? It starts with high-precision aerial photography that drones can provide to help researchers assess crop health.
 
As Carroll explained, “What we are doing is bringing highly detailed aerial imagery together with weather station data to understand what’s going on with these farm fields. This approach is widely available in the U.S., but in Africa they simply don’t have access to these technologies.”
 
The drone captures images with special cameras that allow researchers to quantify how much water and chlorophyll is in the plants. It also allows for 3-D measurements of plants in different parts of the field. Based on this data, researchers can recommend potential solutions to low crop yields.
 
“The answer could be water or fertilizer, or it may be that they are growing the wrong types of crops for that soil,” Carroll said.

Researchers are also working to develop models that can better predict seasonal and environmental patterns, which have been disrupted by climate change.

According to USAID, recurring droughts have ravaged Malawi’s agriculture sector, threatening the livelihoods of Malawi’s smallholder farmers, who constitute 80 percent of the country's population. In addition, 38 percent of Malawians live below the poverty line and 47 percent of children have stunted growth.

“It’s a big problem, potentially disastrous.” Carroll said. “We went down there in February because that’s their growing season, and it didn’t rain once while we were there.”
 
Carroll’s research team worked in conjunction with other research groups, which included government officials and scholars from Malawi and other places. Aside from the influx of visitors, the appearance of a flying object was a source of fascination for children and families in the community.

“This is an area where people are just not used to seeing this type of technology, so any time that I flew the drone, we always had a crowd,” he recalled. “Entire families would come out to see what was going on, and I would make it a point to try to explain to the people what we were doing and answer their questions, either in English or through an interpreter.”
 
Carroll called his time in Malawi “one of the most profound” research experiences of his life.
 
“I’ve worked in different parts of the world, usually on archaeological questions, and most of the people that I study have been gone for hundreds or thousands of years,” he explained. “This was a very different kind of project because I was surrounded by the people who were going to be affected by this research.”
 
Carroll lauded the College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice for their support of his work and for helping put Oakland at the forefront of drone-driven, global research efforts.
 
“This is one capability we have that many other institutions in the region don’t,” he said. “Oakland is leading the way in using drone technology in different parts of the world, and for different purposes. None more urgent than helping those whose survival depends on achieving sustainable food production.”

Orion Township Public Library starts its own Repair Cafe

What do you do with a broken toaster? Or a piece of clothing that needs to be altered? Or with a hair dryer that won’t work? Toss it? No way! The Orion Township Public Library is organizing the first Repair Café on Saturday, April 14 from 1:00p to 4:00p.

 

Various volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs FREE of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, furniture, toys...anything that is broken is welcome, and can most likely be repaired.

 

 “The Orion community has been very supportive of the Orion Green-Up and NOHAZ days, so we wanted to bring Repair Café to Orion as another opportunity to practice sustainability,” said Beth Sheridan, head of adult services. “Repair Café not only promotes fixing things rather than throwing them away, but also those with practical repair skills are given the opportunity to share that knowledge. Above all, Repair Café wants to show people how fun repairing things can be; it’s a win-win for everyone, including the environment!”

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-bases journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation (see Repaircafe.org). This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café.

 

For questions about the Repair Café contact Beth Sheridan at esheridan@orionlibrary.org, or 248.693.3000 x332. The Orion Township Public Library is located at 825 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, MI 48362 and is open 9:30a-9:00p Monday through Thursday and 9:30a-5:00p Friday and Saturday.  For more information visit orionlibrary.org.


Antiques Roadshow reveals Rochester event will be held at historic Meadow Brook Hall

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW visits Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan on Thursday, June 14 for an all-day appraisal event as part of an innovative production tour yielding new-look episodes! For the first time ever, PBS's most-watched ongoing series is stopping exclusively at distinctive, historic locations across the country.
 
"Holding events at historic locations like Meadow Brook Hall adds a new depth to our show by filming appraisals in and around places that are treasures in their own right," said ROADSHOW executive producer Marsha Bemko. "I can't wait to see what finds we uncover in Rochester!"
 
From each of the 2018 events, three episodes of ROADSHOW will be created for inclusion in the 15-time Emmy® Award-nominated production's Season 23, to air in 2019. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW airs locally Mondays at 8pm on Detroit Public Television.
 
Admission to ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is free, but tickets are required and must be obtained in advance. For this 2018 Tour event, ticket applications closed on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. A limited number of ticket recipients were selected at random from all eligible entries for the Rochester event.
 
At each appraisal event, approximately 3,000 ticketed guests will receive free valuations of their antiques and collectibles from experts from the country's leading auction houses and independent dealers. Each guest is invited to bring two items for appraisal. To see FAQs about ANTIQUES ROADSHOW events, go to: pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tickets/faq.
 
In addition to Rochester, the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW 2018 Tour will visit Sarasota, Florida on April 12; Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 21; Louisville, Kentucky on May 22; and San Diego, California on May 29.
 
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW puts the reality in reality television! Produced by WGBH Boston, ROADSHOW is seen by around 8 million viewers each week.

Spring has sprung at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

The signs of spring are everywhere at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Hike the trails to watch as birds happily prepare for warmer weather, learn tips for planning a vegetable garden and check out the spring produce making an appearance at the Oakland County Farmers Market.

 

Spring is also the time to start making your summer plans. Oakland County Parks and Recreation has a full slate of summer activities scheduled, including the popular Come Out and Play series, Sink or Sail Cardboard Regatta, Cosmic Connection Perseids Meteor Shower event, Feather Fest and Make a Splash series. New this year is Camp Oak Ventures, weekly adventure day camps for children ages 6-12 years old. Check out information about these events at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

Events planned in April include:

 

April 21

  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. April 21. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Planting Produce: A Vegetable Epic.” Learn simple tips ad tricks to get started on your vegetable garden. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Nature Fit: “Hearty” River Hike is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Bring the family out for a heart-healthy, naturalist-led hike rain or shine. Exercise your body and celebrate Earth Day weekend. Trail snacks and water will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Cost is $4/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Caring for Planet Earth is 1:30-3:30 p.m. April 21 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Continue the legacy of Earth Day by learning how you can help the environment in your backyard. Drop in for a compost demonstration and make “seed bombs” for pollinators. Take a hike to learn about stewardship activities at Friendship Woods. Dress for the weather. This free event is sponsored by Pure Oakland Water. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

 

April 28

  • Tiger Cub Scouts: Backyard Jungle is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. April 28 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

April 29

  • Nature Fit – Sprig Photography Hike is 2-3:30 p.m. April 29 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Grab your smartphone or DSLR and explore elements of photography including perspective and composition. Capture the color, beauty and texture provided by nature during a hike. A Facebook group will be created to share your best shots. Trail snacks and water are provided. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Artisan market coming to downtown Rochester this spring

Work is underway at the former Heller's Jewelry building in downtown Rochester. Pamela Walther and her husband Ryan are currently in the midst of extensive renovations to the building, which will soon become home to their Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market. The Walthers hope for a spring opening.

Bizzy Buzz has already accepted 22 artist vendors and is currently on the hunt for more. Items fashioned from glass, pottery, metal and more will make up their inventory of locally made fashion, jewelry, and home decor items. The Walthers are even carrying records from famous Detroiter Jack White's Third Man Records, complete with a listening station to preview records.

"For local artisans, what makes us different than other markets is that the vendors don't have to be here," Pamela says. "Just keep the shelves stocked. We'll take care of the rest."

The building itself is a piece of locally-made art in its own right. Built in the year 1900, the renovation process has peeled away decades worth of modifications to the building. The drop ceilings have been removed to expose the original tin-tiled ceilings. Even the walls have been removed to expose tin tiles covering the bricks. Pamela says those tiles will be relocated to cover the cinder block-walled addition in the back, leaving the original exposed bricks up front.

Another discovery was a bank vault built in the 1890s. While the previous owner of the building kept his lunch in the vault, the Walthers are planning on using it as the Third Man Records listening booth and display area.

"It's just the perfect spot. As much work as the building needed, we decided to give it a go," says Pamela. "We put the word out to the artisans and got a real good turnout."

"It won't take long to fill up."

Local artisans interested in having Bizzy Buzz carry their products can apply online via the company's website.

Bizzy Buzz is located at 409 S. Main St. in downtown Rochester.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Mentorship group for child entrepreneurs wins Pontiac SOUP seed funding prize

More than 100 people invested in the community of Pontiac at the latest Pontiac SOUP event this past Saturday, March 3. They gathered to choose the winner of the micro-granting contest and dinner. The winner, Young Entrepreneurs Squad Foundation, walked away with $802 to help get their project off the ground.

This was the second Pontiac SOUP event and the first of 2018. The organization, which comes from the original Detroit SOUP concept, plans on carrying out the events four to five times a year from here on out.

"Pontiac SOUP is a beautiful thing because when you are a new organization and don't have all the funding, every cent helps," says YES Foundation founder Mary Evans.

YES Foundation offers children ages six to ten years old mentorship services, entrepreneurship training, workforce development, and more. These are real businesses that kids are running, says Evans, ranging in businesses that make and sell ice cream, jewelry, bow ties, and more--and all owned and operated by children in the six to ten age range.

Pontiac SOUP has the stated goal of providing seed funding for organizations doing great work in the city of Pontiac. At the events, four finalists are chosen to present on behalf of their organizations, and the audience participates in a Q&A session with each. The five dollar cover is put toward the cash prize. It's also a social event, with performances from local artists and a dinner. Attendees then vote on a winner.

The organization also tries to connect the runners-up with resources like business plan counseling and public speaking coaching.

"We're looking for what makes the greatest impact, to get it off the ground or take a project to the next level," says Pontiac SOUP co-founder Scott Stewart.

Click HERE to learn more about Pontiac SOUP and its forthcoming events.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

50 years of color: Exhibit honors longtime artist

Excerpt

The Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center is honoring Leslie Masters, a longtime artist officials call "a major force among our educators, a thriving and working artist whose commitment has not wavered in 50 years."

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