Estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed the 2015 MACC area population at 124,428. This represents a 4.5% increase over the 2010 Census figure of 119,125.
All local governments in the MACC area grew over the 5-year period. Holland Charter Township has grown the most with approximately one out of every 3 new MACC area residents living in that jurisdiction. It is the 47th largest of the cities/townships in the state and second largest in Ottawa County (Georgetown Township is the largest). With 7,082 residents living in Allegan County, the City of Holland is the second largest jurisdiction in that county (Dorr Township is the largest).
These estimates are available through the U.S Census Bureau and are available on their population estimates page and through their data retrieval tool American Factfinder
The ninth annual Green Commute Week was held May 15 – 21, 2016. This year, schools throughout the Holland and Zeeland area were invited to take part in a School Challenge on Wednesday, May 18. Ten schools competed in the School Challenge during Green Commute Week, encouraging students to walk, bike, share a ride, and ride a bus to school. As teachers took morning attendance, students were asked how they arrived to school and points were accrued for each student who commuted Green. Schools that participated received a green LED clip-on light for each student.
A highlight of the School Challenge was seeing this BIKE TRAIN (pictured at right). Students and parents identified stops along their route and they picked up students waiting to join them on their ride to school. Other schools have encouraged a WALKING SCHOOL BUS, which has also helped students to stay together and practice crossing the street safely – as they walked to school. Safe Routes to School is a great resource available to Michigan Schools. To find out more, visit http://saferoutesmichigan.org/
The following schools competed in the 2016 School Challenge:
Holland Public Schools:
Holland Early College
West Ottawa Schools:
Lakewood Elementary School
North Holland Elementary School
Zeeland Public Schools:
New Groningen Elementary School
Roosevelt Elementary School
Woodbridge Elementary School
The school with the highest percentage of participating students was awarded a trophy (pictured at right), acknowledging their participation and dedication to promoting a more “Green” community. This year the trophy went to Lakewood Elementary School, with 89.9% of students participated in the School Challenge.
Holland Early College students also promoted the School Challenge and won the high school award. How did they do it? We learned that 50% of students competed by setting up carpools, riding the school bus, walking, biking, and taking MAX Transit. Bike racks will be installed in the community to honor Lakewood Elementary and Holland Early College students!
Other events planned during Green Commute Week included a bike rodeo at Woodside Elementary School, an annual leadership ride and breakfast at Windmill Island, and a Commute Challenge among local employers. Green Commute Week is planned by an enthusiastic committee which includes the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, Macatawa Area Express Transportation Authority (MAX Transit), the Holland Area Visitors Bureau, Holland Public Safety, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Pedal Holland, Cross Country Cycle, Velo City Cycles, and West Michigan Bike. Financial support of the event was provided by D&W Stores (SpartanNash) and the Herman Miller Foundation.
The MACC is pleased to announce that their proposal to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to fund agricultural water quality restoration was awarded funding! The EPA published a news release on May 4, 2016, announcing 28 grants totaling over $12.5 million. The MACC was one of 13 recipients within the Lake Michigan basin, which received the greatest number of awards and amount of funding. The MACC’s proposal, titled Macatawa Watershed Agricultural Water Quality Restoration, will receive $473,111 in grant funds over the 3 year project period. A significant amount of local match, $148,099, was pledged by the Project Clarity Agricultural Committee, who oversees implementation of Project Clarity funded agricultural practices. The MACC also committed $51,008 of staff time as match toward the project. The majority of grant funds are allocated to pay farmers for implementing best management practices to reduce soil and nutrient losses on the farm. Fifteen farmers in the watershed committed to installing over 3,600 acres of best management practices including planting cover crops (pictured above), using residue management and applying gypsum. The project will also include the development of an experiential learning program with the Critter Barn and Holland Christian Home School Connection. Annual field days will also be held. The MACC will periodically publish project updates in our quarterly newsletter and on our website and Facebook page. Contact the MACC office if you have any questions about this project.
DATE: Friday, June 3
TIME: 8:30am – noon
LOCATION: Smallenburg Park (Fairbanks and 16th)