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People, towns, businesses, farms and gardens all grow in Michigan soil.


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Blooms in the Heart of Lansing

This is the Heritage Rose from David Austin. Photo by Rexness. www.flickr.com/photos/rexness/4493124472/

This is the Heritage Rose from David Austin. Photo by Rexness. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rexness/4493124472/

Cooley Gardens is tucked into downtown Lansing at 225 West Main, near the corner of Capital.

The flower gardens are a series of rooms with trimmed hedge borders that cover more than an acre. The formality of the edging encloses explosions of color. The planting includes peonies, sedges, roses, conifers, flowering trees, and several rare plants. Spring brings the minor bulbs. The peonies arrive in May. Roses steal the show from June through September.

There are serene views of conifers showing off the variety of green.

You are free to wander the paths, note the plant combinations, and sit in the shade of the pavilion.

The grounds are lovingly tended by volunteers. If you are interested in learning and volunteering at Cooley Gardens, contact Ray Mon at francespark@earthlink.net.

The original garden was a gift from Eugene F. Cooley, one of the co-founders of the Olds Motor Vehicle Company (later renamed Old Motor Company). This Lansing treasure is well-known locally and well worth the ride to visit. The gardens are open all year and there is no charge for admission.

You can admire the photos, learn about scheduled events, and keep in touch on their Facebook page.

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March is National Reading Month

Photo by OZinOH  http://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/2669279783/The city library in Manistee has Winter Story Time through the end of April on Tuesdays from 11 am to 12:30 pm in the Children’s Room.

Photo by OZinOH http://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/2669279783/
The city library in Manistee has Winter Story Time through the end of April on Tuesdays from 11 am to 12:30 pm in the Children’s Room.

If we read to our children, they grow up to be readers. It seems a simple truth. There is joy in books. There is adventure, intrigue, romance, history, fantasy, and many good things to be found between the covers of a book.

Please invest the time to read to your children, or to someone else’s children.

Your library undoubtedly has an hour or so when children are especially welcome for Story Time. Make it a point to bring your children to listen to talented, local storytellers. Bring a neighbor and their child and make it a celebration.

There are people in every community who don’t read. Perhaps no one ever read to them, or they just don’t like reading, or they are already working too many hours to make ends meet, or they just never learned to read, or they struggle to learn English and feel uncomfortable reading out loud. If you have a friend or neighbor who doesn’t read, but would like to read, suggest gently that they can take advantage of their local children’s librarian, a person who loves to answer questions and direct people to the information they want to find.

Books for non-readers are now packaged with CDs and DVDs—new age read-along books. There are computers in the library for listening to books, or you can check them out and listen at home. Your librarian can suggest which books match your child’s age and interests. They can even request books for your child from other Michigan libraries.

Young children start by memorizing the story line. They recite the pages they remember. Then they make the connection between letters, words, and reading. The adventure of learning to read is as exciting as the story in the book.

Celebrate Reading Month by reading!