Z is for zigzag travels through Grand Island

These past two Saturdays, I have been visiting businesses and events on Grand Island. Now that winter is over, loads of activities have been scheduled. Sometimes, it seems as if I am traveling in a zig zag sort of fashion. Here is an illustrated story of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and who I’ve met on my journeys.

A hard stone slab on the ground
serves as a reminder that this
baby lived and was loved.

On Saturday, April 22nd, I went to visit the Maple Grove Cemetery because I wanted to take pictures of something that was “hard,” as part of my 52-week photography project. I could interpret hard in any way that I chose. It could be something that was literally hard, such as a rock. It could be something that was difficult to do. Or it could be something that is emotionally painful. I chose to interpret hard as both physically hard and emotionally painful, and I decided that the cemetery was the best place in which to illustrate that interpretation.

After I left the cemetery, I went to Saint Timothy Lutheran Church, where a free pancake breakfast was being served. I love food, and I especially love free food! They did ask for a good will offering. Apparently, the folks at Saint Timothy want to make this a regular event. At Saint Timothy, I came across Larry Austin, editor of the Island Dispatch, and Paul Leuchner, who I consider to be my conservation mentor. 

The crew gathered to clean up the trail
at Spicer Creek.

At that point, I decided that following Larry on his rounds would be a good idea and would lead to potential topics for blog posts. The first place that we visited was Spicer Creek, where a group was celebrating Earth Day by cleaning up the litter along the path. I picked up some litter and took a few pictures. A girl found a large stash of empty beer cans and bottles in a hollow tree. Apparently, the beer drinkers thought that the hollow tree was their personal trash receptacle. There were twenty bottles and cans in one hollow tree.

Never forgotten, but loss is hard.

Before I left that area, I walked over to Whitehaven Cemetery to take more pictures of “hard things” and to spend some time visiting with my dad’s grave.

The next stop was to the Tops Plaza, where we went to the grand opening of Alz Rootz Cafe, located inside the Soma Cura Wellness Center.

Larry Austin (left) inter-
views Soma Cura co-
owner Matt Green. The other
co-owner is Sue Zinter.

The beverages offered include coffee, tea, and komboucha, which is a strongly steeped tea that is considered to be effervescent and probiotic.  It also tastes good. There were a variety of free samples of komboucha and several other beverages to sample. Larry and I saw Kelly Petrie, editor of the online publication, Grand Island News, and we had a journalist sort of conversation.

My last stop for the day was to the Golden Age Center and to the new teen art studio at the Nike base, a complex on the west side of Grand Island that also houses the town’s recreation department.

The fundraiser consisted of a brunch
and a Bingo tournament.

The Golden Age Center was running a fundraiser to provide financial assistance for some of the recipients of the meals on wheels program. The meals on wheels program is a program that provides a hot meal for elderly people who have difficulty getting out of their houses. It costs five dollars per day to get the meals, which are brought by volunteers five days a week. For some older people who may have a lot of expenses, such as medications, an additional one hundred or so dollars per month may be too much for them to handle. 

Cindy Wynne (left), art teacher
at Grand Island High School, with
her art teacher, Lenore
Tetkowski, who taught
at Grand Island High School
from 1966 until 1985,
when she retired.

The teen art studio is a place where teenagers can go to paint, draw, do crafts, homework, play the piano, or write stories. It has been furnished with donations and it will be open part time during the school year and full time during the summer.

Art students from Grand Island
High School hold the ribbon that
was cut to celebrate the grand opening
of the art space.

Donations of any arts or crafts supplies are cheerfully accepted at the Grand Island Recreation Department. There was a ribbon cutting and reception at the studio, which featured the delicious foods prepared by the Village Inn.

I went home well fed and happy.

On Saturday, April 29th, I went to Town Commons, the park connected to Town Hall for two separate events. The first was Paint the Town Purple. 

Tying purple ribbons around
the trees to remind
people to support
Relay for Life and its fund-
raising efforts against

It’s the day when people attach purple bows to trees, lampposts, and other visible object. The activity is organized by the Relay for Life committee, and we attached bows in both Town Commons and in Veterans Park, next to the Grand Island Memorial Library.

The second event was a tree planting that was organized by Gillian Worrall, a Girl Scout Ambassador (the highest level that a Girl Scout can attain), who is working to earn her Gold Award. That is the highest achievement for a Girl Scout. Gillian’s project was to plant five trees in Town Commons. The tree species are: pin oak, maple, swamp white oak, river birch, and white oak.

Gillian and a group of Girl Scout Daisies,
the youngest Girl Scouts.

Unfortunately, because of the copious rain which has been falling lately, the ground was too saturated for digging, even with machinery. According to Deputy Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford, there are white flags at various places in the park, which indicate where the trees will go. Gillian sad that her work centers around “tree conservation and replanting,” to replace the ash trees that will die as a result of the emerald ash borer infestation.

Diane Evans leads
the group in a song about

Gillian also put together posters and information sheets about the benefits of trees and the damage caused by emerald ash borer infestations.

That was the end of my zigzagging through Grand Island because I then hopped on a bus and managed to zig zag my way through Buffalo. 

This is the group that came to
Town Commons on Arbor Day
to plant trees.

This is also the end of the annual Blogging from A through Z April Challenge and the quarterly Ultimate Blogging Challenge. Thank you to everyone from both of those challenges who has visited this blog. Everyone is always welcome to visit this blog. My 52 week photography project is still in progress so come back to see the upcoming installments. 

3 thoughts on “Z is for zigzag travels through Grand Island”

  1. A visit to the cemetery is no doubt hard. A reminder ow transient life is. Thanks for a peek into your world.

  2. enjoyed every bit of your visit – the sweet and the sad.. and loved the Girl Scout Gold project.. my 11 yo is currently a Junior and she just worked on her Bronze award last year. Next year, it is on to Silver. Working to earn these awards really helps them learn so much about community, about helping out…

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