Monthly e-Newsletter | September 2019 Edition
Hello from Mayor Gary Carey
As I share my updates for the month, we can see and feel that Fall is in the air. We are wrapping up the final details for the annual Walker Pumpkin Bash on Saturday, October 5. This is an event that continues to grow in tradition and value for our community. Seeing the families out together enjoying free cider and doughnuts, arts and crafts, live animals, and even pumpkin decorating is a special time. Events like these continue to be a great representation of what Walker is truly about. I would also like to thank our local sponsors who so generously support our community through their sponsorships and presence. One area I would like to emphasize this year is that costumes are highly encouraged!

Now that Fall is upon us it also means that our Summer of the Bear has come to an end. Our community was able to enjoy some levity for a few weeks following the travels of the bear. It also serves as a reminder that while we are a growing suburban community, we still have a considerable presence of nature and animals throughout. I want to recognize our Police Department, while keeping close tabs on the bear, were engaged in ongoing communication with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There was never a time that I felt we were not informed, and the safety of our community was always the priority.

I would also like to recognize our friends at Sobie Meats . Tim and Teresa Sobie organized with our Police Department another fantastic community event with the 2 nd Annual Remembrance Car Cruise. A few, short days later, Sobie quickly produced Walker’s official Summer of the Bear t-shirt . In a time where news cycles are not always welcoming, we had fun along the way and had some light-hearted recognition for Walker in the news media. All proceeds from both fundraisers are going to the Thin Blue Line, which provides valuable resources and support for our Law Enforcement personnel.

We are also seeing preparation for the 2020 Federal Census. The Constitution of the United States mandates that a census of our nation’s population be conducted once every 10 years. This data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how federal funds are distributed back to Walker, the State of Michigan, and other communities every year for services and infrastructure. On behalf of our city, I cannot stress how important this is to make sure everyone is accurately counted. Our success is dependent upon everyone’s participation. Already, Census Bureau employees have started walking through neighborhoods in Walker checking and verifying addresses. You can probably expect to see them in our area through sometime in October. To help identify themselves, they will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau. They will knock on doors and ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the census. This address canvassing improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list of households not just in Walker, but nationwide. This is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the census. The address list plays a vital role in ensuring a complete and accurate count of everyone living in Walker.

As always, I like to close with a thank you to each of you who make the decision to call Walker home. We have a city that has deep roots in family, faith, and community. This has not changed since we were originally founded as a township in 1837, and later became a city in 1962. As we continue to see significant change throughout our city, you have my commitment that these roots will strengthen and grow to ensure our sustainability for generations to come.
Gary L. Carey, Jr.
City of Walker
Upcoming Events:
September 18: Northwest Walker Open House @ 5:00 p.m., Commission Chambers
September 28: National Family Health & Fitness Day, Walker Ice & Fitness Center
September 28: KHPS Community Expo & Job Fair @ 10 a.m., Zinser Elementary School
September 29: DeHop's Brewing 5k benefiting Police & Fire @ 10 a.m., det ails here.
October 5: Walker Pumpkin Bash @1:30 p.m., Walker City Hall
Walker Fire Department: Fatal Fire Statistics
Walker Police Department: Department News
To those who attended the Remembrance Car Cruise & Thin Blue Line Fundraiser, THANK YOU ! Together we raised $5,000 to be used in assisting families of injured/fallen first responders.

If you are wondering where Yogi, The Westside Wanderer is…so are we. No one has seen the black bear for about two weeks now. The DNR believes he is still in the area but has moved north of 4 Mile Road. Yogi certainly brought some excitement to our city, and we would like to thank those who supported sales of “Summer of the Bear” shirts at Sobie Meats. The shirt was designed by the wife of Walker Police Officer, and all sales were donated to Thin Blue Line of MI. This donation topped out at over $5,000!
Schools in Walker are back in session, so please be extra vigilant on the roadways. Watch for stopping buses, and always obey the light signals. Remember, “if the lights are flashing, don’t be passing!”  Also, please obey school zone speed limits when in effect.

All Walker officers will be attending firearms training the first week of September, to refresh basic skills for handgun, shotgun, and rifle use. This will be the first use of our range since it was “remodeled”, and we are excited to check it out.

Our summer interns completed their course of duties around Labor Day. Intern Abby will be leaving the state for Air Force Basic Training, and Interns Bella & Ember will be returning to high school for their senior years. Don’t be surprised to see those two assisting on weekend events, like the upcoming Pumpkin Bash, and any other times their school schedules allow.
To keep up to date on all things Walker PD, please like/follow us on Facebook at “City of Walker Police Department.”
Clerk's Department Updates
Election News:

November 5, 2019 -
There will be an election for Ward 3 precincts ONLY for two Grandville school proposals.
Alert! All solicitors must be licensed by the city clerk to canvas within the City of Walker.

If someone comes to your door soliciting, please ask to see their Solicitor License from the City of Walker and proof of employment with the company.

If they refuse to show you their license or they state that they are not licensed, get their vehicle license plate number, name of the individual and the company name. Please report this to the Police Department at (616) 453-5441.
Passports: You can apply for a passport in the Clerk’s Office. No appointments are necessary during Passport Office Hours which are Monday – Thursday from 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM and Friday from 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM.

Visit our website for details on passport requirements. More information Passports are currently taking longer than usual to process, please allow at least 6 weeks for your passport to be processed.
Real ID: The Secretary of States office is rolling out the new REAL ID driver’s license, which will be required after October 2020, to fly domestically. Please plan ahead if you plan to convert your current driver’s license to a REAL ID driver’s license.

You will be required to take your original birth certificate and any certified name change documents, such as your marriage license or court order with you to apply.
Vote from Home! Everyone can vote via an absentee ballot (by mail) if you have not contacted us to be put on our automatic permanent absentee mailing list please email us at .

If you have any questions pertaining to any of this information, don’t hesitate to call us at 616.791.6865 or
Facility Hours:
Mon-Fri 5am-10pm
Sat-Sun 7am-8pm

New Equipment!

We recently added 6 new pieces of cardio equipment to our fitness floor. We have two additional Nu-Step machines, two new rowers and two new Stair Masters! It’s a great time of year to get back to the gym and back into a routine! $0 Joining Fee for the entire month of September—come in today!
Ice Arena News!

Saturday, Sept 7 th starts our new season of Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey.

Learn to Skate is available to all ages. It provides a fun way to learn the fundamentals of ice skating. Skaters are divided among our instructors based on experience, so the program is great for beginners and more advanced skaters. Cost is $70 for Snowplow kids (5 and under) - $99 for those 6 and above. These are 7-week sessions.

Learn to Play Hockey is a great way for boys and girls to start and develop their hockey playing skills – you do need basic skating skills for Learn to Play Hockey as well as full equipment. Cost is $99 for 7-week session.

Registration forms are available at or at our Front Desk. For more information contact Ice Director Mike Fountain at (616) 735-6286.
Welcome back HAWK players, parents and coaches for the 2019/20 hockey season! 

We hope you play hard, learn lots and most of all HAVE FUN!! The Hockey Association of Western Kent (HAWK) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the quality of hockey in Western Michigan. For more information visit
Our Pro-Shop is now fully stocked for the 2019-20 hockey season! Stop in today to check out new Bauer, Warrior, and CCM gear and supplies!
Watch Ice Director Mike Fountain explain Cross Ice and the suggested age of the players in these two, short videos:
News and Events
Youth Fall Soccer season is upon us. Check out the game schedule online at and come out and watch them play. We have almost 400 kids signed up and they are so much fun to watch! First game is September 14.
REMINDER- Don’t forget that soccer pictures are September 10 & 11, so make sure to check to see when your team is scheduled!
Starting October 1, 2019, the City of Walker Parks & Recreation Department will be collecting items to donate to the Grand Rapids Home for Veteran’s again. Last year we donated an entire truck full of items thanks to all the help from our Walker community and beyond! This year help us honor our Veteran’s by doubling last year’s donations!

Drop off location is in the lobby at Walker Ice & Fitness. Please see the list of items in need below. Remember no expired items will be accepted.
Facts about Veterans:
  1. Veterans are people who served in the military (US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force & Coast Guard) in times of war and peace.
  2. In the United States, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 every year, the same day that World War I hostilities formally ended (at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).
  3. Veterans Day, which pays tribute to all veterans, living or dead, differs from Memorial Day during which we pay tribute to those who lost their lives in combat.
  4. Nearly 10 million veterans are age 65 or older.
  5. Veterans make up 12% of the adult homeless population.
  6. 50% of homeless veterans experience mental health issues such PTSD, which makes it harder to maintain relationships and hold down a job.
  7. Many homeless veterans end up living on the streets for 8 or 9 times the length of their deployment.
KDL Walker Branch: Library News
Another summer comes to an end and we had a blast this year with 1,209 people of all ages completing the Summer Reading. This was a 10% increase from last year’s Summer Reading program., thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library for helping to provide additional prize baskets, and the support from the City of Walker in helping promote and support the large outdoor events. 
This months highlighted database: Learning Express Library

Write Michigan is an event series held by Kent District Library, located in Kent County, Michigan, that is dedicated to nurturing and promoting local literary talent.
Our best-known event is the  Write Michigan Short Story Contest , an annual statewide competition that began in 2012 and is open to all ages. We also offer a   poetry contest  for Kent County teens and a free, biannual  writers conference .
Short story writers, grab your laptops for the 8th annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest, presented by  Kent District Library  and  Schuler Books .
Writers of all ages can enter in English or Spanish, with cash prizes awarded for Readers' Choice, Judges' Choice and Judges' Runner-Up. Winning entries will also be published by  Chapbook Press .

2019 Contest Timeline
Entries Accepted:
September 1 – Noon* November 30, 2019
*Please note this is a change from past years, when entries were due at the end of the day. Entries are due by noon this year.
Review Process: December 2, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Semifinalists Announced: January 10, 2020
Public Voting Online / Judges’ Review: January 10-31, 2020
Winners Announced: February 4, 2020
Anthology Layout and Production: February 5 – March 13, 2020
Awards Ceremony, Anthology Sale & Book Signing: March 14, 2020
Reoccurring Regular Programs

Toddler Time
Mondays, September 9 – November 26
9:45 10:35 A.M.& 10:45 11:30 A.M.
Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.

Baby Playgroup
Thursdays, September 12 – November 29
No program. November 22
9:30 10:15 A.M.
Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening skills while you gather and play. We provide the space and variety of sensory and play activities. Each play group also includes 15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs. For babies from birth to 18 months with a caregiver, older sibling welcome.

Family Storytime
Mondays, September 9 – November 18
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, September 12 – November 21
10:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m.
Read and sing together. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills and encourage everyone in the family to share their love of reading.

Rhyme Time Music and Movement
Fridays, September 13 – November 22
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Monthly Programs

Adult Book Discussion
Tuesday, September 10
10:00 11:00 a.m.
Join us for a fun, informal book discussion. This month's selection is Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Travel Tales
Wednesday, September 18
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Listen to fellow “travel bugs” each month as someone will share a story of a memorable travel trip and why it was special. Speakers will share pictures and mementos from their trips with a chance for Q&A. Light refreshments will be provided thanks to Wonderland Family Vacations, who will also have a travel agent in attendance to help answer any travel related questions.
Did you have an awesome travel experience you would like to share? Are you willing to talk to a group of people about this experience and share some pictures? If so consider signing up for one of our future travel tales by contacting Walker Branch staff
DIY Handmade Cards
Tuesday, September 24
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Pre-registration is required. In this class we will learn a bit about the history of card making, papermaking, materials and messages. Spend your time creating the cards of your dreams and think of some good jokes ahead of time, everyone loves a good laugh! All supplies will be provided. Each student will make up to 6 cards.

Walker Pumpkin Bash
Saturday, October 5
1:30 3:00 p.m.
Join us at the Walker City Complex Outdoors, 4243 Remembrance Rd. NW for an afternoon of fall family fun a petting zoo and food! We will give away mini pumpkins to the first 1,000 kids (12 years old and under). Crafting supplies available to personalize your pumpkin. Presented by the City of Walker, Walker Ice & Fitness Center and Kent District Library Walker Branch.

Visit Events for a current schedule of programs at the branch.
Friends of Walker Trails News
Join the Friends of Walker Trails Facebook page and be a part of our next group ride!  Follow along on Facebook stay up-to-date on activities to help support, maintain and grow the Fred Meijer Standale Trail.

Be sure to tag your trail photos on Instagram with #WalkerTrailsGroup to be featured on the City of Walker Instagram Page.

Happy Trails!
Walker Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events
Quarterly Meetings are held at:
Walker City Hall
42 43 Remembrance Rd.
Walker, MI 49534
Held quarterly the second Tuesday of the month

Next Meeting: November 12
"Take Your Business to the Next Level - Marketing and Networking"
Inaugural Community Expo and Job Fair
In conjunction with Kenowa Hills Public Schools
Saturday, September 28
10 AM - 3 PM
New Zinser School Gymnasium (Leonard & Kinney)
Visit for contact information

If your business would like to host an Walker After Work Event, please let us know!
The City of Walker is now on Instagram! Follow along at @CityofWalkerMI
Created by the Walker Youth Commission and adopted by the City Commissioners, this exciting video highlights the main attractions of the City of Walker, from Millennium Park to beautiful neighborhoods. This video was presented to the Walker community and soon-to-be citizens on how Walker is such a great place to live, work, and grow.