Monthly e-Newsletter | October 2019 Edition
Hello from Mayor Gary Carey
October brings to us so many great things going on in the City of Walker. We just finished our 5 th Annual Pumpkin Bash hosted at City Central Complex. We have set a new attendance record with well over 2,000 people enjoying the events, sights, and sounds. I know all that were able to make it enjoyed a near perfect fall day. There were free donuts, cider, and even mini-pumpkins for the kids that went quickly! When I see how smooth these events run due to the detailed levels of event planning and logistics, I continue to remind myself how fortunate I am to serve as Mayor of Walker. Families enjoying a beautiful Saturday playing together strengthens Walker in so many ways, it’s an amazing visual. As a result, Walker continues to be a great community with all the people, places, and things we do.

We also recognized Officer Trevor Slot at our Annual Memorial Service. Police Officer Slot lost his life in the line of duty on October 13, 2011. Our annual service recognizes the solemn loss of a great officer; yet it is also a time of gratitude to remember both him and his selfless sacrifice to our community. He will never be forgotten. In times when we find ourselves pulled over for a taillight out, or missing a red light, or even the often heard “ I didn’t realize how fast I was going ,” let us be kind and remember how difficult the duties of a police officer can be.

Recently, I have had several of you ask me about a new library, I will share some details of what we have been working on. There has been conceptual discussions and plans that are starting to take shape around a new Walker Public Library to replace our existing building. Based on the community feedback, we will be looking at a new structure on the City Central campus. There has been dialogue of where to put that structure that makes the most sense, and plans continues to be refined. There are also discussions of what does it look like and how will we pay for it ? My thoughts are that the building itself will have multiple uses for our community. We never seem to have enough rooms for public usage, and there are groups within our community that would even like a place they could call home. All of this is being taken into consideration. With regards to the cost of the new building, we are looking into a public/private partnership approach. Stay tuned for more details; yet we can all acknowledge the current library has served its purpose and we are in desperate need of more public space.

Lastly, in the last month I have had the honor and privilege of representing the City of Walker at the White House on two different occasions. The first was the Arrival Ceremony of the Australian Prime Minister, and as a Sister City to Colac, Australia, Walker was asked to be represented. I have had recent dialogue with the Mayor of Colac, and it is amazing that after all these years both of our communities still recognize each other. My second visit was a State Leadership Conference where I was able to join other municipal leaders to hear updates from Federal departments that we engage with, as well as share our needs and challenges on a local level. I also took advantage of my time there and met with different departments and officials around Federal Grants that we have already submitted and are awaiting the results of.

As always, I like to close with a thank you to each of you who make the decision to call Walker home. There are so many great things going on in our city, and we are grateful you are part of that.

Gary L. Carey, Jr.
City of Walker
Upcoming Events:
October 25: Skary Skate @ 6:00 p.m., Walker Ice & Fitness Center
October 29: Coffee & Conversation with Police @ 4:00 p.m., Walker Ave Starbucks
October 31: Fire Dept. Halloween Open House @ 6:00 p.m., Fire Stations #2 & 3
Walker Fire Department: Rules for Open Burning with Permit
In accordance with the Code of Ordinances for the City of Walker, Chapter 34 (Environment), Section 34-55
(Open Burning), listed below are the rules and regulations for the City’s Open Burning Policy:

Residential burning is allowed twice a year. The burning season begins on April 15th through May 15th and October 15th through November 15th. Burning permits are free and can be obtained at the main reception area at Walker City Hall or on line at . You will be required to show your valid Michigan driver’s license when applying for your burning permit. If you do obtain a permit, the following rules will apply:
  • You may only burn on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays during the burning season.
  • The burning of leaves and grass clippings is prohibited.
  • You are only allowed to burn small twigs.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO COMMERCIAL BURNING (Contractors, businesses, clearing land, etc.)
  • Burning of garbage, rubbish or any other solid waste is also prohibited.
  • Open burning shall be supervised and kept under control by an adult who shall be present at the site of the fire at all times and until the fire is completely extinguished without smoldering.
  • Fire extinguishing equipment must be readily available at the site of the fire. A supply of water must be available in the immediate vicinity of the fire.
  • Open burning is not permitted within 50 feet of any building or overhead wires.
  • Open burning is not permitted in any public street.
  • Open burning is not permitted in ditches or drainage courses other than the burning of natural vegetation growing therein (with permission from the Fire Dept.)
  • No burning in trash barrels or other containers.
  • Burning is not allowed until sunrise and must be extinguished by sunset.
  • Materials to be burned must be dry and readily combustible. The fire must be small and no black smoke is permitted.
  • Burning is not allowed when the wind is over 20 mph.
  • You must renew your burning permit every spring.

Lastly, if the Fire Department is called to your address because of a complaint from smoke or odor from your fire, and if our responding fire officer determines that your burning is causing a health hazard or nuisance to your neighbors, you will be asked to extinguish your fire.  
Walker Police Department: Department News
Autumn is upon us, and the first few Fall Community Events have already passed. Thank you to everyone to came to out to Pumpkin Bash to see Officer Tapanes in his police man costume. It was very realistic. A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the first DeHop’s 5k. The money raised from the event supports Walker Police & Fire charities, and we certainly appreciate the generosity!

You may have seen in the news that we have partnered with Meijer to begin assembling emergency buckets for area class rooms. The buckets will be filled with items that could be useful during a lengthy lockdown situation. Cummings Elementary will be the first to receive the buckets, with about 30 buckets getting to the school in mid-November.   Sobie Meats will also be kicking off a fundraiser to purchase tourniquets and other “Stop the Bleed” supplies for these buckets as well, so stay tuned! We certainly hope these buckets are never needed, but feel it is always best to be prepared!

Please join Walker Police & Fire, as well as Kent County Sheriff’s Office, for a time of coffee and conversation at Walker Avenue Starbucks (Inside Meijer Gas) on October 29 from 4-6 PM. There is no agenda, just an opportunity to connect with Officers and Walker’s new Fire Chief.

To keep up to date on all things Walker PD, please like/follow us on Facebook at “City of Walker Police Department” by clicking the green button below.
Clerk's Department Updates
Did you know….Anyone can vote via a “Vote by Mail” Ballot, since Proposal 3 passed in November 2018.

Just email the clerk’s office at and give us your name and address. We will then automatically send you an application prior to each election, once you sign and return your application, we will mail your ballot to you.
Soon it will be winter and our snowbirds will fly or drive to a warmer climate.
Please call the City Clerk’s office now to give us your temporary address and when you will be gone, so we can mail your absentee application and your absentee ballot directly to you. This way it will not get lost or delayed in the mail system.
We will be mailing the applications for absentee ballots on December 26, 2019.

The Presidential Primary is Tuesday, March 10, 2020!
Facility Hours:
Mon-Fri 5am-10pm
Sat-Sun 7am-8pm
New Fall Fitness Class Schedule
Are you looking to mix up your workout? Try a class! All classes are included with our gym memberships or if you are not a member the cost is just $7 per class (punch cards are also available)! The new Fall class schedule begins on Oct 6. Sunday classes are back!
U of M v MSU Football Challenge
November 4 - November 15

What do I need to do?
  1. Pick your favorite team. You can only work out for one team.
  2. Each time you come into workout, sign your name under your favorite team. One signature scores 1 point for your team! Once per day you can sign.
  3. Spirit Days are Thursday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 12. If you wear your team colors or apparel on these days, you can sign twice on the sheet!
  4. The last day to sign the sheet is Friday, November 15. On Saturday, November 16, we will add the score of the actual game to the number of signatures scored and the winning team will have their flag flown in the gym for an entire year!
  5. The names of all those on the winning team will be entered into a drawing for fun prizes! Go Green!! Go Blue!!
Cross Ice
There’s still time to sign up for our 2019-20 Cross Ice Season, which begins on Oct 12! 
Cross Ice participants will develop their love of hockey through Friday evening at 5pm individual skill-based station practices and Saturday 11am small area games and skill skates. Sessions are led by our Hockey Director, retired pro hockey player Mike Fountain, and his team of coaches. Cross Ice at WIFC is the best value in the area! Sign up today!
Walker Ice and Fitness Center is hosting USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For FREE day on Nov 9 from 12-1pm. All kids ages 3-15 are welcome to participate – no experience needed! Bring a bike or hockey helmet if you have one and we will have a limited supply of equipment and sticks for participants. Skates will be available for everyone. All kids will get a jersey to keep and goodies. 
Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey
There’s still time to sign up for session 2 of Learn to Skate, Learn to Play Hockey and Snow Plow. Session 2 begins on Nov 2 . Visit our website for more information.
News and Events
What's New?...Pickle Ball Courts!

We have 4 new pickle ball courts at City Central next to the 2 tennis courts. We are very excited about this addition to the City of Walker.
What is pickleball?
A paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. Pickleball is something of a mix between tennis, racquetball and ping pong. Players use special paddles and wiffle balls. The rules are simple, and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Played as doubles or singles.

Did you know?
Pickleball has had a 650 percent increase in numbers over the last six years, according to USA Pickleball Association. It’s a great family sport, anyone can play, from 8-year-olds up to 100-year-olds! It’s great for hand-eye coordination. Pickleball is inexpensive and requires minimal gear! We have some beginner paddles and balls for sale at the front desk at Walker Ice & Fitness!
Fall Soccer is nearing an end, the last game is scheduled for October 19, 2019. Check out our online game schedule
and come watch ages 4 – 13 play!

Thank you again to our volunteer coaches for helping us make this program possible! Don’t forget that 2020 Spring Soccer will start before you know it on February 1, 2020!

Make sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss out!!
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.
KDL Walker Branch:
Library News
Did you know Kent County MI Toys for Tots also gives the gift of reading? With each toy given, Toys for Tots tries to include a new book. Donate a new book for a child in need to any KDL branch during the month of October.

As part of KDL Gives back in October the Walker Branch is collecting donations of new children’s books for Toys for Tots and in November will be collecting toy donations. 
This months highlighted database: Legal Information Reference Center

This online resource is designed to help you with legal matters of all kinds. It includes access to many top consumer legal reference books, as well as thousands of legal forms.
Join us Saturday, November 16 from 10 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch for the KDL LAB Extravaganza!

Have hands-on fun at the KDL Lab Experience Extravaganza! KDL Lab will be showcasing a variety of STEAM experiences and partnering with local STEAM experts to provide hours of challenges and pure STEAM fun.

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.

Travel Tales
Wednesday, October 16
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

KDaLe Book Club: Osgood Brewing
Thursday, October 17
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Combine your love of books and brews at the KDaLe Book Club. Enjoy a drink from  Osgood Brewing  while we talk about what we've been reading. Expert book recommendations from KDL librarians included. The book club will be held at Osgood Brewing, 4051 Chicago Dr. SW in Grandville. For adults 21 and older.

Fall Fest
Friday, October 18
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Celebrate the season with Autumn crafts, games and process art activities that focus more on the process and less on the final product.
Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Saturday, October 19
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 23
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 13
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Drop-in tutoring is available to adults 18 and up enrolled in any of the following programs: High School Diploma, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), High School Equivalency (GED) and Career Technical Education (CTE). Questions on all subjects are welcome. Tutoring is hosted by Sparta Adult Education.

Adult Book Discussion
Tuesday, November 12
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Join us for a fun, informal book discussion. This month's selection is Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.

KDL Lab Experience: NASA @ My Library
Wednesday, November 13
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF! Come down to your local library and learn all about the world outside of our own! Learn about the other planets that make up our solar system, UV rays from the sun and how the tiny moon is able to block out the entire sun. For ages 6 and older.
Friends of Walker Trails News
Thanks to another finished segment of the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, it will soon be possible for trail users to cycle from Hart to Comstock Park to Cadillac on continuous trail. A trail of 10 foot wide concrete sidewalks along Three Mile Road was recently completed - an extension of what was built from Walker to Alpine Avenue several years ago. Where Three Mile dead-ends east of Alpine, easements across some parcels were obtained to reach West River Drive, according to Tom Byle, assistant director of engineering for the Kent County Road Commission. This portion of the trail is paved with asphalt. 

Tom says the West River Drive section should be completed next summer - a little over a mile of trail has to be squeezed in to protected wetlands. The 10 foot wide segment will extend along the east end of West River Drive between Lankamp and North Park to connect to the White Pine Trail. The Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail extension, paid for by a TAP grant from MDOT, has been in the works since 2007. 

-excerpted from WMTGC Trail Link Newsletter
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"
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.