Monthly e-Newsletter | July 2019 Edition
Hello from Mayor Gary Carey
I trust that you are enjoying our Pure Michigan summer weather just as much as my family is. This is also the time of year that we can all be reminded of the parks and recreation offerings within the City boundaries. If you are looking for connected trails to walk, run, or bike on that showcase so much of the natural beauty that our city has to offer, you can easily find them throughout our city. If you are looking for a place to take your family to the beach, you have it right in Millennium Park. Or, if you are simply looking to take your family to play at the park, we have nine different parks within our city limits to choose from. These parks total around 120 acres of land, which makes for a lot of outdoor space to get out and enjoy. Acknowledging the importance that our community has placed on parks and trails in years past, the current City Commission has continued to continue to prioritize through investment in upkeep and enhancements. I especially want to commend our city staff who balance that need along with the development opportunities that come before us. That strategic balance has been and will continue to be a strong point of Walker.

The City also continues to work on the 2040 Master Plan process which began with the first of four Neighborhood Open Houses on June 19 th in the Alpine Avenue Neighborhood Area. This is such a critical process to our City in several ways, and we need your help! The second Neighborhood Open House will focus on South Walker which includes much of the area south of Standale down to the Grand River area. While much of this area has a rural feel to it, there has been and most likely will be additional growth and development in that area. This next Open House will be held on Wednesday, July 17, from 5 pm to 7 pm, on the second floor of Walker’s Fire Station #2, located at 4101 Lake Michigan Dr. Community members are invited to participate for as much of the meeting as they would like, and there will be plenty of City staff, elected officials, and Master Plan consultants on hand to interact with and provide your feedback to what the future plans should look like.

The last updates I would like to share comes from our Fire Department. All of us would like to thank Chief Robert Walker who retired on June 30 th , with 41 years of service to our city. In preparation for Chief Walker’s retirement, the City Commission appointed Dave Pelton as our next Fire Chief. Dave began his career with Walker as a paid-on call firefighter back in 2001. Most recently, Dave had served as the battalion chief for our city, and we are looking forward to him assuming the role as Chief of the Department. Dave is the proud son of a Fire Chief himself, who served thirty-seven years for the City of Mason. In addition to Chief Pelton’s promotion, we are also expecting delivery in the next few weeks of our newest Fire Engine Truck. The City Commission maintains a set-aside practice of putting money away every fiscal year for a new truck, which has allowed us to make this new purchase without borrowing money. Additionally, myself and Commissioner Huizenga recently spent the better part of a Saturday with our Fire Department in training with them. These were true “live fire” sessions that allowed us to see first-hand the capabilities and needs of our Firefighters and their equipment. For example, we learned the new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) gear that we are upgrading can take another three hundred degrees of temperature before potential failure of equipment. These hands-on experiences that we do are critical to us understanding what is needed and why. When one considers the temperatures that Firefighters work in quite often exceeds one thousand degrees, it brings a needed perspective to consider. When you add in the summer heat that we’ve recently seen it reinforces that we have some very committed people doing uncommon things. I also forgot to mention they are doing all of this with their heavy turnout gear and equipment on which is typically another eighty to one hundred pounds. My key takeaway is that our city is very fortunate to have human beings ready to sacrifice themselves for others and their property. As you see them out and about, I have no doubt a thank you, a handshake or even a fist bump will go a long way to showing our appreciation. I would be remiss if I did not point out they are looking to add to their paid-on-call positions if you feel that calling to serve.

My wishes for a very enjoyable and safe summer to each of you. And whether a resident or business, thank you for making the decision to call Walker home.

Gary Carey, Jr.
City of Walker
Upcoming Events:
July 1-31: Co-ed Youth Soccer Registrations (more details below)
July 11: Walker Parks & Rec Night @ 4:30 pm, Walker Community Park
July 11: Walker Standale Summer Concert Series ft. Great Scott @ 6:30 pm, Walker Community Park
July 15: Pizza with Police @ 4pm, Standale Pizza Hut, all residents welcome!
July 17: South Walker Community Open House @ 5pm, Fire Station #2 (Upper Level)
August 6: National Night Out @ 6pm, Feyen Zylstra (2396 Hillside)
August 8 : Summer Concert Series ft. Sounds Familiar @ 6:30 pm, Community Park
Save the Date:
Walker Parks & Rec Night
Join us on Thursday, July 11 for Walker Parks & Rec Night to celebrate National Parks & Recreation Month!

Where? Walker Community Park
(700 Cummings Ave)

When? 4:30 pm - 6 pm

What? Drop-in soccer and kickball (all ages and abilities), tennis and pickleball demonstrations, Basketball contest with Walker Fire and Police, crafts with KDL Walker Branch, hot dogs, tacos, sno cones, ice cream, giveaways, tshirts and more!

Cost? FREE
Walker Fire Department: Disposing of Ashes from Grills, Fire Pits and Fire Places
Many residents are spending time outdoors, enjoying the summer weather, and having barbecues. It’s very important that you take the time to allow the ashes from their grills – as well as any fireplaces or fire pits – to cool down completely before you properly dispose of them.

Hot ashes that are not correctly cooled and disposed are extremely significant fire hazards-- especially during the hot, dry weather conditions in the summertime. They are capable of starting fires when disposed of into a trash container. Improper disposal of ashes or hot coals from fireplaces, grills or mobile fireplaces designed for decks or patios has become a common cause of many recent fires.

Embers often concealed in what appears to be cold ashes, can remain hot enough to rekindle a fire for several days. We want residents to enjoy their fireplaces and grills but to always dispose of the ashes wisely.

Fire Department officials remind residents to:
  • Allow ashes and coals to cool in place for several days.
  • When it’s time to dispose of the ashes, transfer them to a metal container and wet them down. Only use an approved metal ash bucket that has a tight-fitting metal lid.
  • Store the metal container outside, away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles or other combustible materials
  • Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
  • Never dump ashes into a plastic container, cardboard box, bag, or anything or in any place where combustible fluids or fumes are present.
  • Don’t dump ashes outside on a windy day. The wind can whip up what may have seemed like cool embers, making them fiery hot and sending them traveling to ignite nearby combustibles.
  • Always have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.

This article was edited from an article written by a staff writer with the MYMC Media in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Walker Police Department: Department News
Follow Walker Police Department's Official Facebook Page to stay updated on summer events! Click on the green button below.

Pizza with Police
Monday, July 15
Standale Pizza Hut
4-6 PM

Join Walker PD for a time to connect. Stop in to chat about neighborhood issues or to ask questions. The event is informal, so come as you are! All residents are welcome!
Stay for a snack or dinner, as Standale Pizza Hut will be donating a portion of the day's sales to our Community Kickback Fund, which we use to assist needy families within the Walker community.

Walker's National Night Out
Tuesday, August 6
Feyen Zylstra (2396 Hillside Dr)
6-9 PM

Save the date! A FREE community event on the corner of Alpine and Hillside Dr. 11 years running! Bring the kids for a fun night out in the neighborhood. We'll have games, giveaways, food, a bouncy house, and a chance to meet your local police and fire department. No tickets necessary. See you there!
Clerk's Department Updates
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
Summer Facility Hours
Mon-Thurs: 5am to 10pm
Friday: 5am to 8pm
Sat & Sun: 7am to 5pm

*Starts May 24th - September 2nd.                                  
Summer Hydration & Exercise
At the start of each of her fitness classes, instructor Joan Otte gives the following reminder “Always drink 40oz of water, this can include what you drink immediately before, during and immediately after your workout. You need to make sure you take a drink before you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” 

Use the following 4 tips for summer hydration to help you keep up your summer energy levels.

Do some hydration prep work: drinking while working out is great, but you should have 160z of water at least an hour or two before you exercise, then 80z 10-15 mins before starting your workout.

Keep water close at hand and sip often: thirst is not the best indicator that you need to drink – if you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. 

Track your intake: if you know you have a 20oz bottle, it’s easy to make sure you are getting enough
Don’t forget that there are lots of sources of hydration: lots of fruits and veggies have high water composition. This counts towards your daily water requirements.
Don’t forget that WIFC has ice cold Aquafina available for $2 and reusable water bottles for just $8.99 + tax – great for your workout and the environment!
Adult Hockey
Throughout the month of July, the WIFC is hosting a number of adult hockey tournaments for all skill levels. 

Starting on July 12, we have a Gold Bracket (advanced) tournament and a 30 & over tournament. Bronze (beginner) and intermediate B tournaments start on July 19. The Walker Silver Cup (intermediate) begins on July 26. 

All adult hockey tournaments and leagues are organized by our adult hockey coordinator, Jon Perz. If you want to see some great local hockey, stop by to watch a game!
News and Events
Fall Co-ed Youth Soccer
  • Registrations July 1, 2019 – July 31, 2019
  • 4 yr. (NEW) group is $30 for Walker residents and $40 for non-residents
  • 5-6 yr. old age group is $30 for Walker residents and $40 for non-residents
  • 7-8 yr. old, 9-10 yr. old and 11-12-13 yr. old age groups is $40 for Walker residents and $50 for non-residents
  • There is a $5.00 discount for each additional family member registered
  • There will be a $10.00 LATE FEE charged for any registrations received after the February 28th deadline is the direct link to our ONLINE REGISTRATIONS
July is National Park & Recreation month!

As our Walker Parks & Rec Department celebrates this month, we are encouraging you to get outside and explore local parks and enjoy some outdoor activities!

Why get active outside?
  • To increase children’s chances of success in school: kids with access to safe parks and playgrounds are more likely to engage in physical activities- kids who are physically active do better in school.
  • To contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight: Local parks and recreation departments help promote physical activity.
  • To have a more positive outlook: Spending time outdoors reduces stress and improves mental health, it decreases stress hormones and calms aggression.
Throughout the Month of July, The City of Walker and Walker Parks & Recreation Department will be highlighting our City Parks and the numerous activities the parks program has to offer on our social media pages! Be sure to follow the City of Walker and Walker Ice & Fitness Center’s pages to stay connected.

NRPA encourages people that support parks and recreation to share why they think it’s important with the hashtag #GameOnJuly.

To learn more about Park and Recreation Month, visit and .  
Income Tax Department: News & Updates
Due Dates
Third quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2019 are due September 30, 2019. Forms are available on our website at:

Where’s my refund?
We are currently processing 2018 returns that were missing required information. If we did not receive the information upon request from the taxpayer, deductions and credits will be disallowed resulting in a lower refund or assessment. If you were expecting a refund, but have received a proposed assessment, please provide the missing information within 30 days.

If you are not sure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our website at:
You can also call us at 616-791-6880.
KDL Walker Branch: Library News
Summer Reading

Prizes can be picked up starting on Tuesday, July 2!

Summer reading started Monday, June 3 this year and runs through Saturday, Aug. 10.

Sign up online at  READsquared  or pick up a paper form at  your nearest KDL branch . Log your summer reading activity and earn prizes!
Prizes will be available for pickup starting Tuesday, July 2. (If you finish earlier than that, please wait until July 2 to claim your prize.)

Everyone who completes summer reading will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of 10 iPad minis. Youth and teens who complete the additional Super Reader challenge will get an additional chance to win an iPad mini. Adults who complete summer reading will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a prize basket.

The Adult prize for this year is a Summer Reading at KDL beach towel.

Sunday, August 11, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., at The Meadows at Millennium Park

Come celebrate with us with BANDS, BEER, BIKES, and BBQ! We’re having this party as a celebration of the 6,000+ programs that Kent District Library hosts each year across Kent County.

KDL has a tradition of going beyond books with programs ranging from early literacy development and technology tutoring to craft classes and craft brewery tap takeovers. SuperPartyWonderDay provides attendees a glimpse of information, ideas, and excitement that KDL offers, free of charge to all Kent County residents. Join us, as we step out of the library for a day of beer, bikes, barbeque, live bands, and the sweet smell of the outdoors.

For more information or to see photos from last year’s celebration party, visit
Reoccurring Regular Program s

Toddler Time
Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.
For children ages 3 and younger with an adult.
Mondays, 9:45 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. Starting June 17

Family Storytime
Read and sing together as a family. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills.
Thursdays 10:30 a.m.  Starting June 20

Baby Playgroup
Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening and language skills while you gather and play. We provide the space and a variety of sensory and play activities. Each playgroup also includes 15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs. For babies from birth to 18 months with a caregiver. Older siblings welcome!
Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. Starting June 20

Ruff Readers
Ruff Readers is a unique read-aloud program in partnership with West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc. that pairs kids with a trained therapy dog and their handler. Kids read their favorite book and the pooches curl up, listen and enjoy.  Arrive 15 minutes early to sign in and secure a time slot. First come, first served.  Sponsored by Bissell
Mondays, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Ongoing until July 15
Special Programs

Adult Book Discussion: Rise and Shine Benedict Stone
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Join us for a fun, informal book discussion. This month’s selection is Rise and Shine Benedict Stone , by Phaedra Patrick.

Teens: Paint a Mug
Tuesday, July 9, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pre-registration is required . When the waitlist is full, the registration buttons disappear because registration is closed. Teens! Bring your friends and artful hunger, and create Mosaic designs using candy, frosting, and graham crackers.

Audacious Hoops
Wednesday, July 10, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Watch a lively, interactive hula hoop show. There will be hula hoops available for everyone to give it a whirl.

Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Wednesday, July 10, 4:00 p.m. – 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.

Teens: Happy Henna
Tuesday, July 16, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pre-registration is required . When the waitlist is full, the registration buttons disappear because registration is closed. Teens! Professional henna artists from Happy Henna will bring homemade, organic, lavender infused henna paste that is sage for the skin for you to experience the intricate art of henna tattooing.

Cast on, Bind off: Knitting Basics
Tuesday, July 16, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Pre-registration is required . When the waitlist is full, the registration buttons disappear because registration is closed. Learn the basics of knitting including how to cast-on stitches, knit, purl, and how to bind off the project. Attendees will work on knitting a winter scarf. All supplies will be provided.

Touch a Truck
Wednesday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
A close up look at big trucks! There will be an assortment of awesome vehicles on hand to explore, plus the pros who operate them. Decorate your own hard hat.

Travel Tales: Israel or New Zealand
Wednesday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. – 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. Lite 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.

Wednesday, June 26, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Visit friendly farm animals with the Critter Barn of Zeeland. Enjoy many hands-on experiences! e branch.
How to Draw Your Dragon
Thursday, July 18, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Local artist, Corinne Roberts is back! Learn how to draw dragons and characters from How to
Train Your Dragon along with creating your own distinct dragon or creature. Parents or guardians are strongly encouraged to attend and assist their children.

KDaLe Book Club: Osgood Brewing
Thursday, July 18, 7:00 p.m. – 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.

Out of this World
Monday, July 22, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Children will build their own space station, towering rockets, and more, using colorful and fun SpeedStack® cups.

KDL Lab Experience: Let’s Make Slime
Tuesday, July 23, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pre-registration is required . When the waitlist is full, the registration buttons disappear because registration is closed. Learn how to make your own slime to take home!

A Universe of Stories & Music
Wednesday, July 24, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The Storytellers will share interactive stories, beautiful music, full audience participation, and hands-on fun with musical instruments from many parts of the world.

Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Wednesday, July 24, 4:00 p.m. – 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.

Teen: Bad Art!
Tuesday, July 30, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Leave your skills at home and come create something truly terrible! Present your best “worst” effort for a chance to win a prize. All supplies will be provided.

Tom Plunkard’s Amazing Adventures
Wednesday, July 31, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Family friendly hilarious magic show filled with live animals, audience participation, and amazing magic!

Sensory Gardens
Wednesday, August 7, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Learn how to create a delightful sensory experience in your own backyard!

Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Wednesday, August 14, 4:00 p.m. – 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.

Visit Events for a current schedule of programs at the branch
Friends of Walker Trails News
July is National Parks & Rec month! Did you know that West Michigan boasts over 800 miles of multi-use trails? So, what are you waiting for? Pick a trail and go!

Find one near you or your favorite campsite by visiting and click on ‘trail maps’ in the navigation bar. Snap a photo and share on our Facebook page @friendsofwalkertrails Need a little more incentive? Download the Charity Miles app and start tracking your steps, runs, and rides while donating to your favorite national charity. 
It’s a win-win!
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: August 13
"Finding & Retaining Quality Employees"
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.