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My Town: Rockford to host largest race of its kind in the nation

My Town: Rockford to host largest race of its kind in the nation

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Keep your New Year’s resolution intact by participating in the largest winter adventure race in the nation, taking place right here in Rockford.

The Michigan Adventure Race: Winter Edition will take place Feb. 7 at Camp Roger.  Last year, 300 people took part in the race, making it the largest event of its kind in the U.S.

“West Michigan has a culture for challenging outdoor sports like adventure racing and trail running that does not exist in many other areas in the nation. These races draw more people than Chicago, Indianapolis and other larger cities do to similar events,” says Mark VanTongeren, race director. “We always get a great turnout because of this. Racers are also looking forward to a new venue, Camp Roger, which gives us beautiful terrain and a warm place to hang, get a free massage and eat pizza after the race.”

My Town: West Michigan Archery Center grand opening celebration Aug. 16

My Town: West Michigan Archery Center grand opening celebration Aug. 16

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Community members are invited to check out the newest sporting attraction now open in Kent County.

Phase I construction of the West Michigan Archery Center recently wrapped up.  The site includes a 10,000 square foot facility, parking lot, rain gardens and practice range.  Archers can also test their skills on a world-class 3-D range.

WMAC will host a grand opening celebration and community open house Saturday, Aug. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome to try out shooting and meet the facility's coaches during the event. WMAC is located at 3500 10 Mile Road and shares a driveway with the Art Van Sportsplex.

My Town: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

My Town: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Organizers of the inaugural Rogue River Expedition are calling the event a success.

More than 50 people participated in the three-day paddling and land tour of the river and its watershed.  The idea for the expedition originated from the 2010 Grand River Expedition, which involved hundreds of boaters who explored more than 250 miles of water over 12 days.  Because the Grand River Expedition is held only once a decade, its organizers decided to hold similar events on the Grand River’s larger tributaries.

The Rogue River Expedition kicked off in June with a land tour at Howard Christensen Nature Center and the Fruit Ridge Area, which is considered one of the best fruit-growing regions in the world.  The exploration also included trips to Rogers Park in Sparta, Nash Creek and Camp Rockford.

My Town: Date set for Art Van Sports Complex grand opening

My Town: Date set for Art Van Sports Complex grand opening

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  A $7.8 million project nearly two years in the making will open to the public next week.

The grand opening for the Art Van Sports Complex is scheduled for Aug. 1.  The 60-acre complex is located at 3300 10 Mile Road in Plainfield Township.  Crews broke ground on the project in October of 2012; so far they’ve finished the first phase of work, which included eight diamonds for baseball and softball and a Miracle Field for players with disabilities.  Four additional fields are planned for phase two of construction.

The President of the West Michigan Sports Commission expects the facility to create an economic impact of more than $10 million during its first five years of operation. The Art Van Complex manager says ball diamonds are already booked for tournaments during 23 of the 27 weekends on the 2015 schedule.

My Town Plainfield: Park logo creator honored

My Town Plainfield: Park logo creator honored

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The woman whose artwork will grace the signs at Plainfield Township’s newest park has made a career out of graphic design.

Katie Karnes is a graphic artist for Mlive Media Group.  Monday night, the township honored her for coming up with the winning name and logo for Premier Park.  Karnes received a $500 prize.

The public naming contest generated more than 90 entries and more than 50 logo ideas.  Last month, the board unanimously voted to adopt Karnes’ logo design, which incorporated the township seal.   The township plans to translate her entries into park signs that could be posted as early as the end of the year.