• To SEEDS Ecology & Education Centers, which this week received a $75,000 state grant through the Renew Michigan program to study organic materials recycling — aka composting — in an effort to optimize systems for the 10-county region.

The state grant dollars will be used together with a similar $75,000 grant from Rotary Charities to fund a collaborative feasibility study.

SEEDS Executive Director Sarna Salzman said the goal is to find ways to encourage more people to pull materials that can be composted from their waste stream that goes to landfills. Instead, sending those items into an organics recycling system could “turn it back into soil,” she said.

  • To Diana and Richard Milock. A $3 million donation places the Milocks in Northwestern Michigan College Foundation history.

The gift from the Traverse City couple to the college’s audio tech program, Great Lakes Culinary Institute and Dennos Museum Center is the largest living donation in its history, according to an NMC press statement Wednesday.

Funds will establish endowments for the Dennos Museum Center ($1.5 million) and student scholarships at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute ($1 million), and update audio and technology equipment at the museum/Milliken Auditorium, plus support the audio tech program ($500,000) as part of the college’s Be What’s Possible fundraising campaign.

  • To those who recently helped with one of the most audacious cleanup projects in the city’s history.

The target was a series of homeless encampments near and below the Goodwill Inn on Keystone Road. When the work detail was over, volunteers had bagged and filled an American Waste truck with a staggering 6 tons of garbage that had been accumulating for years on the property, part of which is owned by the city and part of which belongs to Garfield Township.

Afterward, the organizer of the cleanup, retired dentist Norm Fred, the indefatigable 81-year-old founder of the nonprofit Boardman River Clean Sweep, was ecstatic.

“I’ve done a lot of cleanups, but this was the biggest one-day cleanup we’ve ever done, by far, in terms of the amount of trash,” he said. “Cleaning that up was a triumph.”

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