50 years is a long time to remember things. Memories are best preserved among family and friends, but 50 years ago in Muskegon County something happened that had never been attempted at the scale it was anywhere else in the world, and today...with a refreshed name reflecting what really happens at our innovative water treatment center, it's time to not only learn a little more about the significance of what was accomplished, but to stop and look at the marvel that can still hold up to about double what it's doing now for our community and our environment.
From their website - "A pilot project for USEPA, the Resource Recovery Center is so massive it has been viewed by orbiting NASA astronauts. The Plant uses a land treatment process encompassing 11,000 acres of aeration and settling basins, storage lagoons, and irrigated cropland." To make that easily readable and relatable. 50 years ago, all of the municipal agencies here in town were using their own water treatment plants. It was expensive, not as effective and we had pollution problems in our lakes and rivers that were the death null for pretty much anything living in or near the water. It wasn't just Muskegon who faced, this problem either, it was happening in other places enough that rivers actually caught fire.
Muskegon however did have the space, intelligence and drive to bring everyone to the table and take off on a project on a scale never seen before. A facility was built that uses the earth itself to filter out the bad, and return incredibly clean water back into the lakes, rivers and streams here. Along the way, they also have 5000 acres of rotated crops that make use of the cleaned water and produce food on a large scale. With all of that space as well, the area is used for different groups that need some space. From horses to rocket clubs, 11,000 acres gives plenty of space for anything. It's a remarkably comfortable setting for fans of wildlife and if you'd like a clear view of the stars, there just happens to be an observatory on the premises.
To celebrate 50 years, the Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center invites you out to an open house! September 30th from 10a-2p. Head out Maple Island to 698 N. Maple Island and enjoy a wide variety of things for the family. There will be all kinds of food there to enjoy. Ambassador animals will visit from the John Ball Zoo and other conservation clubs. There will be aviary displays, radio controlled car clubs, radio controlled airplanes, astronomy and more! You can even take a trolley ride around the facility or Fit Girl Cari from Eco Trek Fitness could take you on a hike!
We had a great visit with Doug Noyes and Steve Barnard as we went out today to get the 4-1-1 on the facility and the upcoming event, and your presence is requested to get an up close look at where all that "waste water" goes and how we led the world in the ecologically friendly approach to purification 50 years ago....and into the next 50 years.
To help with the count for food and drink, they are asking that you kindly reply to their Facebook event. CLICK HERE to find the event.