Events

By Ingrid Sjostrand

DECIDING TO BEGIN A CAREER AS AN ARTIST CAN BE A DAUNTING TASK and it can be even harder to know where to start, especially as a young person or someone not afforded the opportunities of arts programs in school.

Knowing things like how to get your work into art fairs and exhibits and how to make money off your art are essential to success in the art world, which is why Vickie Elmer and her three co-founders created the Mint Artists Guild, a 501c3 nonprofit group dedicated to helping metro Detroit young artists succeed.

Established in early 2015, Mint has two main programs aimed at artists ages 14 to 21. The first, “Learn and Earn,” is a mentorship program for students already making art, who receive coaching from Mint and the opportunity to participate in two or more art shows including Ferndale’s Funky Art Fair. There is no cost to students to apply or participate in the program.

“It’s for youth that are pretty self-directed and want to create a body of work,” Elmer says. “They make their work at home and in school and we provide workshops, some mentoring and coaching and give an opportunity to sell their work.”

The second initiative Mint runs is the “Summer Arts Program” where students are paid to work approximately 20 hours a week at Mint’s Palmer Park studio creating art to be sold to clients, donated to nonprofits and used at art fairs. The main medium for the Summer Arts Program is painting and all artists create a self-portrait as one of their first projects. They have expanded into mosaics and linoleum cut prints and hope to grow their mediums more in the future.

Both programs require the young artists to apply and provide a portfolio of their work. The Summer Arts Program also requires an interview.

“We treat it like they are young professionals and if you’re a young professional artist you have to submit your work, you have to put in a statement about yourself – tell people why you would be good to be a part of it,” Elmer says.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROJECTS THE SUMMER ARTS PROGRAM WORKS ON is the Paint Detroit Generosity Initiative, where the youth choose a nonprofit, create a concept and image based on its mission and donate the art to the nonprofit. There will be an exhibit displaying this year’s works at the Boll Family YMCA through the end of October.

“Part of my vision is to help the young artists launch their careers, but we want to be doing cool and generous things in the community too,” Elmer says. “It’s about finding how you put the two together.”

Some ways that Mint is working to do this is through building public art installations, adding corporate clients and hosting more events. On November 3rd, they will host the Mint Masterpieces Gala at the home of art collectors Linda and David Whitaker. Tickets start at $100 and pieces will be sold and auctioned from a variety of well-respected national and local artists, as well as a few pieces from Mint artists and alumni. Proceeds will help provide supplies and funding for Mint Artists Guild.

In the three years since its founding, Mint has seen a lot of success from its artists and alumni. They’ve mentored 525 young artists, donated over 30 pieces to Paint Detroit with Generosity nonprofits, and their artists have raised over $7000 from their work.

ONE MAJOR SUCCESS STORY is jewelry artist Trinity Brown, who joined the Learn and Earn program two years ago at age 13. She has now created the Curved Teen Art Show – an all-day exhibit featuring the work of 25 young artists –and is on the board of directors for Mint.

“She is super entrepreneurial – like, I can’t believe how entrepreneurial,” Elmer says.

“This is a girl who’s not even 16 yet, can’t even drive yet, and meanwhile she still makes her jewelry and has put on her own art show.”

Other smaller successes include watching a student’s confidence grow through exploring art and seeing artists finding their true passion.

“I love the idea that in ten years we are going to have so many more success stories and so many more self-portraits,” Elmer says.

The Mint Artists Guild functions mainly through the help of volunteers. Currently they have 45 volunteers who help at workshops, art openings, and art fairs. Those interested can apply through volunteermatch.org.

By Ingrid Sjostrand

IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR CITIES TO HAVE A FARMERS MARKET. EVEN SOME OF THE SMALLEST NEIGHBOR-HOODS MEET REGULARLY to exchange homegrown goods and handmade crafts. As of 2016, Hazel Park is no exception, thanks to Jennifer Jackson and a small team of Hazel Park residents.

The Hazel Park Growers & Makers Market began their third season on Sunday, July 8th and will run every Sunday through October 14th. Jackson started the market, along with a governing board, when they noticed a lack of affordable, healthy foods for residents.

“Myself and other volunteers started the market to bring a family-friendly weekly event to our community,” Jackson says. “We live here, and Hazel Park needs family-friendly places where we can gather and purchase locally-grown and made food.”

Jackson and Leigh McLaughlin (another member of the market board) attended training through the Michigan Farmers Markets Association – thanks to assistance from the City of Hazel Park – to learn more about proper practices and how to run a successful farmers market.

The Growers and Makers Market has anywhere from six to ten vendors on a given weekend, and it has grown to be about more than just food. These merchants vary from artistic endeavors to fresh produce.

“We have two farmers, Jentzen Farms and Mulberry Hill Farm and Garden. Detroit Kombucha Company serves fresh Kombucha by the cup or growler, and Sinfully Sweet offers cake pops and various confections. And Pink Robin Bake Shop has cookies and other baked goods,” Jackson says. “A variety of crafts, jewelry, signs, yard games, pottery, home decor, purses, and children’s clothing, have all been at the market throughout the season. We are looking to add coffee and personal care products as well.”

THERE ARE ALSO KID-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES at the Growers and Makers Market, thanks to the Hazel Park Arts Council. The organization hosts their Art in the Park program during the market to teach creative arts to kids.

“Art in the Park is a free event hosted during the Growers and Makers Market where kids can engage in arts and crafts,” Amy Aubry, Treasurer of the Arts Council, says. “We use items that are easy to find around the home or in nature to show just how easy and accessible art is for the family.”

Another important element of the Growers and Makers Market is that all residents are able to reap its benefits regardless of income, which is why they participate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance programs.

“Our market is a SNAP-approved market, and we are able to accept Bridge Cards at the market manager booth,” Jackson says. “We are also participants in the Double Up Food Bucks Program, where Bridge Card holders may double their produce purchasing power up to $20.”

ESSENTIALLY, THE GROWERS AND MAKERS MARKET is about bringing residents together and building up the City of Hazel Park and its residents.

“Hazel Park is our home. We are tightly-knit, and always jumping in to help one another,” Jackson says. “We want to see Hazel Park grow and be-come a destination for people to visit, and a farmers market is a small piece of joy that invites our families to gather, and surrounding communities to visit.”

By Ingrid Sjostrand

ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS ARE OFTEN portrayed in movies and cartoons as a bad guy in a van chasing pets with their net. That stereotype is fading, and Hazel Park’s Animal Control Officer Justin Holland proves he is the furthest thing from an evil dog snatcher.

“Our primary goal is get every animal home. But a more realistic goal is for everyone to have their animals properly vaccinated and licensed,” Holland says. “We just want to get animals back home where they belong.”

Holland is the only full-time employee of Animal Control and is assisted by a small group of volunteers – currently only about eight, but they are always in need of more. The shelter holds a maximum eight dogs and 16 cats at one time, so volunteers are needed 365 days a year to feed and walk animals, clean cages and other duties. They are required to staff the office, located at 24211 Couzens Ave, between the hours of 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

“Becoming a volunteer is easy. You drop off an application, which is available online at our web site or on Facebook, we conduct a light back-ground check and, once approved, you begin training and can start to volunteer,” Holland says. “The total turnaround time is about two weeks.”

Their goals might seem lofty when you consider the small staff at Animal Control, but they are making an impact in some surprising ways – like through social media. After reuniting a senior dog and its owner, the resulting Facebook post went viral, and led to a surge in social media followers and an increase in responses to posts about missing pets.

“Our moment was serendipitous; we posted a photo of their reunion on Facebook and – previously we would get close to 1,000 views on posts and photos – all of a sudden this re-homing post got 98,000 views. Then, our run-of-the-mill posts started getting 8,000 views, and now that’s our average,” Holland says. “That reunification is one of my favorite stories. Since then, social media has become a very powerful tool for re-homing, and it also works as a pre-screening tool for adoptees.”

IN THIS YEAR ALONE, HAZEL PARK ANIMAL CONTROL has saved close to 100 percent of animals it finds; placed nearly 40 percent of found animals in new homes and reunited closer to 50 percent of pets to their owners.

Hazel Park Animal Control participates in adoption events throughout the year to increase those numbers, including the Detroit Zoo’s adoption event Meet Your Best Friend at the Detroit Zoo. They also host a low-cost vaccination event in the Spring and Fall with Warren-based All About Animals Rescue to encourage owners to vaccinate their pets for only about $30.

Holland says the success of the shelter is in large part due to the City’s prioritizing of Animal Control in their budget and using their resources to help the Department. Recently, Hazel Park helped obtain a 2017 Ford Transit van for Animal Control’s use. The department also wouldn’t accomplish what it does without the people that live in Hazel Park and their love for animals.

“My favorite thing about Hazel Park is the residents’ willingness to help, and the close community feeling we have in this city,” Holland says.

By Ingrid Sjostrand

NINE MILE AND WOODWARD MIGHT BE THE HOTSPOT IN THE FERNDALE AREA FOR SHOPPING, DINING AND SOCIALIZING, but there are other neighborhoods popping up and competing for attention. One is the newly developing Iron Ridge District, running along Bermuda Street between 10 Mile and 9 Mile Roads in Pleasant Ridge and the northeast corner of Ferndale.

At first glance, most of the space still resembles the industrial sector of its past. But it is quickly filling with tenants, and development company Iron Ridge Holdings LLC has plans to turn it into a more welcoming, community-centric space. Brooke Gieber, Iron Ridge Holdings Team Member, explains the goals for the area.

“We really are in the business of building community. It will truly be a mixed-use development, with plans for additional retail space, hospitality and residential,” she says. “Still staying true to the industrial and manufacturing heritage of the community, but also bringing some modern amenities and neighborhood services.”

Current businesses include Farm Field Table, a locally-sourced butcher, Provisions cheese shop and Urbanrest Brewery, all located off Woodward Heights and gaining popularity and acclaim among Ferndale and regional residents. Matt Romine, founder of Farm Field Table, says choosing the Iron Ridge District for his business made sense in a variety of ways.

“First of all, Iron Ridge is a great location logistically. Second, the lease rates were great which made the decision easy for a brand-new company,” Romine says. “Thirdly, and most importantly, the attitude and vision of the other tenants of Iron Ridge was very attractive for us. It’s a place for builders and entrepreneurs to operate independently, but as a tight knit group…there are several trusted professionals who are eager to help.”

At the other end of Bermuda near 10 Mile Rd and I-696, the district crosses into Pleasant Ridge. This area is referred to as the Iron Ridge Marketplace. The main marketplace “tower” has some history; originally built as Voigt/Oakman brewery in the late 1930s, it acted as the E-Prize headquarters in the early-mid 2000s before the vacant space was purchased by Iron Ridge Holdings.

Businesses in the Marketplace include the Iron Ridge Holdings offices, Urban Ridge Realty, web development company Loudbaby, furniture designer Alex Drew & No One, 3D engineering services Fisher Unitech, business incubator Excelerate America, advertising agency Driven Creative Supply Co. and newly-opened gym Pulse Fitness.

Alex Rosenhaus, co-owner of Alex Drew & No One, has seen a benefit of the district’s efforts to build relationships among businesses.

“Iron Ridge is building an excellent community for small businesses. Having relationships with fellow tenants like Provisions has even brought us work, like the cheese boards we make for their store,” he says. “We are excited to be a part of the Iron Ridge community as it continues to grow.”

AS THE SPACE IS RENOVATED, more tenants will move in, and plans for a beer garden, brewery and even residential space are in the works for the future.

“It’s a unique situation with adaptive reuse, as we have tenants moving in all the time and there are different types of activation happening concurrently with pop-up community events,” Gieber says.

While there won’t be a hard completion date, many tenants have found unique ways to keep interest piqued during construction. Prior to opening on June 23rd, Pulse Fitness held open house and workout events at Iron Ridge, and Drifter Coffee hosted pop ups and festivals throughout the spring and summer on the property as they wait for their permanent space to be constructed. Iron Ridge Holdings has held several of their own events too.

“We have a lot of things in the works that are really exciting in terms of community programming and how we want to help,” Gieber says. “We aren’t just real estate developers, we are place-makers and are able to help with adaptive reuse of space and find ways that actually enhance what’s already going on in these amazing communities.”

Some of these community programs included a tree lighting during the holiday season, Taco Tuesdays and Food Truck Fridays. Plans are also in the works for cinematic and live music events in the next few months. Current and future tenants all agree these events have helped their businesses.

“Food Truck Fridays brings a lot of foot traffic to our studio, and is an exciting event Iron Ridge has been organizing to bring more people to the area,” Rosenhaus says.

Cathy Koch of K-Tec Systems adds, “This is a unique area where businesses collaborate to help with each other’s success. The Iron Ridge area truly promotes a livable, walkable, working neighborhood.”

Gieber says many more things are in the works for the district and the best place to follow Iron Ridge developments are through Facebook and Instagram – @ironridgemarketplace.

“As a resident of Ferndale, I’m excited to see different portions of the city highlighted and gaining neighborhood services that make it a more walk-able area,” Gieber says. “As things get more activated and new tenants host their grand openings, we are excited to see how this space will play out –not only having these amenities for our building tenants but for the surrounding community too.”

FERNDALE IS NOT YOUR CONVENTIONAL MIDWEST TOWN, and that is reflected in the unusual shops, eclectic restaurants and even its festivals.

For 15 years, The Funky Ferndale Art Fair has been bringing unexpected and edgy fine art to the city. A few years later, the DIY Street Fair began, adding music, beer and a selection of less traditional art mediums. Both shows return this year on September 21-23.

Presenting two fairs at the same time creates an opportunity for shoppers to see a greater variety of art. Those attending one fair may discover that there are also things that they love on the other side of Woodward. Each fair is separate, with different planning and visions, so they stay surprising.

In addition to over one hundred artists or vendor booths in each show, both offer hands on opportunities to explore the arts. Traditionally, DIY has had family-friendly projects adjacent to the library. Funky has introduced some unusual projects over the years, from the world’s longest comic strip to toilet-paper-mache. This year, participants will be able to work on the community mural, create take home art projects, visit selfie stations, have their caricature painted and more.

Both shows have their own distinctive personality. DIY has a strong focus on music, beer and food trucks. It celebrates the concept that peo-ple with a “Do It Yourself” outlook bring a passion to everything they do. Funky Ferndale is dedicated to juried artists from across the country. Many are represented in major museums and galleries. A difference between Funky Ferndale and other major art fairs is that the jurors look for artists that have an edgier touch. You may find some of them in other fairs, but to see over 100 in one place you must go to Funky Ferndale.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair has turned into a very competitive show, with over 300 applicants each year for about 120 spaces. The committee works to include both established favorites and great new artists. This year, more than 25 artists are coming for the first time. This includes established artists from as far away as California and some that work out of their Ferndale garages. A list of artists, with sample images of their work, is available on the FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com web site.

DIY has a wide selection of offerings, including items such as soaps, candles and t shirts. All show creativity and a dedication to quality. Their web site (www.Ferndalediy.com) includes lists and photos of what to expect on the East side of Woodward and Nine.

If you’re looking for a great time and some quality one-of-a-kind items, there’s no place better to go than art weekend in Ferndale featuring both the Funky Ferndale Art Fair and the DIY Street Fair.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair – Friday 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Nine Mile west of Wood-ward.

DIY Street Fair – Friday 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM until Midnight and Sunday 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Nine Mile and adjacent areas east of Woodward.

Parking – Ferndale’s many parking lots will be open. Street parking is permitted in many areas. The Credit Union One parking structure will also be available for a small donation for Fern Care.

FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com 

Ferndalediy.com

SENDS MUSICAL MESSAGES OF HOPE & CATHARSIS

Story by Jeff Milo
Interview with singer/songwriter Maggie Cocco

SINGER/SONGWRITER MAGGIE COCCO RECORDS AND PERFORMS UNDER THE MONIKER “SCIENCE FOR SOCIOPATHS,” and she realizes that hearing that phrase “…might scare some people.” But it’s an integral part of her story and she wants anyone out there listening who has a similar story to not feel alone.

“I used to be afraid to tell this story,” Cocco said. “It’s not that I’m saying: ‘Hey, pay attention to me.’ It’s that it’s so powerful to meet somebody else who’s been through something traumatic. That’s how my producer (Benjamin Warsaw) and I first connected, because he had a similar story and said that he just wanted to be a part in creating music that speaks to this experience.”

Cocco is already a professional, even at 27. She’s been playing music from a very young age, and has been a lifelong writer (first poetry, then songs). She was raised in Sterling Heights, listening to classic rock, Motown and some of the heavier alternative groups of the ‘90s. She played the viola between sharpening her lyrical sensibilities with poems, but went to study classical music at Oakland University. She started making an impression around the local music scene by the age of 22, but says she really came in to her own only recently, and blossomed, with Science for Sociopaths.

Cocco said her father, also a musician, exhibited ostensible sociopathic behavior as her manager when he instituted a ‘pop-star-or-bust’ level of expected perfection. Circumstances were exacerbated enough to where Cocco struck out on her own, three years ago, and has since developed her own solo career—writing a blend of blues, Americana-rock and jazzy folk ballads that are radiant but raw, presenting beautifully melodic odes of unvarnished truths that tap into experiences that could be specific to her yet nevertheless create an empathic and relatable response from a listener.

“I’m not over-assessing my writing, like before, wondering whether it’s commercial enough or not,” said Cocco. “I used to feel really isolated, like no one has gone through this particular life experience. All the stuff I’ve gone through might not be universally relatable, but it is to some people on a deeply personal level. It’s not going to be fun-time dance music, but it’s relatable and I see a lot of value in that. That’s the music I’m drawn to, anyway.”

Cocco is newly inspired. She’s constantly working on material; she released two EPs earlier this summer and already has a full set of songs for another album after that. What’s changed, said Cocco, is that she’s receiving positive encouragement. The musicians she’s working with now, along with Warsaw, “respect me as a songwriter and I’m feeling very encouraged. After my Dad, there was a period where I didn’t trust anybody… But I’ve realized there’s a ton of really great people out there who are just passionate (about this music) and offer to help, and that just makes me want to try my best, because I want to be worth it.”

The intention, above all, is catharsis. Writing and performing her music and sending these lyrical messages is one unique way in which Cocco can make a difference. She’s been able to impact the lives of others through other outlets,like teaching and volunteer work, but she can’t ignore the potential that her music has to reach people; people who might be in dire need of receiving a message of hope.

And even though the name of the project might put some on edge, Cocco knows that it will nevertheless draw an audience. She said she was done trying to be a pop star and appeal to everyone. Now, she’s writing down, recording and releasing whatever comes to her and putting it out there so that it can be found, so that it can speak to someone, rather than fixating on reaching everyone.

Cocco set up a Patreon to create an online community for fans of Science for Sociopaths, including exclusive access to her new releases. Her output continues to accelerate—she’s been delivering a new song each week to Patreon supporters online (which could be a new single, a new cover, responding to a special request, or just jamming with other artists).

Science for Sociopaths performs August 17 at PJs Lager House. After, she’ll be leaving for a patron-sponsored week-long tour in Ireland (Sept 3-10).

HELP STILL WANTED: Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners. Do you have three hours a month to volunteer in the fabulous FernCare Free Clinic? The commitment is three hours a month. You can be retired but need to have kept your practicing license current.

Upcoming clinic sessions: 
Sat. mornings, 9:00 AM to Noon: Sept. 8 / Sept. 22 / Oct. 6 / Oct. 20;
Thurs. evenings, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Aug. 13 / Aug. 27 / Oct. 11 / Oct. 25.

If you have any questions, call Ann Heler at 248-677-2273, ext. 23 or e-mail our Head Nurse, Diane Dengate at dengate436@aol.com or go to our web site, www.ferncare.org, and pull down the volunteers tab, complete the application and send it to Diane.

LIFT A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE! We are celebrating our eighth year as a medical clinic on Aug.7! Yes, we opened our first clinic at the Kulick Community Center on Aug. 7. If you remember, this was a set up/tear down clinic open two Saturday mornings a month. There was a crew that set up the clinic, tore it down after and then stored the equipment and medications at their homes until the next clinic. Linda and Doug Baker, John and Lyle Ulinski, Jeanne Cavanaugh and then Christine Rainey, Joanne and Dick Willcock and Ann Heler, for 13 months until we moved into 459 E. Nine Mile. So many thanks to that intrepid crew. Now you know I did not and do not forget the clinic medical volunteers but this group created the space that allowed the clinic to be a clinic.

FernCare is still scheduling new patient appointments a month out. 248-677-2273. If you cannot wait that long, there are two free clinics with available appointments much sooner than that:
(1) Bernstein Community Health Clinic, 45580 Woodward Ave. Pontiac, MI 48341, 248-309-3752
(2) HUDA Clinic, 13420 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI 48213, 313-444-5490.

If you need more resources, please call the clinic and ask for Carolyn Barr. She has the lists of all the free clinics and the services they offer in the area.

By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

THERE’S ALWAYS SO MUCH GOING ON AT THE LIBRARY! We regularly update our web site (ferndalepubliclibrary.org), but you can also get more updates if you follow us on social media (Facebook/Instagram). Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of some late-summer events:

For children (age 8-12), we have our monthly S.T.E.A.M. program (for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). They’ll meet on Tuesday, August 21 to take “The Skyscraper Challenge!” Materials will be provided for STEAM participants to build a model skyscraper. The goal is to find a way to create the tallest free-standing model (skyscraper), while instilling the principles of math, geometry and teamwork. Registration is required.

We’ll host a presentation about the Ferndale Rat Patrol on Wednesday, August 22, discussing their methods designed to avoid any harm to the overall health of the environment, i.e. minimizing, if not eliminating, the use of rat poisons.

Then, on Thursday, August 23, we’ll be hosting another Uprooted: Music & Movement program. This is our weekly story time event for toddlers and parents to engage with stories through song, rhythm and melody. It starts at 10:30 AM, and no registration is required. We had quite a turnout in July when we partnered with Ferndale Parks & Recreation to host this event out-doors, in Martin Road Park. It’s one of our most popular programs and always a fun and stimulating time for toddlers to let loose and interact with each other.

On Friday, August 24, we have something for our teenage patrons. The school year will start up again in no time, so we encourage parents of teens to let them know about our drop-in recreational program, where we provide pizza, a big screen TV, Playstation 4 video games and our new VR headset. It’s an excellent way for teens to blow off some steam in a cool, welcoming and safe environment.

Later, on Saturday, September 8, we have the monthly Ferndale Game Day. Every second Saturday, at 1:00 PM, we host a drop-in marathon of strategy board games, with all ages and all experience levels welcome. Learn new games and play old favorites!

We also have two more Adulting 101 programs. Librarians Darlene Hellenberg and Michelle Williams coordinate fun classes for adults of all ages to up their game when it comes to getting things done. Adults can register in advance for September 12’s Adulting program: “Be Our Guest: Dinner Party Pro Tips.”

COMING UP: We have a new exhibition of dazzling, poly-chromatic illustrations by local artist Mara Magyarosi-Laytner. Also, our First Stop Friday local music showcase returns on October 12. And we anticipate another busy year of partnering and outreach programming with Ferndale Schools. If you’d like to get involved and support library programs and collection development, visit the Friends of the Ferndale Library online at: ferndalefriends.org/

By Sarah Teller

THE CITY OF FERNDALE WILL SOON BE THE PROUD HOME OF A NEW SKATEPARK, courtesy of a
$250,000 grant received from the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Ferndale was one of six of this summer’s chosen recipients, and the skatepark will be the first of its kind in the community. The Built to Play Skatepark Program, a result of a partnership between the Tony Hawk Foundation (THF) and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation (RCW), launched in the Spring with a goal of providing free community spots particularly centered around area youth. RCW serves the Western New York and Southeast Michigan regions.

“We found out there was a grant available only a couple of weeks before the deadline,” said resident Brad Dahlhofer, co-owner of B. Nektar Meadery.

“The Ferndale Parks & Recreation Department and I worked on drafting the application, and got it submit-ted just in time. I’m not sure exactly how they decided who would be selected, but I’m very excited and honored that Ferndale was chosen.” He added of the proposed location, “The park will be at Wilson Park, on the site of the former street hockey rink.”

The skate park will be a space for skaters of all ages and skill levels to enjoy. “We are already discussing summer skatepark lessons and camps for the kids,” Dahlhofer said. “It is so important to give kids a space to skate other than the streets, parking lots, and sidewalks. It’s much safer because they don’t risk getting hit by cars, or potentially harming pedestrians while they skate. While we don’t have an official timeline, our goal is to have the project awarded in time to break ground in the Spring.”

OTHER MICHIGAN COMMUNITIES SELECTED for $250,000 grants included Detroit, Port Huron, Ypsilanti, and Port Huron. Ferndale’s leadership team, specifically, was instrumental in bringing the park to residents.

“This would never have been possible without the support of the City. The City Council, Department of Public Works, and the Parks & Recreation Department have been fantastic to work with,” Dahlhofer said. “The City and community came out in full force when the Hawk Foundation had their Skatepark Summit last month. We have also had a ton of support from Ferndale’s local skateboard shop, Detroit City Skateboards.”

There is a community design meeting scheduled for 7:00 PM on August 29th at B. Nektar Meadery, 1511 Jarvis, Ferndale. “There, we will discuss what kind of skating elements the community would like to have at our new park,” said Dahlhofer. “These suggestions will be shared with the potential park designers and builders who will then bid on the project.” Those who cannot attend are encouraged to join the Friends of Ferndale MI Skatepark group on Facebook to offer any suggestions. For more information, Ferndale Parks & Recreation can be reached at 248-546-6767.

By Sara Teller

B. NEKTAR MEADERY WAS FOUNDED IN 2006 BY BRAD AND KERRI DAHLHOFER, with the help of good friend Paul Zimmerman, in the Dahlhofers’ basement. Not long after its inception, the crew’s brews began winning awards at homebrewing competitions, so they decided to take their endeavor to the next level and set up shop in downtown Ferndale. The B. Nektar Meadery that’s become a favorite hot spot for Ferndalians opened its doors on National Mead Day, August 2, 2008.

“Being in Ferndale was an easy choice. Brad and Kerri live in Ferndale and it just made sense,” said Sales and Market-ing Director and Taproom General Manager, Miranda Johnson. “The community was more than helpful, and it continues to be an amazing city to have our headquarters.” She added, “I believe the diversity is what makes Ferndale amazing. It’s always growing but never losing its true vibe. The community is one of the best.”

Now, B. Nektar proudly celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, August 2nd. “We had our 10th birthday party with friends and fans, cake, balloons and all. There were three bottle releases – Sanchez, Cyser Of the Lambs, and Cinnamon Raisin Cyser,” Johnson said.

Asked where the team gets their creative inspiration, she replied, “The creative for the products comes from all angles. Brad is the visionary of what he would like to see a product taste like and is always pushing the envelope with flavors and ideas. Kerri is the creative behind the label concepts, and alongside both of them is the team that brings it all to life.”

The Dahlhofers, with the help of the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, are also responsible for organizing the recent FerndalePalooza. They wanted to put on a world-class beer festival in Ferndale with a goal of raising money for local non-profits and charities. Other area organizations that pitched in include the Detroit Roller Derby, Ferndale Literacy Project, Blessing In A Backpack, and Fermenta – Michigan Women’s Craft Collective.

“For most of the breweries and meaderies, this was their first time participating in a Michigan festival,” Johnson said. “To make things really special, Brad and Kerri asked them to bring their best, most rare, one-off products that aren’t usually available in bars or stores. So, many of these beverages had never been available before in Michigan.”

As for the future, there’s no sign of slowing down, “Keep a look out for new events in our taproom, more charity work from Brad and Kerri, and more bottle re-leases,” said Johnson. “We are finishing up a production move. Our main facility on Wordsworth will be moving into the Jarvis location in the coming weeks, and who knows what else – the geeky, weird, quirkiness is hard to stop at B. Nektar.”