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Dear Friends,

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in our community and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8028 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Michigan Spark Grant update

Earlier this year, Senate Bill 565 was signed into law. The bill, now Public Act 53 of 2022, provides $680 million for the creation of grant and loan programs to repair the most critical of Michigan’s dams and make major investments in the state’s public water systems and efforts to clean up and protect the environment.

The Michigan Spark Grant is a $65 million grant program to help local communities across the state that want to create, renovate or redevelop public outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors — especially those communities adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for the Michigan Spark Grant are now open until Dec. 19, with an informational webinar for prospective applicants on Oct. 28. Eligible applicants must be local units of government or public authorities legally designated to provide public recreation or regional or statewide organizations of such entities working together.

Individual grant amounts will range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1 million and will be distributed in three rounds:

• Round one: $15 million during the week of Jan. 30, 2023.
• Round two: $25 million in the spring of 2023.
• Round three: $25 million in the summer of 2023.

All projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. For more information, including program details and information about the Oct. 28 webinar, please visit the Michigan Spark Grant website.

Celebrating local church

I recently met again with Rev. Zachariah Char of the Sudanese Grace Episcopal Church and delivered him a printed copy of the celebratory legislative tribute I read to the congregation several weeks ago. It is a blessing to have their church physically in our community for over two years!

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November office hours

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

Next month, I will be holding district office hours on the following dates and locations:

• Friday, Nov. 4, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at New Beginnings, 4735 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids.
• Friday, Nov. 11, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford.
• Friday, Nov. 25, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hour may contact my office.

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Halloween safety

Halloween is a fun and exciting way for children to dress up, use their imaginations and receive some sweet treats in return. It all starts with being safe.

Here are a few tips for parents to help ensure everyone has a great time. Have children stick to familiar neighborhoods, stay in well-lit areas, use sidewalks when possible, and look both ways before crossing the street. It is vital that children can see and be seen while trick-or-treating, so have kids wear something reflective or bright and ensure they have a flashlight with fresh batteries. I also encourage parents to tell their kids not to eat any candy until it has been thoroughly inspected by an adult.

For these tips and more, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Halloween Safety page online or Happy Halloween!

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Election Day is Nov. 8

Tuesday, Nov. 8 is Election Day. You will be able to play an important role in establishing Michigan public policy. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

If you do not know where you’re supposed to go to vote, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center. Enter your first and last name, date of birth and residential ZIP code, and the website will give you the address and a map of your polling location. The site also allows voters to view a sample of their ballot.

If you have any questions, contact your city or township clerk or check out the information available at It even includes information on how to contact your local clerk.

Making pierogies before Pulaski Days

In case you didn’t see this in my last e-newsletter, earlier this month I visited Busia’s Catering at Eastern Avenue Hall to make pierogi in preparation for Pulaski Days. I had the privilege to learn a lot from Busia (Polish for grandma) about how to make the traditional dumpling.

Pulaski Days is held in honor of the American Revolutionary War hero and Polish immigrant Gen. Casimir Pulaski. It also is a celebration of Polish culture and Grand Rapids’ rich Polish heritage. Click here or on the image below to see a video of my visit.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and it’s important to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages. For more information, visit

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Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants

Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants supply up to $3,000 to organizations committed to aquatic invasive species prevention. Funds are provided through a partnership between the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and MSU Extension.

Grants are available for passionate organizations dedicated to aquatic invasive species education and the protection of Michigan’s waterways. Organizations such as lake associations, watershed groups, nonprofits and local and tribal units of government, are encouraged to apply.

Up to $25,000 is available for the 2023 grant program. Funding requests can range from $1,000 to $3,000 and do not require a local match or cost sharing.

The grant application period is now open. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16, 2022. Please visit Clean Boats, Clean Waters for more information or to apply.

2022 bear cooperator patch available; 2023 patch design contest opens

The 2022 bear management cooperator patch is a great way to commemorate the recent bear season.

Michigan’s bear cooperator patch program is a cooperative effort between the DNR and the Michigan Bear Hunters Association. Proceeds from patch sales will be used for education and outreach.

Patches can be purchased by adult hunters and patch collectors for $7. Hunters 17 years of age or younger who have a valid bear hunting license can receive a patch for free. For more information, or to order a patch online, visit the Bear Management Cooperator website.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 bear patch design contest. K-12 students from Michigan are eligible to enter. To learn more about the patch design contest, visit the Bear Management Cooperator Patch website. The contest entry deadline is Dec. 1.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security may sound scary or complicated, but it simply means taking steps to keep you and your family safe on the internet.

You can improve cyber security in your home by following a few simple guidelines:

• Think before you click.
• Keep the software on your devices up to date.
• Have good strong passwords or a password keeper.
• Enable multi-factor authentication, meaning you need more than just a password, on all your sensitive accounts.

Visit Protect MI Child or the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps for helpful information about how you can protect your family and workplace from online predators, scams and cyberattacks.

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8028 or emailing [email protected] .

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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