West Michigan


West Michigan

West Michigan, also known as Western Michigan, is a region in the U.S. state of Michigan in its Lower Peninsula.

Definition

Definitions of the boundaries of the region vary widely; in many contexts, the term "West Michigan" is applied only to the counties of Allegan, Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa, which comprise the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland SMSA. Other definitions include the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph and Kalamazoo-Battle Creek regions, which are often considered distinct regions or parts of other regions such as Michiana or Southwestern Michigan [ [http://www.swmpc.org/ Southwest Michigan Planning Commission] ] [ [http://www.swmichigan.org/ Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council] ] [ [http://www.heraldpalladium.com/ Website] of "The Herald-Palladium": "The Online Newspaper for Southwest Michigan" (the print version omits "Online")] , in the case of Benton Harbor-St. Joseph. The northern boundary of the region is also poorly defined; the population density, land use, economic and cultural character, and physical geography most often associated with West Michigan fades in northern Muskegon and Kent Counties, however areas as far north as Ludington and White Cloud may be included due to their close economic ties to the cities to the south. Other areas, such as Montcalm County in the northeast corner of the region, are transitional areas that straddle Michigan regions but are included for classification purposes. In the case of Montcalm County, the area around Greenville in the county's southwest corner is closely tied economically with Grand Rapids, while the area around Vestaburg and Edmore in the northeastern corner of county are more closely associated with the cities of Mount Pleasant and Alma, which are included in almost any definition of Mid-Michigan.

Geography

*"See also" List of Michigan state parks and geography of Michigan.
*The area is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. [ [http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/socialjustice/cathsocserv.html Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.] ]

Cities and villages

The following table contains the 10 largest incorporated cities of West Michigan according to the 2000 Census. This list holds for nearly every geographic definition of West Michigan. If Battle Creek were included, it would be ranked fourth.

Five of the above cities, Wyoming, Kentwood, Portage, Norton Shores, and Walker, are former suburban townships that incorporated in the 1960s in order to prevent annexation by an adjacent city. The presence of these cities in the top ten reflects both the large geographic area of these cities, as well as the long and continuing growth of suburban areas in West Michigan.

Events

*Celebration on the Grand
*Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven
*Festival of the Arts
*Muskegon Air Show
*Muskegon Summer Celebration
*Red Flannel Festival in Cedar Springs
*Tulip Time Festival in Holland
*Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon
*Venetian Festival in St. Joseph

Attractions

*Dutch Village
*Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
*Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
*Grand Haven Musical Fountain
*Grand Haven State Park
*Grand Rapids Art Museum
*Grand Rapids Children's Museum
*Holland State Park, busiest state park in Michigan
*John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids
*Kalamazoo Air Zoo
*Michigan's Adventure amusement park
*P.J. Hoffmaster State Park
*Public Museum of Grand Rapids

Universities and colleges

*Aquinas College
*Calvin College
*Cornerstone University
*Davenport University
*Ferris State University
*Grand Rapids Community College
*Grand Valley State University
*Hope College
*Kalamazoo College
*Kuyper College
*Muskegon Community College
*Western Michigan University

Business

Prominent West Michigan corporations include:
*Amway/Alticor/Quixtar, an Ada, Michigan multi-level marketing company.
*Bissell, a Walker vacuum cleaner maker
*Borroughs, a Kalamazoo office equipment manufacturer.
*Foremost Insurance, a Farmers Insurance Group company
*Gentex, a Zeeland auto-dimming automobile mirror manufacturer.
*Gerber Products Company, a Fremont baby food manufacturer
*Gordon Food Service, a Wyoming food supplier
*Herman Miller, a Zeeland office equipment manufacturer.
*Haworth, a Holland office equipment manufacturer.
*Howard Miller a Zeeland manufacturer of longcase clocks
*Kelloggs, a Battle Creek breakfast cereal producer.
*Meijer, a Walker hypermarket chain.
*Perrigo, an Allegan pharmaceutical company
*Spartan Stores, a Cutlerville grocery chain
*Steelcase, a Grand Rapids office equipment manufacturer.
*Stryker, a Kalamazoo surgical equipment manufacturer.
*Whirlpool, a Benton Harbor manufacturer of major home appliances.
*Wolverine World Wide/Hush Puppies, a Rockford shoe maker

Transportation

Major airports

*Gerald R. Ford International Airport
*Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport
*Muskegon County Airport

Major roads

Interstate highways

*
*
*

US highways

*
*
*
*Grand River Avenue, running from Grand Rapids to Detroit
* The S-Curve, a famously crooked stretch of U.S. 131 in downtown Grand Rapids

Michigan highways

* west of town
*
* shore. [ [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m46/ M-46 Endpoint Photos.] ]

Railways

*Main article: Michigan Services

Other

*Eastern port of the Lake Express High Speed Car Ferry; Muskegon

Notable residents or former residents

More comprehensive lists are available at individual cities, villages, etc.

*Tim Allen, actor
*Gillian Anderson, actress
*Johnny Benson, stock car driver
*Terry Crews, actor
*Debarge, music group
*Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States
*Al Green, R&B/Gospel artist
*Derek Jeter, New York Yankees shortstop
*Maynard James Keenan, Tool and A Perfect Circle vocalist
*W.K. Kellogg, Kellogg Company founder
*Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers vocalist
*Stanley Ketchel, Middleweight Champion boxer
*Mustard Plug, SKA band
*Buster Mathis, Heavyweight Boxer
*Del Shannon, musician
*Wayne Static, Static-X lead singer/guitarist
*Sojourner Truth, abolitionist
*Brian Vander Ark, Verve Pipe frontman
*The DeBarge Brothers, of the group "DeBarge"]
*Sinbad, actor and comedian
*Ernie Hudson, actor
*Muhammad Ali, boxer
*James Frey, writer
*Jason Newsted, musician, Metallica
*Andy Richter, television entertainer
*Dick York, actor
*Iggy Pop, punk rock icon

Notes

ee also

*List of Michigan county name etymologies
*Michiana
*Michigan

External links

* [http://clarke.cmich.edu/ Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on Michigan (arranged by counties and regions)]
* [http://clarke.cmich.edu/oilandgas/geology.htm Michigan Geology -- Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.]
* [http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/ Great Lakes Coast Watch]
* [http://www.infomi.com/city/ Info Michigan, detailed information on 630 cities]
* [http://www.michigan.gov/dnr Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, harbors, hunting, resources and more.]
* [http://www.michigan.org/travel/attractions/?city=G2760&m=2;9 List of Museums, other attractions compiled by state government.]
* [http://www.michmarkers.com/default.asp Michigan Historic Markers]
* [http://www.michigan.org Michigan's Official Economic Development and Travel Site.]
* [http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBLIGHTHOUSES/LHMI.html USCG's complete list of Michigan lighthouses.]
* [http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_shpo_lightmap_50933_7.pdf Map of Michigan Lighthouse] in PDF Format.
* [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/index.htm Seeing the Light, Terry Pepper on lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes.]


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