A very warm welcome to one of the nicest communities in Michigan where the quality of life is good and getting better every day. Here is a sampling of things about our area.
You have moved to a vibrant community that opens its arms to new ideas and new people. Of course, we are a college community where both Central Michigan University and Mid-Michigan Community College not only provide higher education, but plenty of activities, entertainment and special events.
We are also special because we are part of Indian Country where the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has built one of the largest casinos in the Mid-west and also Michigan's largest indoor water park. But to get a real feel for the rich culture and history of the tribe you must visit one of America's finest Native American museums, The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways.
Union Township geographically is a six mile by six mile square with a city and a campus in the middle of it. We are the suburbs, the shopping centers, student housing complexes, condominiums, town houses, and the farming outskirts around the central city of Mount Pleasant where taxes are low and we have to remind people to lock their doors. The township also happens to be one of the fastest growing communities in Michigan. In the 2000 census the township counted about 7,800 residents and today we are just a few shy of 13,000.
Consumers Energy supplies electricity in our community and natural gas is supplied by DTE. Internet service is now fairly competitive and both cable TV and satellite TV are readily available from local suppliers. Your township government supplies water and sewer service to the most populated parts of the community. Garbage collection in Union Township is provided by competitive private firms. Check with your neighbors to see which ones they prefer. The township in cooperation with the county government provides every other week curbside recycling. Check the recycling page to see the recycling map and the pick-up calendar to get information about recycling.
Folks coming from large metropolitan areas will notice we have no enclosed shopping malls in Isabella County, but we do have most major retailers represented here and more are on the way. But because our county has less than 100,000 residents some retailers that cater to larger markets are just an hour away in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Saginaw.
Our non-metro community is also full of many fine local merchants specializing in every area of retail with a level of customer service hard to find in the larger national chains.
Grocery shoppers will be pleased to learn we have good local seasonal farm markets and some excellent local bakeries and butcher shops to supplement the traditional supermarkets in our community.
Our college crowd likes to eat and fast food and pizza are all over our area and most deliver. For the more mature palates your new community offers an almost endless variety of cuisines. It seems a half dozen new restaurants are opening every year and a few have become very popular fixtures including our local brew pub and a new bistro. Most major franchise restaurants are available here like Bennigans, Applebees, Bob Evans, Ruby Tuesday, IHOP, Red Lobster and others but a growing number of local specialty restaurants have also popped up including those specializing in Korean food, Cajun food, sushi, vegetarian food and barbecue. Explore and enjoy. There is always something new here.
Parks, Recreation and Libraries
The Greater Mount Pleasant area and Isabella County feature some wonderful parks for outdoor fun and great playgrounds and regardless of what sport you might be interested in there is a place nearby to watch or engage in, both for kids and adults. The city recreation department has a year round activity and recreation program for kids from t-ball to tennis and many adult programs as well.
A full range of high school sports keep our younger folks very active and the township parks support a very active local little league and area-wide girls softball league. Church and adult softball leagues engage hundreds of older folks in active lifestyles too.
If you know what disc golf is, we also have two courses in our area, one on campus and one in the Meridan County Park. Many top notch traditional golf courses abound in our area too.
We also have an excellent library system serving your new community.
Unique shops, unique restaurants, an historic city hall, a restored historic theater for a talented local thespian organization and a great place to walk and sip a coffee at a sidewalk café make Downtown Mount Pleasant a delightful reminder of what downtowns should be. Don’t just drive through; get out of the car for a five minute walk to experience it. Then come back for longer strolls to see what you missed.
Newcomers will be pleased to learn that their new community has an active night life. The younger college crowd has many places that cater to them, but a growing number of venues now provide live entertainment for the older set. The Soaring Eagle Casino regularly books familiar names in comedy and popular music. Nationally known figures are also booked into CMU's Events Center as well.
Pubs, sports bars, and the local brewpub in a former railroad station also provide a pleasant night out.
The Mount Pleasant area seems to have fitness fever with a growing number of excellent public and private facilities for fitness buffs of every skill level and interest.
The largest public venue in the county has two major adjacent facilities in the Isabella County Sportsplex, an ice arena and a recreation center. For ice skaters and hockey players we have a busy ice arena where you can learn how to skate and play hockey too. CMU's hockey team uses the community facility as well as hockey leagues for players of all ages.
Next door to the hockey rink is the newest community facility, Morey Courts, full of basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts and even an indoor track you can use for a $1 fee. The Sportsplex also includes a full fitness center with modern equipment for every fitness buff's workouts.
CMU's students and athletes have some great facilities for their use and much of it is available to the general public for a fee. Swimming pools, racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor tracks, pool and ping pong tables, volleyball and basketball courts, workout rooms and great fitness equipment make the CMU campus a great place to get and stay fit.
"Fire Up Chips" is a familiar phrase for those who attend CMU football games in Kelley-Shorts Stadium and basketball games at McGuirk Arena. In spring CMU's baseball team livens up the area at Theunissen Stadium. Volleyball, gymnastics, softball, wrestling and other sports also make the campus busy with visiting teams from the MAC Conference.
Our community gets a tad noisy on Friday night during warm weather because of the Mt. Pleasant Speedway. We also have a horse race track here too in season at the County Fair Grounds.
Three minor league baseball teams are an hour or less away with the closest being in Midland just 20 minutes to the east.
Health Care Facilities
Newcomers to Isabella County are also surprised to learn about both the quality and diversity of care available in their new community. An award winning regional hospital that includes a modern cancer treatment center provides a full range of services including a 24/7 emergency room and birthing center.
Primary care doctors and specialists in every field of medicine are also readily available locally. In the next few years, the university will be establishing a new medical school that will add to the available resources in our community. CMU's physician's assistant program has been a major factor in our community and the more rural areas north of here in providing responsive health care services.
CMU's new medical school will be accepting its first students in the summer of 2013.
CMU's Carl's Center offers a variety of special clinics for the community. The audiology clinic is a special favorite among our older residents with hearing problems and for young people with speech problems, the Speech-Language Clinic also excels.
Union Township is in the Mount Pleasant School District, where test scores regularly exceed state averages. Because the community has been very supportive of education, our schools enjoy excellent facilities and programs including a well equipped regional tech center down the hall from the modern high school.
There are also a variety of non-public school choices in the community.
Something Special for Youngsters
Island Park in Mount Pleasant has a wonderful large playscape called Timbertown, a labor of love from community activists and the city's parks department.
In the same park the city has a new spray park for those under 12 and for the more adventurous youngsters who love skateboarding, a well equipped skate park.
A children's museum (Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum) is dedicated to providing fun and educational experiences for young people ages 0 - 12 that stimulate children's natural curiosity and creativity. The engaging exhibits offer a hands-on, child-centered environment for children to play and therefore learn through the development of fundamental life skills.
Something Special for Everyone
Union Township and the Greater Mount Pleasant Area have been working cooperatively to develop a plan to make the area completely walk able and bike able. Much of the system has been completed on campus and in the city. Some bike paths are already clearly visible and more are coming. The city has already won accolades for its sidewalk network that is being extended now outside city limits.
It may take five or ten years or more to complete the entire network, but take a look at what is planned for your future in the Greater Mount Pleasant Area Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.
Very Special Events
There are so many things going on in our community and nearby communities that it is best to check local calendars like this one and the local newspaper, but we should call your attention to our excellent county fair as well as a wonderful weekend of bicycle racing that involves everyone in the Le Tour De Mount Pleasant. (pronunced with a French accent)
One of the signs of a vibrant community is just how engaged citizens are in making good things happen. Your new community excels at that and when you are ready to engage there are ample opportunities in service clubs, volunteer organizations, charities and purposeful non-profits that meet most community needs. Newcomers are welcomed with open arms. Welcome.