Sterling Heights

How to celebrate ‘International Pause the World Day’ in Michigan’s fourth largest city

This Thursday, Sept. 21, is International Pause the World Day, a nice reminder from our friends at whoever-makes-these-daily-holidays-up to stop, breathe, stretch, and tune out the noise of our daily lives. If you’re just finding out about this holiday, it’s probably too late to schedule the day off — “Hi, boss, I won’t be coming into work today. It’s International Pause the World Day, you didn’t know?” — but it’s still good to be reminded that sometimes it’s okay to just stop what you’re doing, put the phone down, and let your mind unwind a bit, if even for a few minutes.

That’s all easier said than done, of course, and especially if you’re living in a population center like metro Detroit. But even in a city like Sterling Heights, where it bustles with the business, traffic, construction crews, and day-to-day activity expected of the second largest suburb of metro Detroit and the fourth largest city in the entire state, there is still plenty of respite to be found in this city of more than 130,000 residents. You just have to know where to find it.

So while it may be too late to use the old “International Pause the World Day” card at work, keep these ideas in your back pocket next time you have a window to take a breather — and breathe.

Guided Meditation & Breathing class
UpDog Yoga - Sterling Heights
13911 19 Mile Rd.

This one writes itself, really. Dr. Brian McCarroll, a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) from Duke Medical School, leads this guided meditation and breathing class inspired by the Wim Hof Method. It takes you down a path of mindfulness and physical health and wellness, but the style of breathwork, guided meditation, and light stretching it employs means that it’s as well-suited for beginners as it is for seasoned yogis.

Unroll your mind in Sterling Heights. (Photo: Pexels)

The class is offered at 7:30 p.m. each and every Thursday at the Sterling Heights location of UpDog Yoga, and walk-ins are welcome. Be sure to check their calendar as there is a verified bevy of yoga classes and workshops each day of the week, from beginner sessions to well beyond.

Library Card Sign-Up Month
Sterling Heights Public Library
40255 Dodge Park Rd.

“The public library is more than a repository of books. It's a mysterious, wondrous place with the power to change lives.” — Chicago Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor.
Four bicycles — two adult bikes and two children’s bikes — are now available for check-out at the library. (File photo)
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month — there really is a holiday for everything — and the Sterling Heights Public Library is celebrating all month long with giveaways, contests, and more. Those without a library card can sign up for one and be entered to win a prize, and that’s in addition to all the benefits that library cardholders possess.

Ready to step outside of the muted hush of the library for some sunshine? Sterling Heights Library card holders have access to a free bicycle rental service, which makes four bikes (two for adults, two for children) available for two hours at a time.

Canoe or kayak the Clinton River
Have your own? There are free and open-to-the-public EZDock launches at Rotary Park and North Clinton River Park
Looking to rent? Check out Clinton River Canoe & Kayak Rentals at Rotary Park

There are few things as peaceful as a lazy drift along a calm water. And, thankfully, the Sterling Heights section of the Clinton River is usually (conditions vary, of course) perfect for just that. The Clinton River Water Trail is one of the region’s best, a 72-mile stretch from Maceday Lake in Waterford Township all the way to Lake St. Clair. Nine miles of the Water Trail and its associated wildlife areas wind through Sterling Heights, and the City is always looking for ways to make the most of it. The EZDock launches installed in 2019, for example, are user-friendly, even for beginners, and free to use for all — and also ADA-compliant.

Clinton River Canoe & Kayak Rentals at Rotary Park. (File photo: David Lewinski)

Water not your thing? Sterling Heights has more than 15 miles of dedicated trails throughout their impressive system of parks and wilderness, accessible by foot, bicycle (maybe from the library, even), and otherwise — just as long as it’s not motorized. There is no shortage of places to stop and smell the roses, as it were. Learn more online thanks to the Sterling Heights Department of Parks & Recreation.

Visit the Butterfly Flyway
Sterling Relief Drain
South of Metropolitan Parkway, between Schoenherr and Van Dyke roads

The award-winning Sterling Relief Drain project daylighted two miles of the five-mile drainage system first built in the 1960s, simultaneously implementing green infrastructure techniques, improving water quality while mitigating pollution. They also added more than 135,000 native perennial plants, over 1,000 shrubs, and hundreds of trees in the Butterfly Flyway that attracts more than a dozen species of butterflies, including the monarch, as well as other pollinators and birds. Restoring pollinator habitats is a big priority for the city, with Mayor Michael Taylor signing the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge two years running and the Sterling Heights Beautification Commission providing free packets of pollinator seeds to city residents.

Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor (L to R), Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, and Macomb County Commissioner Joseph Romano at the revamped Sterling Relief Drain. (Photo: Macomb County Public Works)

Fans of the Butterfly Flyway take note: The Macomb County Public Works Office has submitted a grant proposal through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program, which is managed by the National Fish & Wildlife Federation, in hopes to build upon the success of the Sterling Relief Drain project. They intend to daylight and retrofit another 1.5 miles of the drain west of Mound Road.

Read “Macomb County applies for grant to expand Butterfly Flyway at the Sterling Relief Drain” on Metromode to learn more.
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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.