Ottawa County Parks Foundation - January Newsletter

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It’s a new year and with it comes obligatory New Year resolutions. While they might be a little cheesy, we’re going to make one this year:

We resolve to bridge our community to nature by not only wisely spending and investing the dollars you donate, but also by connecting our community to our land and local heritage through knowledge.

You have been so generous to us in the last year. In return, we want to make sure you are involved. Each month we’ll send an e-newsletter that will include what the organization and its board have been up to, important news, upcoming special events, and finally, some perspectives and stories related to the Parks that you might not have otherwise known. We have a wonderful group of historians, naturalists, and general insiders (parks staff), who can share a wealth of information and tips and we want to share them with you. Don't miss the historical tidbit below! 

Cheers to 2018!


Parks Foundation News 


Idema Explorers Trail logo

We are pleased to announce a landmark $2 million gift from the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation for the Grand River Greenway Campaign! In recognition for this incredible gift, the central feature of the Greenway – the proposed Explorers Trail that will complete a connection from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven – will be named in honor of Bill and Bea Idema. We are so overjoyed to announce the Idema Explorers Trail. Read more.

Two recent major gifts from the Wege and Frey Foundations have boosted our effort to complete its Grand River Greenway Campaign. The grants total $860,000 and build momentum for the Greenway Campaign, which is still recruiting “lead” commitments from donors. Read more.


A bit of history...

You may have heard of the Historic River Road (if you haven’t taken the tour we suggest you do) and this year, as work continues on the Grand River Greenway, we’ll be bringing you Historic River Routes, Short Stories & Snippets from the Greenway.

The first snippet we’ll share is an excerpt from an article by Milton E. Osborne from the Grand Rapids Herald in June of 1899. The article is titled By Bike: From the Rapids to the Haven. That’s right, biking from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven has been of interest for over 100 years!

And check out the areas of interest: Crockery Creek, the Poor Farm, Lamont! 


Excerpts from the 1899 article:

"Every cyclist should feel in duty bound to make at least one trip to Grand Haven. The ride is rather long for lady cyclists, but if taken in easy stages, it will afford much pleasure and add to one’s knowledge of home scenery. To be made with comfort, this trip must not be against a head wind. Neither should one trust to his wind judgement, as the breezes often shift suddenly. Consult the weather report before starting and start accordingly. This is said, of course, for the lady riders. The gentlemen are supposed to be able to ride against a wind if they choose to do so. If the wind is west, the party should take the train to Grand Haven and return by wheel; if east, wheel to Grand Haven and return by train."

"Crockery creek is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. The high trees which quite overshadow it in places break away here and there, revealing glimpses of the reflection of the sky on its placid surface. It must be seen to be appreciated. Just now there is an Indian canoe moored under the tree near the bridge. What a pity it is locked."


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