Ottawa County Parks Foundation Newsletter

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Ottawa County Parks Foundation - Aug/Sep Newsletter

Grand River Greenway Project Updates

By far the largest project we have undertaken has been to assist in completing the Grand River Greenway Initiative and constructing the Idema Explorers Trail. The following segments are expected to begin in 2018.

Grand Valley State University & Grand Ravines Connection

This segment is roughly one mile and will be named the Versluis Path in honor of Phillip & Joyce Versluis.

Bend Area to Downtown Jenison Connection

Work will begin on a segment that connects the Bend Area to Jenison, close to the Kent County border.

Completed segment

Recently completed was a 3.9-mile segment that connects Connor Bayou to Riverside Park in Grand Haven. Visitors can also enjoy the trail at Grand Ravines in Jenison. 

The trail is not yet complete, but that isn’t stopping anyone from walking, running, and cycling on the existing trail!

social mediaenjoying parks 1enjoying parks 2

Click the links below for more information about the featured Parks:

Ottawa Sands - Ferrysburg, MI

Mt. Pisgah - Holland, MI

Upper Macatawa Natural Area - Zeeland, MI

Hemlock Crossing - West Olive, MI

Pigeon Creek - West Olive, MI

save the date

Board member and local historian Marjorie Viveen will be co-presenting stories from the Grand River Greenway with Bill Boynton. Join us for this fun, free event. We promise you’ll learn something new!

Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center: 8115 West Olive Rd, West Olive

New Board Member


This year we welcome Brad Ensing to the Parks Foundation Board of Directors. Brad is employed as the outside sales manager of Gerrit’s Appliance in Grand Rapids. Brad and his wife, Erin, live in Georgetown Township with their two daughters Alexis and Riley.

Brad has a passion for entomology and has enjoyed teaching classes at Hemlock Crossing, focused primarily on butterflies, moths, and caterpillars. He is also a graduate of the Master Naturalist Program and enjoys educating and sharing his passion for the outdoors to everyone he meets. 

New Employee


We are also pleased to introduce our first employee, Foundation Manager, Angela Miller-Niarhos!

Angela has 10 years’ experience in nonprofit management. Prior to joining the team she was the development manager at Harbor Humane Society. Angela lives in Allendale Township with her husband, Peter and 10 month old son, Jax. 

Five Ways to Give


Include the Ottawa County Parks Foundation in your year end giving.

We accept gifts of all sizes! Mail a check to the address below, or visit our website to make a safe and secure online donation.


When you make a gift, don’t forget to check to see if your employer will match it. It’s an easy way to maximize the impact of your donation!


If you are older than 70½, you can transfer from a traditional IRA to a charity

*This can count as a required minimum distribution but is not taxable if rules are followed for a for a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).


Learn what we’re all about at a program or fundraiser hosted by the Parks Foundation.

Keep an eye on your email and our website for more information about fall events!


Enjoy the nearly 7,000 acres of park land in the Ottawa County Parks system. Not sure where to start? Check out the many programs offered by Ottawa County Parks.