Parks Foundation - April Newsletter

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Ottawa County Parks Foundation - April Newsletter

Get healthy and moving in a Park with Step It Up!

Step It Up

Step It Up!

Step It Up walk photo

Step it Up! is free, 8-week program designed to help participants get active and visit new parks. All levels of fitness are welcome. Participants will be able to track their steps and activity online, as well as monitor their progress throughout the challenge. Each week, participants are invited to join us for a group walk and other fun activities. Those who track their activity are eligible for incentive prizes.

Participants can look forward to:

  • Achieving fitness goals
  • Guided group walks with varying paces
  • Guided group activities including biking, paddling, and orienteering
  • Discovering new parks in Ottawa & Allegan county
  • Meeting new people
  • Incentive prizes
  • Motivation & accountability by logging activity

Opportunities to run, bike, and paddle as a group, plus a navigation course and challenge! These opportunities are free for Step it Up! participants. Beginners are encouraged… this is the time to try something new!

New this Season! Group walks in Ottawa County will also include a short, body weight strength training program prior to the walk with the help of Cari Draft owner of EcoTrek Fitness, the Tri-Cities YMCA, and the Four Pointes Center for Successful Aging.

Register today:
*More information about the group walks and activities will be sent to those who register.

Earth Day 2019

bee 3

The theme of this year's Earth Day, according to the Earth Day Network, is Protect Our Species. One of the species in great need is the bee. One in four bee species in the U.S. is at risk of extinction. 

Why We Need to Protect Bees

  • Plants need bees to pollinate, making bees indispensable pollinators of most ecosystems. 
  • Bees are a keystone species, with other species dependent on them to survive. 
  • Pollination not only makes food available for other organisms but also allows floral growth, which provides habitats for animals, including other insects and birds.
  • As pollinators disappear, the effect on the health and viability of crops and native plant communities can be disastrous. 
  • Pollinators contribute billions to the world economy. The global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $577 billion. Pollinators contribute $24 billion to the U.S. agriculture industry, making up a third of the food consumed by Americans.

Threats to Bee Species

  • Widespread use of pesticides, neonicotinoids and GMOs
  • Climate change
  • Loss of habitat, including land use changes, habitat fragmentation, loss of bio-diversity
  • Bees forced into service; monoculture
  • Pests, diseases, viruses, and mold

How to Help

The Ottawa Conservation District will be hosting a Native Plant Workshop on Saturday, April 27 from 10 am - 12 pm at Hemlock Crossing. Attendees of the Workshop will learn why and how to use native plants in our landscape or garden designs. These plants will help attract bees, butterflies and birds to your garden. 

The Ottawa Conservation District’s annual Native Plant Sale will be held Wednesday, May 8 from 2 - 6 pm at Hemlock Crossing. Order forms are due by April 29. Forms are available here. Extra plants will be available on the day of the sale while supplies last.

Kid Kayaking

Best Parks for a Kayak/Canoe

Adams Street Landing, 10363 Adams St, Holland (approximate). A ten-acre site with mature trees and 1200 feet of frontage on the Macatawa River. Visitors will enjoy fishing, picnicking as well as a launch site for canoes and kayaks.

Hemlock Crossing, 8115 West Olive Rd, West Olive. Offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over six miles of trails meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river. Trails connect to Pine Bend County Park on the west end of this property. A pedestrian bridge and numerous overlooks offer scenic views. 

Eastmanville Bayou, 13507 68th St, Allendale. A 157 acres with 1.77 miles of Grand River frontage, wetlands, a bayou and floodplain forest. The property is a great site to put in for your paddle on the Grand River Heritage Water Trail.

Thank you LVAC

Thank you the Lakeshore Visual Arts Collective (LVAC) and their arts who participated in the March 23 show at Hemlock Crossings! 

The Ottawa County Parks Foundation raised over $5,000 for land purchases, park improvements and amenities that will increase access to and diversity of park land.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

LVAC Event

Upcoming Event

Veterans of the Poor Farm

Thank you to our supporters!

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