Our network

Environment

My Town: Four-legged landscapers coming to Ottawa County parks

My Town: Four-legged landscapers coming to Ottawa County parks

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  Three Ottawa County parks will welcome some four-legged landscapers next month.

The Ottawa County Parks Department is bringing in goats to combat invasive plant species.  The goats will be released at Bur Oak Landing in Coopersville, Eastmanville Bayou in Allendale and Riverside Park in Grand Haven in May.  Parks officials say eating plants instead of grain is healthier for goats, and the animals like to eat graze on woody, shrub-like plants including poison ivy, which is in abundance at the parks. The Ottawa County Parks Department says repeated use of grazing goats has been shown to eliminate 90 percent of invasive, woody plants over three years.

My Town: Friends of the North Bank Trail to pursue trail building grant

My Town: Friends of the North Bank Trail to pursue trail building grant

CROCKERY TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  A group supporting a new trail connecting Spring Lake to Coopersville is moving forward with its grant request.

On Tuesday, Friends of the North Bank Trail released this map on Facebook, showing where the proposed 18-mile pathway would be created. The North Bank Trail would connect the Spring Lake Bike Path to the east end of the Musketawa Trail. 

Crockery Township recently sought support from Coopersville, Walker and other nearby communities to apply for a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for Phase 2 of the trail.

Welcome Spring with the Ottawa County Parks

Welcome Spring with the Ottawa County Parks

Welcome Spring with the Ottawa County Parks

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI—It may not feel like spring, but Ottawa County Parks has no shortage of spring programs.

Family Hours:  Each Sunday afternoon from 2-3pm, the Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing Park hosts programs for families on various topics. Stories, scavenger hunts, hikes and crafts keep things interesting for everyone. Topics include frogs, the water cycle, wetlands, wildflowers and more.

Bird & Wildflower Walks:  Ever walk in the woods wishing you could learn more about an encountered bird, plant or insect? A guided walk is for you. Now through the fall, hikes alongside expert naturalists are available on countless topics, such as birds, wildflowers, butterflies, reptiles and other spring surprises.

My Town: Ottawa County seedling sale deadline April 4

My Town: Ottawa County seedling sale deadline April 4

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  Time is running out to get in your order during the Ottawa Conservation District’s annual tree seedling sale fundraiser.

This year the OCD is offering seven types of conifers, six types of deciduous trees, eight types of shrubs and other plants.  Community members can also order books, bird and bat houses, plant products and wildlife repellents. You can find the order form here.

The goal of the Ottawa Conservation District is distribute native plants to help with reforestation, windbreaks, wildlife habitats and to prevent erosion.

All orders must be placed by April 4.  Seedlings will be distributed Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Reender’s Blueberry Farm in West Olive.  For additional information, contact Becky Huttenga at becky.huttenga@macd.org or (616) 846-8770 ext. 5.

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

UPDATE: Three more buildings have joined the competition.

Organizers say the MATS administration office, Community Mental Health and the Hall of Justice, all in Muskegon County are now involved in the Battle of the Buildings, bringing the total square footage to more than 9 million.  The new goal is 10 million square feet by the registration deadline of March 31.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—More than three dozen local businesses are competing in cutting down energy in the West Michigan Battle of the Buildings.

The owners of 45 buildings representing nearly 9 million square feet of space have signed up to take part in the inaugural competition, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. The organization is teaming up with Consumers Energy and Hurst Mechanical to provide workshops on building improvements, optimizing operations and maintance and engaging building occupants to curb energy use.

My Town: City leaders to weigh in on North Bank Trail funding

My Town: City leaders to weigh in on North Bank Trail funding

CROCKERY TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Monday night, the Coopersville City Council is expected to weigh in on a plan to fund a new trail connecting Spring Lake to Coopersville.

The North Bank Trail would be an 18-mile pathway that would connect the Spring Lake Bike Path to the east end of the Musketawa Trail.  Crockery Township is asking for the City of Coopersville’s support in seeking project funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.  Coopersville City Manager Steven Patrick is recommending the city council approve a resolution supporting the trust fund application, saying the trail would offer economic benefits.

My Town Grand Haven: Grand Haven Township eyes Diocese land

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The 417-acre Hofma Park and Preserve may soon grow by another 40 acres.

Within the next two weeks, Grand Haven Township officials plan to file for a state grant to help pay for purchasing 40 acres of land adjacent to Hofma Park and Preserve.  The land is approximately 52 percent forested wetland and 48 percent upland field with Christmas trees.  The land is currently owned by the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Township Superintendent Bill Cargo says the land acquisition is expected to cost approximately $368,000.  Approximately 75 percent of that cost would be covered by the grant; the other 25 percent would come out of the township’s general fund.

The grant decision is expected to be finalized by November or December 2014.   If approved, Cargo is hopeful the grant would be funded in January 2015.

Cargo says the land would be kept in its natural state.