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My Town: Goats on the loose at Eastmanville Bayou

My Town: Goats on the loose at Eastmanville Bayou

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich—Visitors to Eastmanville Bayou will encounter the county’s new set of four-legged landscapers.

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department says a herd of grazing goats has been released at the bayou to begin its work reducing invasive species.  Visitors are welcome to watch the goats at work, but should remain clear of the electric fence surrounding them and not pet the goats.  Plant oils from the poison ivy and other invasive plants the goats are munching on could be on the goats’ coats, making them transferrable to humans.

The goats are also being used at Bur Oak Landing in Coopersville and Riverside Park in Grand Haven. 

My Town Grand Haven: Native plant presentation May 28

My Town Grand Haven: Native plant presentation May 28

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-- The Ottawa Conservation District in Grand Haven is hosting a special presentation on native plants, given by Designs By Nature owner Vern Stephens..

The informative session will take place Wednesday, May 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Nature Education Center at Hemlock Crossings County Park, located at 8115 West Olive Road in West Olive.

A native plant sale will immediately follow the presentation.  Visit www.ottawacd.org for a description of most available plants.

For more information, call (616) 846-8770, Ex. 122.

My Town: Students improve community during Junior Day of Caring

My Town: Students improve community during Junior Day of Caring

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Dozens of parks and local organizations are a lot cleaner, thanks to the hard work of nearly 1,000 middle school student volunteers.

On May 2, eighth grade students from Lakeshore Middle School spent the morning volunteering at 30 local nonprofit organizations and parks, cleaning, landscaping organizing and sorting.  Other students spent time painting nails and playing games with the elderly, as part of the Greater Ottawa County United Way’s Junior Day of Caring.

Sixth grade students from White Pines Middle School did their part late last month, clearing invasive plants and picking up garbage at Ottawa County parks.  Overall, the students donated 1,950 hours of their time.

"It is incredible to see these kids working together to make a difference. This event has a powerful impact on our community and on the students themselves," said Shannon Morton, United Way’s director of volunteerism.

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.