Anita Yoder, President
Quite simply, I joined the Foundation Board because I love our parks! One of my favorite things about living here has always been the abundance of parks and the recreational opportunities they provide. Spending time exploring our Ottawa County Parks and natural spaces has brought me a lot of joy over the years. I believe having access to parks and natural spaces provides our communities with a better quality of life and everyone deserves to experience the joy of nature.
Dr. Barbara Brown, Vice President
When I retired, I didn’t want to ride into the sunset. Rather, I wanted to use all the skills I was given to help my community. Our County Parks were a perfect way to use all my skills and help to preserve this glorious place.
Pete Esser, Treasurer
Shelly Stephens, Secretary
I have enjoyed our Ottawa County parks for many years and in a variety of ways. I believe we have a park to suit most anyone, and I deeply appreciate what our parks and natural areas add to our quality of place in West Michigan. Through a recent health challenge the parks took on an added meaning for me: walking in our parks was the most effective thing I found to manage swelling, regain strength, and improve my emotional well-being.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the Parks Foundation. It’s the best way for me to give back to my community, help foster a culture of valuing our natural resources, and make access to nature available to everyone. I enjoy being a part of creating and preserving natural spaces!
Dr. Deb Sturtevant
The Ottawa County Parks are a wonderful place to enjoy walking, hiking, and biking but also reading, watercolor painting, and even nature weaving! Ottawa County Park’s Foundation mission is to serve as a bridge to nature and its’ vision is that everyone should enjoy nature. My goal is to help promote participation through access to our beautiful county parks and educational programming for all who live here and those who visit us.
Our parks are something I have enjoyed my whole life, starting with Hagar Park. I believe that when people look back at this time, they will appreciate that we stepped up and preserved these unique natural spaces for public enjoyment. I am grateful to be part of the continuing tradition of creating and funding quality parks in Ottawa County
I support the parks because I USE the parks so frequently — they are beautiful in every season, provide lots of different ways to take advantage of the healing power of nature, and maybe best of all, are close by. I like to walk the trails and contemplate how lucky we are to have such an outstanding parks system in Ottawa County.
The Ottawa County Parks are a wonderful example of what our natural spaces can and should look like in West Michigan! Not only that but they also remind us to slow down and appreciate the simple joys in life – a walk through a stately forest, a few moments of calm by a flowing river, the music of wind and wildlife dancing through the air. I treasure every moment spent in an Ottawa County Park and am grateful these places exist for others in the community and for future generations to come! I love all our parks for the unique vistas and experiences they have to offer, but if I had to choose a favorite it would probably be Hemlock Crossing because that’s where my connection with the Parks began.
I am committed to supporting Ottawa County Parks Foundation because it significantly magnifies the resources available to provide residents of our county, western Michigan, and other visitors with exceptional outdoor parks throughout all corners of our county. These parks enhance our quality of life, helps attract talent to our county’s employers from outside of our region, and ensures the preservation of our natural resources for future generations to enjoy.
Jason Shamblin, Director, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission
Angela Miller-Niarhos, Foundation Manager
Glenn Bosch, Coordinator of Fund Development
In cooperation with the Ottawa County Parks Foundation