August 2021 Newsletter

 Ottawa County Parks Foundation – August 2021 Newsletter
Accessibility in the ParksPart 1: Spokes Fighting Strokes Parks are for everyone and over the next couple of months, we will be emphasizing accessibility in our parks. Did you know that the Ottawa County Parks website has a list of accessible park amenities that include trails, beaches, kayak launches, fishing docks, and more? You can find the full Accessible Areas list here.Accessibility means the “ability to access” and for Dan Zimmerman, that meant freedom when he started riding his recumbent trike. On July 25 at Connor Bayou Park, Dan shared his story of recovery and the founding of Spokes Fighting Strokes.Dan suffered a stroke in 2005 because of HHT (Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia) and his doctors told him he would never walk or talk again. Dan had a different plan and worked hard to first regain his mobility and then his speech after five quiet years. He regained his freedom and independence in riding his recumbent trike. He also discovered his passion and founded Spokes Fighting Strokes to raise awareness for HHT, stroke preventions, and to inspire other stroke survivors to fight back against the disease. The mission of the organization is to “reach every stroke survivor and show them that recovery is possible.” Currently there is not a Michigan chapter of the organization, and Dan hopes that someone here will be inspired to create one.The event brought together stroke survivors and trike enthusiast from all over the state, and a few from out of state, to hear inspirational stories and learn how stroke survivors can get back mobility using adaptive recumbent trikes. As Dan likes to say, “focus on your ability, not your disability”.A special thank you to John Zevalkink arranging for Dan Zimmerman to come to West Michigan.Part II will look at a new accessible swing, that thanks to a generous donor, is being added to North Beach. Upcoming EventsWe are looking forward to our 4th Annual Breakfast at the Park on Thursday, September 9 at 7:30 AM. This annual fundraising event helps support our mission of bridging community to nature.This year we have added a second event on Thursday, September 9. There will also be a Lunch at the Park at 11 AM. All funds raised at these events help support Ottawa County Parks.Thanks to two anonymous donors we have a $10,000 match for all new and lapsed donations as part of these events. A special thank you to our sponsors, the Crane Family in Memory of Marilyn Crane, Tim and Jane Stoepker, Grand Wealth Management, Lakeshore Environmental, Macatawa Bank, Prein and Newhof, Scholtan Fant, Baird Private Wealth Management, Dr. Barbara Brown and Linda McAffrey, GEI Consultants, Kennari Consulting, and Peterson Environmental. Sponsorship opportunities are still available!There is still room if you would like to attend. If you are interested in sponsoring or attending, please contact Angela Miller-Niarhos.The Park Sustainers Club is a unique group of donors whose monthly investment allows us to complete special projects that can’t be accomplished within the County Parks’ budget, like building trail connections, adding land, and upgrading facilities. Choice a monthly donation that works best with your budget.Join today!Thank you for your continued support!Featured Park:Paw Paw Park1230 Paw Paw Drive
Holland, MI  49423The park encompasses the union of the Macatawa River and the Noorderloos Creek. The restored wetland is a birders delight, home to many waterfowl including Great Blue Herons. The bridges, boardwalks and observation decks take you beside the river, offering treasured, scenic views of the natural world within the City of Holland. Enjoy a game of disc golf or explore the park via foot or bike on paved and natural surface trails. During the winter months, appreciate winter serenity in snow shoes or cross county skis.Learn more. 
Our Contact Information
Ottawa County Parks Foundation
PO Box 314
West Olive, MI 49460

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