Ottawa County Parks Foundation – December Newsletter
Gratitude in Nature
Your continued support has helped us provide funding to Ottawa County Parks and Recreation that increases accessibility in our parks, provides new recreational opportunities, and brings children closer to nature. We are incredibly grateful for your support.
You did something nice for others. How about doing something nice for yourself? Try a “Gratitude Walk.” Gratitude and nature go hand in hand. Both are known to have both physical and mental health benefits. A gratitude walk involves gentle walking for 20 minutes or more, with a calm, grateful state of mind. As you focus on your breathing, your steps, and the surroundings, say quietly aloud things you are grateful for. Use all your senses to soak in positive sights, like ripples of water, trees gently swaying in the wind, or butterflies fluttering over flowers. Take note of different sounds and smells – the crunch of fallen leaves under your feet, or birds singing.
Focus on specific things, like “I am thankful for the warmth of the sun on my face.” During a gratitude walk, you cultivate a sense of appreciation for what is around you and the other good things in your life. It can also lead you on a path of thinking about things outside of your surroundings and find a new appreciation for life in general. And an Ottawa County Park near you is a great place to do it.
It really works! I took a Gratitude Walk at Rosy Mound, and quietly said aloud many of the things I am grateful for. It really put me in a whole better frame of mind. I’m so grateful for the wonderful access we have to such beautiful outdoor spaces – and I’m especially grateful to others like me who love and support our parks. – Bobbi Jones Sabine
Foundation Board Member: Cathy Feyt
Please join us in thanking Cathy Feyt for your dedication to the Ottawa County Parks Foundation. Cathy Feyt joined the Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2016 when we were still working on obtaining our 501(c)3 status. Cathy has been a significant part of bringing the Parks Foundation to where it is today.
Cathy spent 4 years as Board Secretary and chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee. Most recently she has been serving on the Donor Engagement Committee. Cathy has also annually served as a table host for our annual fundraiser.
Cathy’s dedication to Ottawa County Parks and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation has been greatly appreciated. She will be term-limited from the Foundation Board at the end of this year, but will be continue to serve on the Foundation’s Donor Engagement Committee.
Here is why Cathy supports the Ottawa County Parks Foundation:
Featured Plant: Christmas Trees!
by Bobbi Sabine
The most common Christmas tree species produced in Michigan are Fraser fir, Scots pine, Colorado blue spruce, Douglas fir, concolor fir and Canaan fir. Each of these non-native species has characteristics that make it well suited to grow under Michigan conditions and contributes to its suitability as a Christmas tree.
Sometime people buy potted trees and then replant them in the spring. If you want to stick to Michigan native species, go with balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce, jack pine, red pine, or white cedar. Adding native trees to your landscape will provide food and shelter for native wildlife species.
If you prefer to kick your tree to the curb after the holidays, look for ways to recycle it. Some local organizations will collect discarded trees to use for mulch, bank stabilization, or wildlife habitat structures.
Photo credit for the Balsam fir: A. Klain, U of M Herbarium
Looking for gift ideas this holiday season?
The Ottawa County Parks Foundation is happy to help. Donate to the Foundation in someone’s honor, and the honoree will receive a thank letter from the Foundation letting them know you made a generous donation in their honor. Put a note in the comments section of the online form with the person’s name and contact information.
Featured Park: Pigeon Creek
12524 Stanton Street
West Olive, MI 49460
Pigeon Creek Park is 282 acres with another 130 adjacent acres of County Open Space land. Over ten miles of ski trails wind through mature deciduous forests and through bottomland forests along the Pigeon River (off-trail snowshoeing is allowed).
The park is a popular cross-country ski destination with groomed trails for both classic and ski skating. Ski trails are groomed, tracked and reset as needed throughout the day.