Ottawa County Parks Foundation – June 2021 Newsletter
Bend Space Open Area Trail Preview
Celebrating the Continued Expansion of a Grand Plan
by Anita Yoder
The Bend Area Celebration on Friday, June 11, was not only a celebration of a new regional park and important connector for the Grand River Greenway and the Idema Explorers Trail, but a celebration of the vision and dedication of individuals, organizations, and communities coming together to preserve a natural, historical, and cultural corridor along the Grand River.
While the unusually sweltering June day in West Michigan made me want to jump in the Grand River, it was inspiring to hear each of the speakers share personal stories and connections to Ottawa County Parks (and the Grand River). For me, the celebration boiled (no pun intended) down to four things:
1. The celebration of communities working together for a common goal.
2. The celebration of nature, it’s healing power, and the role it plays in the quality of our daily lives.
3. The celebration of the continued preservation of a critical and ecologically significant (diverse) corridor.
4. The celebration of amazing park system in Ottawa County thanks to the commitment of park staff, volunteers, and supporters like you.
The Grand Plan
The expanded Bend Area Open Space now consists of 421 acres, 115 acres of water features, a channel from the Grand River to inland ponds, a preserved farmstead home, and new hiking trails with a loop along the Grand River. As part of the Grand River Greenway, this property provides another critical trail connection in the link between Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. Head to our projects page to explore and learn more. https://ottawacountyparksfoundation.org/projects/
The Foundation has been raising funds for Ottawa County Parks since 2016. The Bend Area as a connector for the Grand River Greenway has been and continues to be one of the Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s major fundraising campaigns. We are grateful to have been able to support the Bend Area Expansion with a $50,000 donation for land acquisition and a $17,000 contribution to the purchase of the Moss House located within the Bend Area.
There are many more “grand plans” in the works for park expansion, improvements, and educational programs. If you would like to learn more about the projects the Foundation supports and/or make a donation so we can continue our mission of Bridging Community to Nature, please visit our website.
There are many ways to support Ottawa County Parks and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation.