Ottawa County Parks Foundation – October 2021 Newsletter
Making Nature Accessible
Part II: Accessibility in the Parks
New Swing at North Beach
Thanks to a generous donation from the Angela Schipper Fund there is now an accessible swing at North Beach.
Kathy Schipper started the fund in honor of her daughter, Angela, who was born with special needs. One of Angela’s favorite activities was to swing.
Here is why Kathy made this gift to the Ottawa County Parks Foundation for the swing at North Beach:
It was a great gift to our family to have a playground near our home that both she and her siblings could all enjoy. North Beach Park is a fabulous park for families and with their beach wheelchair has placed a priority on accessibility for all. This past Spring I saw that an upgrade in the playground was being planned and thought it would be the great opportunity to honor Angela and donate a swing for children with special needs. I am very excited to know that families with special needs children will feel welcomed and can enjoy playtime with all of their kids at the beach for years to come.
North Beach Park is located at 18775 N Shore Drive in Ferrysburg.
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.
by Bobbi Sabine
Along damp roadsides in the fall, you can often find white turtleheads in bloom throughout Michigan. Reminiscent of snapdragons, this lovely native flower is reported statewide in all but eight counties. It’s the primary host plant for Baltimore checkerspot butterflies.
Chelone glabra has two other relatives which are not so common. The adventive red turtlehead (Chelone lyonii) has only been reported in Washtenaw County, suspected to be a garden escape. Though similar in flower form, the leaf is broad and serrated. This species has been hybridized for the nursery trade and you can purchase such varieties as “Tiny Tortuga” and “Hot Lips.”
Pink turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) is also only reported in Washtenaw County, in wet areas near the Huron River. This rare native is State-listed as Endangered.
“Chelone” means “turtle” in Greek, and was the name of a nymph who refused to attend the wedding of Zeus, and was turned into a turtle as punishment.
Park supporters who include the Ottawa County Parks Foundation in their planned and estate giving are members of Parks for Life. Gifts can include wills and bequests, appreciated stock, bond and mutual funds, charitable trusts, retirement accounts and life insurance. Parks for Life members are ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy our wonderful parks!
This popular 104 acre family park has a full array of recreational opportunities including extensive picnic areas and nature trails. The mature hardwood forest is well known for its spectacular spring wildflowers in April and May. A highlight of the park is the Age of Discovery playground which overlooks a terrain map of the United States.