Ottawa County Parks Foundation – October Newsletter
The first public Observatory in West Michigan is now open at Hemlock Crossing. The Ottawa County Parks Foundation was a supporter of this project. The Observatory has been a joint project between Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Society and the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation.
A special thank you to Jessica Gregory and mi Eco Buzz for the video clip from the dedication.
Featured Plant: Woodland Sunflower
by Bobbi Jones Sabine
Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) is a cheerful fall-blooming perennial found in dry, open forests and savannahs of oak, pine, or aspen. It’s often seen along fencerows, roadsides, and railroads. This Michigan native is found in most of lower Michigan and in Dickinson and Gogebic Counties in the upper peninsula, as well as most of the eastern half of the U.S.
A member of the Aster family, it’s also called rough sunflower or rough woodland sunflower. It has been observed to hybridize freely and there are many identified hybrids. In warmer climates it can reach 5 to 7 feet tall, though Michigan plants seldom reach that height.
Showy, bright yellow petals surround a darker yellow disc and leaves are opposite. It may form large colonies in the right habitat. The species name, divaricatus, means “spreading in a straggling manner.”
It’s easy to grow in average well-drained soils in partial shade. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and is useful in a native/pollinator garden, naturalized area or woodland garden. It is drought tolerant once established and is considered a high-value wildlife plant.
Photo credit: U. of M. Herbarium, R. Schipper
Foreword about David Fletcher Hunton
by Marjie Viveen
David Fletcher Hunton (1829 – 1915) was a local judge and prolific poet, who outlived four wives and was abandoned by his four children. Now an octogenarian, the lonely old man was unable to live independently. He was admitted to the Ottawa County Poor Farm (Eastmanville Farm), where he died months later.
A Farewell to Summer.
by David Fletcher Hunton
Farewell to summer’s lovely day.
And all its beauty, songs and flowers
Farewell to Flora’s winsome way,
And all the season’s merry hours.
It’s Roses, have all come and gone,
Like pleasant dreamings of the night
When we awake at morning dawn.
With Fairy Dreamland, out of sight.
But Summer cannot always last –
A sadder reason, must be seen;
When all the skies are overcast,
And autumn comes upon the scene:
Then leaves assume a russet brown,
And scurry Round in mad defeat,
Through streets and alleys of the town
Like soldiers, when in full retreat.
A purple haze, where e’er we go.
Will soon warn us of coming night;
When with a coverlet of snow,
Winter will wrap the earth in white.
There often comes a sense of grief,
Inwoven with these winter dreams;
But oh, how charming in relief,
When spring with all its glory gleams.
A qualified charitable distribution is an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA) owned by an individual who is age 70½ or over that is paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity. Because the gift goes directly to the charity without passing through your hands, the dollar amount of the gift may be excluded from your taxable income up to a maximum of $100,000 annually, with some exceptions. Please consult your tax advisor for information regarding your specific exceptions.
Featured Park: Paw Paw Park
This 172-acre park has two distinct and unique properties connected by a portion of the regional bike path known as the Macatawa Greenway Trail.
The 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.