Ottawa County Parks Foundation – October Newsletter
Fall Colors in Ottawa County Parks
Fall leaves add a new layer of beauty to nature. The leaves go from green to vibrant colors of scarlet, amber, and gold in the early weeks of fall. Even the green that has not yet turned appears more vibrant against the now colorful landscape.
Here are some suggestions of Ottawa County Parks to visit to see the fall leaves before they are gone. Be sure to check out the new Grand Ravines Treehouse for some of the best colors.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Foundation’s Annual Meeting!
Featured Plant: American Wild Plum
by Bobbi Sabine
American wild plum is a tall shrub or small tree, often forming thickets. It is adaptable to a widerange of growing conditions, and can thrive in open sandy areas, forests, along waterfronts, or in roadside fence-rows. Prunus americana has been found throughout Michigan, as far north as Ontonagon County, but it is concentrated mostly in the southern half of the lower peninsula.
It blooms in late spring with clusters of white flowers densely covering the plant. The bark onolder trees may look very scarred and split. It may reach a height of 10 to 15 feet.
The fruit is edible directly from the plant, but may be astringent if not fully ripe. This is due mainly to the skin, which has high tannic acid content. It’s rich in antioxidants, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, are good for bone health, and may help reduce the risk of heart
disease and diabetes. It’s good for jams and jellies.
Plum also provide good wildlife food and cover, and is good nesting habitat for songbirds. The flowers provide food for many bee and butterfly species.
Wild plums were widely used by American Indian tribes as food and medicine. The entire tree from roots, bark, and fruit may be used to treat various skin problems, cuts and wounds, as well as digestive ailments. A poultice of the inner bark is disinfectant and is used as a treatment on cuts and wounds. The bark is astringent, diuretic and pectoral. It has been used to make a cough syrup.
Photo credit: M.R. Penskar, U of M, Michigan Flora
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: Historic Ottawa Beach (HOBs)
2238 3rd Ave
Holland, MI 49424
Historic Ottawa Beach Parks includes the Black Lake Boardwalks, Mt. Pisgah and the Lake Michigan Beach adjacent to Holland State Park. This site, established by the West Michigan Park Association in 1886, is made up of 58 acres that border a number of historic cottages and was once home to the Ottawa Beach Hotel. Climb up to the top of Mt. Pisgah and enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding areas.