Last Week's Speaker 
                The Program for May 19 was a presentation by Jason Shamblin, Director of Ottawa County Parks and Recreation.  Prior to his formal address, it was announced that Boat Slips are available for short term rental from the Village at Tanglefoot Park landing along the Grand River.   A Kayak can also be rented and launched from the apparatus along the River in the same park area.  Also, a new regime is taking over on July 1 and Jeff Clark would like some program recommendations to begin filling in the Friday weekly schedule.  Jeff has arranged several off site programs over the last couple of years so this coming year should be a good one for our members.  Feel free to invite potential members to our Friday meeting as most folks have interesting careers and experiences that lead to good members.
                Jason Shamblin is a long time leader in outdoor recreational matters, having been trained at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and spent time working with groups and communities in Akron, and along the Ohio River in planning and implementation of public recreational opportunities.   He took over for now retired John Scholtz about 3 years ago as the Ottawa County Director.   Jason lives in Ferrysburg with his wife and 3 children.    He presented a bit of the history of the Parks and Recreation Department, which was formally organized in 1987 by the then County Commission.   A millage was passed shortly after that time which is used entirely for the budget requirements of the Parks and Recreation Department, along with grants and gifts received for land acquisitions and development.  Since 1987, when there was about 600 total acres of park land along Lake Michigan, the Grand River and near Conklin, the Greenways along the Grand River, Pigeon River and Macatawa River and Lake Michigan have been expanded to over 8000 acres of trails, parks, open spaces and general recreational areas.   Crockery Creek near the Grand River has some valuable open spaces managed by Ottawa County Parks and Ottawa Sands, the former Construction Ag sand mining area, is being restored to a natural area with overnight Gurt camping facilities.  All because of the millage, grants and gifts, especially a major funding gift from the Idema Family.
The Grand River Trailway, which will stretch from Grand Haven pier heads to the Kent County line 36 miles to the East, is being upgraded and finished to be accessible to all people, including the Northbank Trail to Marne, which connects to the Meijer Trail heading to Cadillac, and the Musketawa Trail heading to Muskegon and north to Hart and beyond.   Some of these trails are former railroad right of ways, and the areas along the rivers have been acquired by easement from owners, with major park areas and improvements at various locations going upriver.   While not familiar with many in the Grand Haven and Spring Lake area, there is a large parkland area in the Bend location southerly and easterly of GVSU campus, known as the Bend area and further upriver as Jenison Mills area.   Many of the open areas are for multiuse seasonal activities, like boat launches, wildlife viewing, with some hunting at certain locations, and picnics, hiking and trail head facilities for longer hikes.
The website for complete maps and activities can be found at   This site has links to Programs and Activities for all ages and abilities.  There are Free Bird Walks occurring weekly thru May, Astronomy programs at Hemlock Crossing, along with a Grassland Birding Trip at the same park location in June.  For those who like to compete in a trail race, on June 24 there is a race on trails from Grand River Park to Grand Ravines Park, which basically borders the Grand River upriver from Robinson area to south of GVSU in Allendale.  For walkers, there are trail hikes for all levels of experience and endurance at Connor Bayou just east on Lincoln Street along the Grand River, and Pigeon Creek, Hager Park and others in the Holland area.   The Kids summer program along with Families will be provided at Hemlock Crossing which is along the Pigeon River just west of Hwy 31 in West Olive.
The update for Ottawa Sands is that renovations and restoration are underway.   Sand Mining basically took away the natural aspects leaving a lake, walkway, and river frontage.   All of this is being restored and upgraded to encourage wildlife and birds to again utilize the natural areas as their home and an important feeding place for those who like fish, all sorts of native wildlife, and the opportunity to observe them. Access is important for all people so there will be hard surface trails for people using assist devices, and the Audubon Society will be installing natural wood growth and log areas to encourage all the water living animals and insects to congregate.   Restoring wetlands will encourage clean water to drain into the river, along with the bird life that is natural for this area.  The Yurt Village will permit overnight camping and also the launching of kayaks to paddle along the Grand River.. 
Jason concluded his presentation by mentioning that all 4th grade students in Ottawa County, and some from other adjoining counties, are receiving an annual exposure to the outdoor environm-
ent available at Ottawa County Parks.   An expansion is occurring also at Rosy Mound Park, south of Grand Haven, so young students will be able to develop a sense of the flora and fauna all around them in a natural context.  The Strategic Plan for the entire Parks system is updated every 5 years along with budgeting for the costs supported by the millage for the programming, upkeep, and where deemed necessary, filling in of any missing trailway links.  A new Plan will be developed for 2026, and by then the trailway system should be in place with users providing input where new connections should be made.
Thanks to Jason Shamblin for his fine presentation, which included a video and his comments and handouts.  The necessary digital access permit can be secured on line by registering the appropriate license plate numbers which have discounted fees for Ottawa County residents and seniors for certain of our Parks.  The website is mentioned above, and for a permit go to Park Fees-Ottawa County,  MI
Your Scribe…Tom Boven
Remember, No Meeting on May 26..Memorial Day weekend.
Author's Corner
This week I learned that I have a stomach of steel.  I braved waves that looked like they were 6 feet or more.  I caught fishes.  I did not get sick.  What kind of super powers do y'all have?  
This week's joke -  I asked my wife to grab 6 asparagus stalks from the garden.  She came back with 7.  The last one was a spare, I guess.
Upcoming Speaker
Speaker DateTopic
No Meeting - Memorial Day Weekend!May 26, 2023Memorial Day Weekend - No Meeting
Phyllis Potter & Stephanie GorisJune 2, 2023Ottawa County Department of Public Health
Jeff Coil, District 6290 Governor ElectJune 9, 2023Rotary Foundation Updates / Spring Lake Club Giving Summary
Maggie McKeithan, SL District Library DirectorJune 16, 2023Spring Lake District Library Updates
Stefanie Herder, SL Village DDA DirectorJune 23, 2023Spring Lake Village Development Updates
Tracy & BradJune 30, 2023Spring Lake Rotary / President Changeover Meeting
Interact / Herman Miller Pop-Can Sign Up
The following is a link to sign up to volunteer to help pick the pop cans up from Herman Miller and drop them off for our interact kids. 
If you can help, please click the link and sign up!  Thank you!! 
Rotary Merchandise 
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Douglas Heins
May 6
Philip King
May 6
Paul Winter
May 7
Spouse Birthdays
Kim Heimler
May 5
Josh Herder
May 16
David Rhem
May 14
Join Date
Brad MacLachlan
May 31, 2013
10 years
Lisa Ashcraft
May 31, 1996
27 years
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