Ottawa County News

Hunting in Ottawa County Parks

Hunting is an important part of managing natural lands and parks in Ottawa County. Biodiversity is dependent on a delicate balance of predator and prey populations. In Michigan, this balance has been altered by a significant loss of predators, like wolves. As a result, some prey populations, such as deer, do not have the natural checks and balances needed to prevent overpopulation.
limited office hours

Limited office hours

Beginning Monday, August 10, 2020 Ottawa County Parks & Recreation will have limited office hours at the Fillmore Complex. New Public Office Hours The Parks & Recreation Administrative Office at the Fillmore Complex (12220 Fillmore St, West Olive, Rm 267) will be open to the public every Monday and Thursday between the hours of 10 am-2 pm and by appointment. These hours do not reflect the entire building, only the Parks & Recreation Department.
ottawa county parks logo
The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission is seeking public comment on the proposed route for the “Stearns Bayou Connector” segment of the Idema Explorers Trail in Robinson Township. This segment will connect Connor Bayou Park to the Grand Haven Township trail system. Eventually, the pathway will be connected to Grand Haven to the west and Grand Rapids to the east.
Park Closure Information Please note that North Ottawa Dunes & Ottawa Sands will be CLOSED for an annual wildlife management hunt on Friday, November 20 through Monday, November 23, 2020. Access is by permission only; those in the parks without permission will be ticketed. The parks will re-open Tuesday, November 24. Hunters are chosen each year by lottery – learn more here. Hunting lotteries open in August and hunters are chosen in October.
Our forests face a number of threats. Over the past two decades, Emerald ash borer destroyed nearly all of the ash trees in Michigan. As stewards and land managers of park property, Ottawa County Parks & Recreation is constantly monitoring for and treating oak wilt, hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark, and other forests pests.

Prescribed Browsing Project

The eco goats have returned for another year! You can find them at Bur Oak Landing (West) on Oriole Drive. They are located to the south of the parking area. Easy to find. If the water level goes down, the goats will spend time at Eastmanville Bayou and at Riverside Park. While there, they will munch on woody invasives and poison ivy.

mi Ottawa Sands

Get involved in the Ottawa Sands Master Plan! Photovision Challenge What does YOUR Ottawa Sands County Park look like? Post photos to your Instagram account and describe what you like to do at the park, what could be improved at the park, or what you wish you could do at the park. Submit your entry by following @miottawa_sands and tag us in your photo. DM us your picture and comment.

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation COVID Update

A number of sections in EO 2020-110, announced on June 1, are specifically relevant to parks and park users. Please see below for a list of updates and re-opening dates of park amenities. We appreciate your patience as we work through these changes: The Grand Ravines Dog Park has is now open.

Lake Michigan Beach Update

Update#4 – June 5, 2020 2020 has been a year like none other. Between COVID and record-high water levels, your visit to the beach will be different than in years past.
Update: Restoration work at Stearns Creek will begin Monday, May 18, 2020. Please take note that trails may be closed in areas where the contractor is working.  To encourage the growth of native prairie species, the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission will be removing old pine plantations at Stearns Creek Park. This will improve the health of the land and hopefully restore one of Michigan’s once abundant but now rare ecosystems: the oak savanna.
Did you know? If you’d like to incorporate native trees and plants in your yard, you can purchase them in the spring and fall while supporting your local conservation district! Most of us have done it. Sneak some seeds from a flower. Take a few flowers home to our mom. All because we love nature and want to bring a piece back with us.
garlic mustard
We are unable to host large groups of volunteers right now (we miss you all!), but that doesn’t mean that all stewardship activities have to come to a halt. Here are ways you can support your parks with you’re out on a walk! Garlic Mustard Removal In the spring we usually have thousands of volunteers that help us remove garlic mustard. They have helped make some of our parks effectively invasive free.

Bringing Nature to You

We are building a library of online programs and Bringing Nature to You! Explore the different habitats in Michigan from the comfort of your own home. Each habitat and topic will include informational videos and fun activities for people of all ages including read alouds, programs, and scavenger hunts. We’ll continue to develop and add content, so please bookmark this page! Looking for more nature videos? Check out our Backyard Birding videos.

Backyard Birding

The Ottawa County Parks Nature Center is closed, so our resident birder and Parks Naturalist Curtis Dykstra, set up some of the feeders at home so he could share them with you! You can find more of our online nature programs by clicking here.
north beach park

2020 Ottawa County Resident Survey

The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission is preparing its five-year Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Plan that will be released in 2021. “Our five-year plan is crucial to the success of our parks system,” said Jason Shamblin, Ottawa County Parks Director.