Subject: Fall News from Kent County Parks

October, 2015
Dear Friend,

We had a busy summer at Kent County Parks! Our biggest increase was attendance at the beach at Millennium Park, which was 50% higher than we've seen in recent years! Use at Kaufman Golf Course, Wabasis Lake Campground and many of our other parks has also been high, and the season's not over yet! Crisp air, beautiful colors and wildlife on the move all combine to make fall the perfect time to get out and explore our parks and trails! We hope you'll come out soon!

Bailey's Doggie Dash is this Saturday!

The Kent County Parks Foundation is pleased host the 16th annual Bailey’s Doggie Dash this Saturday Oct. 17 at Wabasis Lake Park. Dogs of all sizes and owners of all ages are encouraged to participate, raising money to support Kent County’s 38 parks and 4 regional trails. The race was founded by Kevin Sweeney in memory of his dog Bailey.

Races begin at 9:00 am with several opportunities including a 5k run/walk and a one-mile course. Afterwards, a costume contest for dogs and their owners will be judged by WGVU Morning Show Host, Shelley Irwin!

“We are excited to host this race for the 16th year,” stated Kate Meyer, KCPF Executive Director. “It’s a fantastic way to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy the autumn beauty of our county parks, and support the enhancement and expansion of our parks system.”

Registration is $25 per person before the event, or $35 at the event. Children 12 and under are $10. Awards are given to the top three finishers in each age group, for top male and female runners, top male and female finisher, and the Bailey’s Choice Costume Contest!
New Kent County Parks Website

We've recently launched a completely revamped and expanded website at www.KentCountyParks.org. Our new site features interactive google maps, a lot more information and photos on individual parks, detailed pages for volunteers, printable park maps, and a greatly expanded section on area trails. Please have a look and send us an email to let us know your thoughts!

Information on our performance measures, mission, goals and objectives will continue to be available on the county's website at www.accesskent.com.
Project Updates
Like us on Facebook for more updates on these and other projects
Pickerel Lake Boardwalk
It's hard to believe, but the 800' long floating boardwalk at Pickerel Lake Park is already 20 years old and due for replacement. Work is now underway, with funding from a DNR grant and the County's capital improvement program. The new boardwalk will be a little longer and have more bumpouts for observation and fishing. Also, it will be built alongside the old route, for minimal disruption in park use.

Two Rivers Park Expansion
This spring we received a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant to acquire 170 acres for the future Two Rivers Park, at the confluence of the Coldwater and Thornapple Rivers. We hope to complete the purchase this fall, though we are still seeking donations of any size to help cover total costs. If you'd like to help please email Kate Meyer or visit www.kcpf.org/donate.

Millennium Park Meadows
Another big project starting this fall is the development of the Meadows at Millennium Park, across the street from the park's main recreation area. The Meadows will include a large open shelter, scenic trails and plenty of space for large group events. If you've been through on nearby trails you may already have seen the large piles of fill and soil that will be used. Grading will start this fall with construction continuing into next year.

Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail
If you've recently driven along 3 Mile Rd between Walker and Alpine, you probably noticed work being done to convert the sidewalk to full trail width. This is the extension of the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, which connects to the Musketawa Trail, and will wrap up soon. The next phase will continue the trail across Alpine to eventually connect with the White Pine Trail at Lamoreaux Memorial Park, at the intersection of North Park and West River Dr.

Cannon Trail in Townsend Park
This summer, Cannon Township completed the latest extension to its popular Cannon Trail through Townsend Park. The trail used to end in the north section of the park, near the pine plantation. Now, it continues into Cannonsburg through a section of the park west of Ramsdell Dr. It's a great improvement!

Kent County Parks Volunteers Rock!

Thanks to hundreds of KCP Volunteers who supported Kent County Parks sites this year! Church and business groups, students, scouts, community organizations, “Park and Trail Stewards” and individuals all pitched in to clean up green spaces and trails. Volunteers also improved natural habitats by removing invasive species, harvesting native prairie seeds, and planting native species of trees, flowers and prairie grasses! You can see photos of volunteers in action on our Facebook page.

The KCP Annual Fall Clean Up Event ends at the end of October, but we still have opportunities available before the snow falls! And our spring season kicks off in late March with our Annual Kaufman Golf Course Clean Up and Grill Out. For a list of project and event dates, please contact KCP Volunteer Services by email or call 616-632-7842.

For more on Kent County Parks Volunteer Services, please visit kentcountyparks.org/volunteer. See you in the parks!
Supporting Kent County Parks and Trails

Since 1999, the Kent County Parks Foundation has worked diligently to inspire our community to move by investing in open spaces, parks, and trails. We value the economic, social, and health benefits that green spaces bring, which is why we are dedicated to protecting and preserving our area’s natural beauty for all to enjoy. Through the generous support of our partners and donors, we assist the Kent County Parks Department with the expansion and enhancement of our county parks.

Please join us by making a gift to ensure there will be wildlife habitat and public recreation areas for everyone to enjoy, for today and for tomorrow. For information about making a gift, please visit our website: KentCountyParksFoundation.org.
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