Subject: Fall news from Kent County Parks

November, 2014
Dear Friend,

Snow in November is a temporary condition! It's still great weather to get out and enjoy a trail. A brisk morning hike is the ideal way to clear your mind and get a little exercise to boot!

Here are a few late season news items to help get you back in the park spirit!


Two Rivers Park Expansion

In southeast Kent County, where the Coldwater River flows into the Thornapple River, Kent County Parks owns 91 acres set aside for a future park. This parcel features three miles of river shoreline along with forests, wetlands and upland fields.

While this site will make an excellent local park, we now have the opportunity to really raise the bar at Two Rivers by acquiring 170 acres of additional land to dramatically expand natural areas and recreational opportunities at the park.

Earlier this year, we submitted an application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund to help fund this expansion of the park. We've also secured pledges from other sources but, even if we receive all this funding, we still need to raise nearly an additional $100,000 to purchase the land.

Once the new park is developed, it would include mountain bike trails, boat launches, extensive natural areas with observation points, picnic areas and more. At 260 acres, the size and diverse recreational opportunities of this park would attract visitors from throughout our region. The park also would help protect an nurture a wide variety of native plant and animal species.

You can help achieve this vision for the park by contributing to the Kent County Parks Foundation's year-end appeal and marking your gift for Two Rivers Park. There's more on the appeal below, or you can click here to go directly to the Foundation's donation site. Thanks for your support and interest!

Wabasis Lake Campground
Now Taking 2015 Reservations

At Wabasis Lake Campground, in NE Kent County near Greenville, we offer 90 campsites ranging from primitive walk-in sites to full hook-up paved sites. We also have 3 cabins available for nightly rentals and a cottage that rents on a weekly basis.

To try to make our reservation process easier and more accessible, we started taking online reservations for Wabasis a couple of years ago. For 2015, we're taking another step forward by now taking reservations six months (actually 180 days) in advance, on a rolling basis.

This means we're already taking camping reservations for early May 2015 both online and by phone at (616) 691-8056. If you're booking for a busy time, we recommend doing it online, since sites open for booking 180 days in advance at midnight every night. To book online, you'll need to set up an account first, so be sure to do that ahead of time.

PLEASE NOTE:
For the Cottage only, we begin taking reservations FOR THE ENTIRE 2015 YEAR this Monday, November 24. Starting at 7:00 a.m. on the 24th, we'll take Cottage reservations in person at our office at 1700 Butterworth Dr SW, Grand Rapids 49534. At 9:00 a.m. on the same day, we'll start taking Cottage reservations by phone at 616-691-8056. We do not take Cottage reservations online.

Before making a reservation, please be sure you're familiar with our refund policy.

There's a whole winter to slog through between now and the 2015 camping season, but summer WILL come again!

Kaufman Golf Course 2015 Season Passes
15% Off if Purchased by December 31

If you've been thinking about getting a season pass to Kaufman Golf Course for 2015, now's the time to do it. Through December 31, 2015, our passes are on sale for 15% off regular prices. We also offer 40 Punch Pass cards at the same discount. Beginning January 1, the discount drops to 10% off. All passes and punch cards go to full price on March 1. For a complete list of our season pass options click here and scroll down the page to "Season Pass Rates."

Millennium Park on tripadvisor

If you're reluctant to venture outside to visit a park due to the snow, how about "surfing" to one from home? Tripadvisor is a website allowing guests to post reviews, comments and photos for attractions they visit. It's a popular way to check out places to go before you take a trip somewhere, or even to see what people think about possible destinations in your own area.

For the past couple of years, visitors have been posting reviews of Millennium Park. Today, the park is ranked 8 out of 37 attractions in the Grand Rapids area and has received a "Certificate of Excellence" for 2014! To post your own reviews (and help us get to #7...?) or just see what other people are saying, here's a link to the entry for the park.

Update: 
Millennium Park Meadows

As we mentioned last time, we're in the process of designing a new recreational area at Millennium Park directly across Maynard Ave. from the main park entry. The new meadows area is possible thanks to a generous gift from the Peter Secchia Family. We're currently finalizing designs and expect construction to begin early next year and be completed by fall. The meadows will include a large picnic shelter, restrooms, trails, and parking for large events. The picnic shelter will accommodate 300 people - double the size of our current shelters! When plans are complete, we'll post a note on our facebook page with a link to see them. We'll also continue to provide updates here in the newsletter.

Supporting Kent County Parks 
Annual Fundraising Appeal

Motivations for using Kent County parks and trails are as diverse as the people who enjoy them. We go for cherished family or personal time, to improve mental and physical health, to train for a race, connect with nature, and more. Our parks occupy a unique niche among public outdoor spaces, by preserving open space for coming generations and providing recreational access to landscapes that mostly remain in their natural state.

The Kent County Parks Foundation is a nonprofit that raises and provide funds to acquire and develop open spaces, parks and trails. Please join us by making a financial contribution to the Kent County Parks Foundation today. Your thoughtful gift will help ensure quality parks and trails are available to all – both today and in the future.

To donate, please visit kentcountyparksfoundation.org
Volunteers News

This year our volunteer students, teachers, Master Naturalists, church group members, corporate group staff, community and environmental organization members, scouts, county park neighbors, Friends of the Parks, and “Park and Trail Stewards” contributed more than 9,000 hours of service protecting and enhancing our County Parks!

We're extremely grateful for their help with building trails and bridges, removing invasive species, planting trees, making hundreds of native prairie seed balls, supporting native species habitats, assisting with special projects, participating in environmental education events, and cleaning up green spaces and trails!

To learn more about volunteer projects completed in 2014, visit Kent County Parks Department Volunteer Services Facebook site. To register to receive notifications of KCP Volunteer Services projects, programs and events for 2015 contact park.volunteers@kentcountymi.gov
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1700 Butterworth Dr SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534, United States
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