Gravel mining land to become park under Ottawa County deal

Ottawa County

A courtesy map shows the proposed area for the Bend Area park in Ottawa County’s Georgetown Township.

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa County’s Grand River Greenway is about to grow.

County parks officials say they’ve reached an agreement with land owners to purchase 87 acres of former gravel mining land in Georgetown Township.

The Ottawa County parks and Recreation Commission and Ottawa County Parks Foundation say the land is key to their decadeslong plan of developing the Grand River Greenway’s Bend Area, bringing the green space of a regional park to Ottawa County’s most populated area.

“The past few weeks have shown how critical it is to have outdoor spaces available, and that gives added urgency to Ottawa County Parks’ efforts to conserve natural areas,” Parks & Recreation Commission President and Ottawa County Parks Foundation Treasurer David VanGinhoven stated in a Wednesday news release.

The goal of parks officials is to connect the Ottawa County Greenway with a larger green space, creating the West Michigan Grand River Greenway. The combined park area could include 9,000 acres of public riverfront, two urban river walks and 45 miles of pathways from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven.

Ottawa County parks officials expect to complete their purchase of the gravel mining property in late spring or early summer. It’s being paid for by a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, the Ottawa County parks millage and $50,000 from the Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s Grand River Greenway campaign.

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