A Walk in the Park

Bill's Blog
Bill by Sign Dwight Lydell Park Easter 2019 004_1555889077150.JPG.jpg

First some mood music – one of my favorite happy songs.  I usually work in the church nursery every Sunday, but got today off, so I actually wore a suit – just wanted to dress up once for church.  There wasn’t an empty seat – glad we got there a little early.  My 3 daughters either went to other sides of the family or had to work…so Gayle and I had a nice lunch – opened up the 3-season porch.  We have been trying to walk regularly.  In winter, that’s usually the treadmill…in spring we can get out.  Today, we went to nearby Dwight Lydell Park – on West River Drive in Comstock Park. 

Comstock Park was first called North’s Mill back in the 1830s (after Daniel North).  Then it was known as Six Mills and was referred to as “Little Chicago”.  In 1848, it was named Mill Creek.  Finally, in 1906, it was given the name Comstock Park, after George Comstock, who was a local congressman (and lived on the other side of the Grand River). 

Here’s a long view of the paved path that circles much of the park.  The path is over 1/2 mile long.  The park is 39 acres and is partly in Plainfield Township and partly in Alpine Township.

Look at the people on the park Sunday…I saw walkers, joggers, scooters, 2 segways, quite a few dog walkers, kids in strollers.  The temperature was a perfect 72 and the sun was warm. 

There’s a nice playground at the park.  Lots of people (and happy kids) were at the park on Sunday.  I remember when my kids (now in their upper 30s) played here.

In 1976, the Comstock Park Rotary raised the funds to put up a mill wheel just west of West River Dr.  For safety purposes, the wheel does not turn.  This is where there was a mill dam back in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The dam washed out in a flood in 1911. There were 7 mills that ground grain and helped at the saw mills.  There were also two tanneries here.  Mill Creek begins at Cranberry Lake, goes under the building on the east side of West River Dr. (that used to be Comstock Park Foods). 

There were kids and parents at the baseball diamond Sunday PM.  When I was a kid growing up near Chicago, we used to play whiffle ball (it wouldn’t go so far) in the street – I then played 3 seasons in Little League.  I had two glory moments in Little League – hitting a grand slam home run in the 9th inning to win a game…and hitting a double in the B League All-Star Game.

Along the path, you’ll pass the old train station, built in 1914.  It’s now the H.Q of the Grand Rapids Model RR Historical Society.  When I was a kid, I got a Lionel Train for Christmas one year…four cars, just went around a small track in a circle. 

We saw a number of flowers along the path.  Here’s some pretty daffodils across the creek in the “backyard” of the Comstock Park Congregational Church. 

I saw white flowers and a couple different kinds of purple flowers along the path. 

And what would spring be here in Michigan without our bright yellow dandelions. 

There are several fish ponds at the park.  The ponds were part of a state fish hatchery that existed until the 1940s.  Fish were loaded into tanks and taken around Michigan by train.  Gayle and I saw dozens of small fish in the ponds this PM.

There were a pair of geese at the ponds.  This appeared to be a male and there was what appeared to be a female sitting on a nest.  The geese are safe behind a fence.  I saw another pair of geese fly overhead and there was a pair of ducks in the creek. 

Red buds are out on (I think they are) maple trees by the ponds.  I don’t have a pic. of it, but the forsythias are turning yellow. 

Here’s some berries that made it through the winter and some green buds by a pond along the path in the park. 

Here’s a tornado siren across the creek next to the Comstock Park (Plainfield Township) Library.  Sirens in Kent Co. are tested on the first Friday of the month from April through October. 

You could see branches under some of the trees that were broken off during the ice storm we had in early February. 

There are two bridges over the creek in the park.  This is looking east toward the Grand River.  You can see the cement walls along the creek – some of those crumbling walls are over 100 years old, going back to the days of the mills.  A big construction product will start soon.  The old walls will be taken oiut and the river will be cleaned up.  A couple years from now, the park will look quite a bit different. 

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