Friends Banner

Some "Friends" are for Life

Friends of Ottawa County Parks is an organization dedicated to connecting people with nature, recreation and community by partnering with the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission. Organized in 2005, the Friends sponsors programs to build public awareness of the Ottawa County park system by hosting events and providing information about Ottawa County parks and open spaces.


  • Monthly Membership Meetings
    are the third Wednesday of each month, except December,
    4:00 PM in Room A at Fillmore Complex...

  •  New Location For Santa Event!
    The Nature Education Center will be the site for visiting Mr. and Mrs. Claus this year. Bring the family for pictures with Santa, refreshments, crafts for children, and walks on the winter trails. Located in Hemlock Crossing County Park, this free event will be held Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1-4 pm. more...

  • Friends’ Projects & Accomplishments 2015-2016
    Helped with 2015 Dog Park fundraising event.
    Staffed aide station for first M 23.1 run over the Grand River.
    Hosted Santa & Mrs. Claus visit at the Weaver House.
    Hosted Ice Fishing event at Eastmanville Bayou.

    Promoted parks, healthy activities, and nature education at many venues:
    Four Points Health Expo, Macatawa Water Festival,
    Holland Hospital Wellness Fair, Hudsonville Games,
    GVSU Campus Health Expo, Salmonfest KidZon,e
    Earth Day Fair, Sportsmen for Youth Expo

    Assisted parks staff at Holland Tulip Time and Paw Paw Park events.
    Helped parks staff with open house events for Grand Ravines North lodge.
    Hosted open house events at the Weaver House in Pine Bend Park.
    Recruited volunteers for work days to remove invasives.
    Assisted parks staff and health department with some Walking Challenge hikes.
    Partnered with Friends members to sponsor 2 benches for Grand Ravines.
    Sponsored student bus transportation for United Way’s Junior Day of Caring.
    Helped with cost of the 3rd year of the Goat Project.
    Obtained grant from Perrigo Foundation to assist WMEAC with Grand River Clean Up costs.
    Sponsored students from 5 schools for trips on the Grand Lady as part of their study program.
    Hosted 2 very successful Grand Lady excursions - with parks staff providing programs.
    Sponsored two Eagle Scout candidates with their projects in OC Parks.
    Helped purchase adult & child size life jackets for use with the Gabagouche.
    Provided funds to purchase Beach Wheelchair for North Beach park.
    Donated $500 for Sesquicentennial events at Eastmanville Farm Park.
    Donated $1,000 to new Ottawa County Parks Foundation.
    Friends members volunteered for 2016 Dog Park fundraising efforts.

    The ‘cost’ for many of these activities is primarily donation of volunteer time & effort. Some of these projects required money. Following are estimates for the Sept 2015 to Sept 2016 year:

    • We received $10,500 from membership dues, donations and fundraising.

    • We have paid $14,000 for programs and projects in the last twelve months.

    • We now have $ 9,000 available for planning future efforts to enhance our parks, promote nature education and encourage healthy activities.

The contributions of time, talent, effort, and funds from every member and donor are very much appreciated. Thank you to all!

For information on Ottawa County Parks, visit: