From Great Lakes and Grand Rivers to RCWO at Roselle Park

| Uncategorized

A beautiful spring evening brought a crowd of enthusiasts to the Bunker Interpretive Center on April 18th to hear Mark Fitzpatrick, Director of Ada Parks and Recreation, talk about?our unique Great Lakes ecosystem. Mark discussed the various watersheds along the Grand River as it runs from Jackson north through Lansing,?then?veers sharply to the west in Ionia and on through Grand Rapids to empty into Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. Two active volunteer organizations – The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) and the Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds (MGROW) – work closely with communities and government units along the river to restore and celebrate our water resources. LGROW covers the Kent and Ottawa counties section of the river. They will be hosting their 13th Annual Grand River Spring Forum on May 6th at the Wisner Center. Visit their website to learn more about the event and to sign up.Grand River Watersheds

Mark also reported on the status of the efforts to restore the rapids to Grand Rapids. He says the project has received some funding from the DNR and work is beginning. Studies have shown the project will help restore the valuable ecosystems along that section of the Grand as well as boost the economy by becoming a visitor attraction. Learn more about the whitewater project and its economic impact here or attend the “Bring Back the Rapids” event at the Public Museum on April 19.

As people become more aware of?the impact human activities?have on our water system, more collaborations are being formed and great things are happening. Mark highlighted the Grand River Water Trail System, which features stops for paddlers along the Grand. He mentioned the many efforts of groups like the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, the Stewardship Network, Kent Conservation District,?Kent County Parks?and many others including our own RCWO, who are working tirelessly to preserve and conserve land, restore high impact areas and educate the public about?the importance of looking at the entire water system, rather than just where they live.

Mark closed with a glimpse of the beautiful new Roselle Park Resource Building, set to open in May. The project has been over 10 years in the planning. The land was home to the former Ada Beef Company, so a lot of restoration was required to remove drainage tiles, etc. The property had to be raised, as it is in the 100-year flood plain. The septic system required several back-up systems to prevent the possibility of overflow into the Grand River, which flows past the park. But, the green-building construction is complete and it promises to be a wonderful space for meetings, education and enjoyment for Kent County residents.