Ottawa County Parks and Recreation #5

Ottawa county parks are gorgeous and fantastically managed. This was especially pronounced when we went to do our initial survey and subsequent invasive species removal at the newest acquisition for Ottawa county parks: Ottawa sands. When we arrived at the park the first thing that immediately comes into vision is a massive and beautiful man-made lake from sand mining. The lake is surrounded by fine sand and course marram grass. Further out is a line of beautiful oak trees with little to no understory. The parks greater features were beautiful, however, down in the grass was something even more beautiful. While removing the invasive spotted knapweed, I saw numerous pitchers thistles which are a rare and threatened form of thistle native to Michigan. While pulling the knapweed I counted over a hundred pitchers thistle some so dense that there were over twenty in a ten square foot area. The thistle have beautiful leaves and flowers and were a great find at the new park. Later in the day, I also found coyote tracks leading up the dune following some deer tracks.

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