But something didn’t feel right, so she moved to another location.
An hour later, a large beech tree slammed to the ground — impaling the earth with large branches, knocking down two other trees and enveloping the picnic table Busch had vacated just minutes before.
“I just feel like someone was watching over me,” the Spring Lake woman said as she looked at the mess still covering a section of the Duncan Memorial Park parking lot.
“Every day I come here. My friend meets me,” Busch said.
Busch works at the nearby medical center adjacent to North Ottawa Community Hospital. She said a lot of people seek the peaceful refuge of the park during their lunch hour.
“I went to the picnic table and sat down,” she said. “I heard a sound like someone shooting a gun.”
Busch said her friend parked her car in her usual space near the table, joined her friend up the hill and asked why she wasn’t in her normal spot.
To read the original story on the fallen tree, published in Wednesday's Tribune, CLICK HERE.
“Can you hear that?” Busch said she asked her friend. “We listened for 30 minutes. It sounded like popping.”
Busch said she realized it was a tree, so she called the Grand Haven Department of Public Works.
“I told them it sounded like the tree was going to fall,” she said.
But Duncan Memorial Park is not under city jurisdiction, so they declined to respond, Busch said.
Her friend left at 1 p.m.
Busch had parked her car near the park's back gate, and she climbed into the car to leave at about 1:17 p.m. She pulled up to another car entering the parking lot and they noted the noise.
“I said, ‘Do you hear that?’” Busch said. “Probably 30 seconds later we both heard it get really loud. We both looked and it was like 'bam.' The air was just full of leaves and bugs.
"It’s probably the closest experience I’ve ever had to death," she added.
Busch said it’s a wonder that nobody was caught under the falling trees.
“The park is usually full on the lunch hour,” she said.
Duncan Memorial Park Board of Trustees President Roger Cotner said he is thankful that Busch was not hurt.
Cotner has bids from services to remove the trees that fell and, potentially, to remove three other dead trees along the park roadway and parking lot.
“There’s another beech east of the parking lot,” he said. “It could fall on the road and hurt somebody. ... It’s just simply not responsible to have an unsafe environment. We’re trying to make that park safe.”