A couple hundred people took advantage of a fundraiser sponsored by the Friends of Ottawa County Parks to ride the Grand Lady from Grand River Park to the Ravines and back upstream past the bend area.
Earlier in the day, fifth-graders from two Holland-area schools took turns riding aboard the 105-foot-long vessel to learn about the parks, and about wildlife and vegetation along the riverbanks.
County Parks naturalist Curtis Dykstra, as well as Curt TerHaar, the coordinator of the county’s Park Planning and Development, answered questions about the parks system, pointing out wildlife such as a turtle and an eagle, and some other birds along the way.
Dan and Rose Beukema of Zeeland provided sing-along entertainment.
Organized in 2005, the Friends group sponsors programs to build public awareness of the county park system by hosting events and providing information about them.
Monthly membership meetings are at 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, with the exception of December. The next meeting is June 19. The meetings take place in Room A of the Ottawa County Fillmore Street Complex, 12220 Fillmore St., just west of 120th Avenue.
For more information on the organization, go to: www.friendsofocp.org.
See related photo gallery: “Grand Lady Cruise.”