Doodads — The Highlands Park in Grand Rapids



Per the website:

The Highlands is a collaboration between the Land Conservancy of West Michigan and Blandford Nature Center to transform a former golf course into a healthy and thriving urban natural area.

I met up with my two sons, my daughter in-law, and my baby granddaughter at The Highlands on Saturday.  Located in an older suburb of Grand Rapids, it was a golf course at one time, but now it is being encouraged to revert back to nature.  The water areas are pretty much dried up, but there is still some bit of water.  The mature trees have been left alone except for some unfortunate carving on the majestic birch tree.  You can still feel the character of the golf course with the slopes and fairway, but the manicured part is absent except for a pathway that is mowed through it to guide the walker on the circuit around the grounds.  The park didn’t have many other humans, which was both pleasant and surprising.  The baby was in her stroller most of the time and seemed to enjoy the bumpy ride.  It was quite sunny out, but the quantity and quality of the trees made the stroll pleasantly dappled with shade and cool.  We stopped several times in the shade to let the baby get out and run.  Deer are in the park.  We saw one doe grazing and the baby made a bee-line for her, so she ended up loping off into the shadows.  We also saw a fawn that appeared to be looking for its mother, but we stayed far from the fawn. 

They have planted zillions of milkweed plants, most of which haven’t bloomed yet.  There are a concerning number of giant thistle plants in there that they need to address before they take over.  They’ve planted white and pink yarrow.  There are a wealth of birds in the park but most too skittish to get a good look at.  I didn’t take a lot of pictures, as I was too busy enjoying the precious time with family. 

Click on captions to see full-size pics.

resized sign at entrance to the highlands 20220618_134651 (2)
Sign at the entrance
resized resting pond at the highlands 20220618_143720
One of the ponds in the park.
resized pink yarrow 20220618_144017
Lovely pink yarrow and a cool looking insect on it.
resized milkweed extravaganza 061822
Such dense and healthy milkweed!
resized deer grazing at highlands 20220618_150132 (2)
Doe grazing
resized giant pine at highlands 20220618_145314 (2)
big pine tree
resized trunk of Mother Birch 20220618_153841 (2)
Mother Birch. This tree has powerful energy.

family at the highlands 20220618_144133
My sons, daughter in-law, and granddaughter (unseen, she is in the stroller.)

11 Comments Add yours

  1. memadtwo says:

    That looks like a great day. Should be the fate of most golf courses in my opinion–it takes a lot of energy to maintain them. The manicured environment is a recent invention. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      It was, Kerfe. Agreed, and as verdant and lush as it is now, it doesn’t need any help getting that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Badfinger (Max) says:

    It does look like a piece of wild land now…you can see where the golf course was in the one shot…it’s a good idea letting it go back. I can only imagine the costs of having one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s a beautiful place. On another subject am headed to my mom’s in a few minutes and not sure when I’ll be getting back 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max) says:

        Have a good visit Lisa!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    What a wonderful way to spend the day. And you’re right… Mother Birch has energy that flows through the computer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It was, Dale, and it does!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Li, what a wonderful day it must have been! ❤️
    I agree with Kerfe about golf courses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Punam it was the best of days ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. May you have many more! ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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