Above is a picture of the “round-leaved ragwort.”
According to The Nature Conservancy group that has been doing a lot of work on the wooded area of the Whiteford Stoneco Community Park, this plant is a new record for Monroe County.
“While it is not a ‘rare’ plant statewide, it is the only occurrence known in Monroe County,” said Mike Losey, of TNC.
OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford Township Supervisor Walter Ruhl will host a “Walk in the Park,” at 1 p.m. June 1, 2013.
“This is a chance for township residents to come to the park and get a chance to see what we have done and hear about my plans for the future of the park,” Ruhl said.
The Whiteford-Stoneco Community Park opened four years ago at the corner of Whiteford and Sterns Rds., replacing a park at the corner of Whiteford Center and Sterns Rd. that had been home to ball fields for decades. The land for the new park – nearly 100 acres – was donated to the township by Stoneco Inc.
The township immediately developed six ball fields on the park property and has been working on making improvements to those fields since. This season, more than 90 games will be played on the six fields from teams made up mainly of Whiteford Township youth.
Several improvements have been made to the park property. A storage building was built on site through a project spearheaded by Kipp Van Tassel, owner of Van Tassel Construction Corp.; The Nature Conservancy has been working to restore a rare, alvar prairie found in the wooded area of the park; Park Manager Doug Donnelly secured a $3,000 grant from the Monroe County Environmental Fund to pay for park benches and a picnic table made out of recycled materials, plus other items at the park; and the recent major road construction project on US-23 has netted several thousand cubic yards of dirt, used to help fill low areas at the park.
“There’s a long way to go, but things are happening,” Donnelly said. “Our goal is to make the park something all township residents can utilize in one way or another.”
Supervisor Ruhl said he wants township residents to learn more about the park and see for themselves what’s happening there. Items being proposed for the future include a walking trail, a pavilion, soccer fields and a playground.
“I would like everyone that is interested in the park to come and see what has been done and hear what I am thinking about what should happen next,” he said. “This is just something I want to do and I want as many people to come out as can.”