Author:Marie Orttenburger

2020 Native plant sales in West Michigan

Spring is coming! Now is a great time to start thinking about which native plants you will grow in your yard this year. Find a native plant sale happening in your area below. Why native plants? There are many reasons to landscape your yard with native plants....

Grace Houseal finds her calling through volunteering

For Grace Houseal, volunteering with the Land Conservancy of West Michigan opened up a world of possibility. Houseal moved to Grand Rapids from Midland, Michigan to pursue a degree in English from Grand Valley State University in 2016. She landed a job at Brewery Vivant, and...

A community rallies for Ottawa Sands

We celebrated the transfer of this property to Ottawa County Parks in October 2019. [caption id="attachment_16180" align="alignright" width="443"] Hikers explore Ottawa Sands during the dedication.[/caption] On a blustery, gray day in mid-October, supporters of Ottawa Sands County Park gathered to celebrate its dedication—the final chapter in a...

The Highlands

Thanks to the community of Grand Rapids, this former golf course's future as a natural area was secured in spring 2019. The soft breezes and peaceful trails belie an exciting year of transformation at the Highlands. Completion of the acquisition campaign and a series of groundbreaking...

Night Beach Forever

Preserving the dunes, and a dear friend's memory, in perpetuity. When 35-year-old Evelyn Stone passed away in 2018, Jessa Ávalos and her friends wanted to find a way to honor her memory and her love for West Michigan’s dunes. “When our friends think about Evelyn, they think...

Eleanor Iorio renders landscapes in fiber

PRESERVED! Artist Interview Series Eleanor Iorio is this year’s Preserved! Youth Ambassador. She has grown up surrounded by art, and at 17 years old, she has spent much of her life experimenting in different mediums. Her focus is needle-felted fiber landscapes. [caption id="attachment_15953" align="alignright" width="237"] Eleanor Iorio[/caption] Iorio learned...

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