Ottawa Sands

Thank You For Your Support

We have great news.

Pending final approval from the state legislature, the Natural Resources Trust Fund has recommended the full $3.8 million grant to complete acquisition of the Ottawa Sands property. With your help, the Land Conservancy raised $397,000—well over our original $200,000 goal—in additional public funds.

We asked you to show your support for this beautiful stretch of land, and your response made waves. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

The Property

Along the banks of the Grand River, just upstream from Grand Haven’s famous musical fountain, along a cut-out in the river known as “the sag,” is a mysterious mile of shoreline that has been off-limits to the public for many decades.

The property is 345 acres and sits between the Kitchel Lindquist Hartger Dune Preserve and Ottawa County’s 513 acre North Ottawa Dunes natural area. The site has long been used for sand mining, but has been inactive in recent years. Thanks to a partnership project between Ottawa County Parks and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, the public finally has the opportunity to experience the natural beauty this property holds. 

Ottawa Sands Map


The Ottawa Sands property includes one mile of Grand River frontage, an 80-acre lake, and 219 acres of designated critical dunes providing habitat for wildlife and migratory birds. Without protection, Ottawa Sands would be lost to development or continued sand mining.

The protection of Ottawa Sands as a public green space creates a corridor of parks and preserved natural areas totaling over 2,000 acres, stretching from P.J. Hoffmaster State Park all the way to the Grand River. This corridor holds tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation including hiking, wildlife viewing, boating, fishing, and camping.

Once the Michigan legislature approves the grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Ottawa County will begin a planning process to develop publicly accessible facilities on the property as well as additional recreational opportunities.

Special Thanks!

This opportunity would not be possible without support from The Conservation Fund, a national organization that specializes in conservation loans. 

This project made possible in part with support from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund; Ottawa Sand Company; Loutit Foundation; Ottawa County Parks Foundation; J.A. Woollam Foundation; the North Bank Communities Fund, Greatest Needs Fund, Environment Fund and the William T. and Shirley A. Baker Fund of the Grand Haven Community Foundation.

Nearby Natural Areas

Minnie Skwarek Nature Preserve

Located near Spring Lake, Minnie Skwarek Nature Preserve protects biodiversity, improves water quality, and provides a destination for those nearby to connect with nature.

Read More

Palomita Nature Reserve

Located near the lakeshore between Holland and Grand Haven, Palomita Reserve protects a critically-important Great Lakes marsh ecosystem. Its location along the multi-use Lakeshore Connector Path makes it easy to access and enjoy this beautiful property.

Read More

Sign up for our E-newsletter

Get all the latest West Michigan conservation stories, news, and invitations in our monthly e-newsletter.
* = required field