Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Parks CommissionThe Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission was created in 1987 to oversee the management and operation of the county parks system. The Commission is dedicated to providing Ottawa County residents and visitors with park facilities as well as recreational and educational opportunities that enhance the quality and enjoyment of their lives.
Philip Kuyers - Secretary
Roger E. Jonas
Kelly N. Rice
Fillmore Street Complex Office Staff
Parks & Recreation Director
John has served as Parks and Recreation Manager since shortly after the Parks and Recreation Commission was formed in 1987. He received his Masters Degree in Parks and Recreation Resources from Michigan State University and spent six years as the director of Saginaw County Parks prior to coming to Ottawa County. Scholtz was born and raised in the Grand Haven area.
Coordinator of Park Planning & Development
Curt is a landscape architect and land planner with over 17 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of recreation and other outdoor public use areas. He started with the Ottawa County Parks system in 2005 after working at private design firms in West Michigan and most recently at his own landscape architecture design company. Curt was born and raised in Grand Haven and has a degree in Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University.
Aaron is a planning and GIS professional with over 13 years of experience in project management, non-motorized pathway planning, and GIS mapping. He was hired by Ottawa County in 2003 and worked in the Planning & Performance Improvement Department and GIS Department before starting with Parks in 2016. Aaron graduated from Grand Valley State University with Bachelor of Arts in English. Aaron and his family have lived along the Lakeshore since 1999 and have spent countless hours together exploring Ottawa County’s wonderful parks.
Tabitha was hired by Ottawa County in 2006 as the secretary for the Planning and Performance Improvement Department and moved to the Parks Office in 2009. She provides clerical assistance to the Parks Staff and also serves as the receptionist for the Parks Office. Tabitha graduated from Western Michigan University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Music degree in French Horn Performance.
Joining the team in 2012, Kyle serves as the office manager and oversees the financial functions of the department. She brings over 30 years of experience in Accounting and Database Management, previously working in the private sector. Kyle graduated with a BS in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Jessica is a marketing and communications professional with a broad range of experience. She has created and managed communications strategies for nonprofit organizations as well as privately-held companies. She began her career in the City of Boston after graduating with a BS in Advertising from the New England Institute of Art in 2009. Since relocating back home to West Michigan she worked in the wastewater treatment industry. As a lover of all things outdoors, she is very excited be on the parks team.
Records Processing Clerk II
Nature Education Center Staff
Coordinator of Interpretive & Information Services
Kristen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education and Interpretation. She completed her elementary teaching credential at GVSU in 2007 and joined Ottawa County Parks in 2009. Kristen has over 10 years experience teaching and coordinating hands-on science programs for students at residential science schools. She thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing the natural wonders of the outdoors with others.
Curtis graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa with a degree in Environmental Studies. Since then, he has gained over 13 years of experience as an educator and naturalist. Curtis has been a teacher, a State Park Ranger in eastern North Carolina, and Assistant Director of Outdoor Education at Camp Roger in Rockford, Michigan. He strives to connect people to the outdoors in practical and enjoyable ways. Curtis is an avid birder and delights to share this passion with others.
Nature Education Secretary
Mindy started working for the Nature Education Center in January 2016. She graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Art degree in Literature and is a resent transplant to Ottawa County from Northern California. She has been working with the public for over 15 years, providing environmental and viticulture information primarily in the wine industry. She enjoys traveling and numerous outdoor activities, but especially looks forward to exploring Ottawa County’s beautiful creeks and rivers by kayak.
Park Operations Center Staff
Coordinator of Park Maintenance and Operations
Jason started in January 2014 and is responsible for the maintenance and operations including projects, policies, rule enforcement, fee collection, risk management and budgeting. Jason has 20 years of experience including programming, maintenance, law enforcement, management, and administrative roles. He has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Bowling Green State University.
Parks Operations Manager
A department employee since 1996, Organizes, plans, and assigns day to day maintenance operations for the entire parks system. Another of Bob’s responsibilities is to supervise the collection of over $300,000 in motor vehicle fees annually. Bob has a Bachelor of Science degree from Mankato State University in Minnesota.
Natural Resources Management Supervisor
Melanie started working for Ottawa County Parks in 2011 and is responsible for coordinating the protection, stewardship and restoration of natural resources on park properties and for the development of a comprehensive parks volunteer program. Melanie has a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science and a M.S. in Conservation Biology from Central Michigan University. Her professional experience includes stewardship of West Michigan’s natural lands, management of volunteer programs, and environmental education.
Parks Supervisor (East Area)
Collin manages a very busy Hager Park, as well as Spring Grove Park, Grand River Park and a new open space at the Bend Area. He and his staff are responsible for accommodating more than 250 reservation groups annually at eight sites. Also, Collin has extensive experience with turf management, trees and other plants. Collin is the original Parks Supervisor for his area and has been with the Commission since 1990. His education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Mankato University in Minnesota.
Parks Supervisor (South Area)
Leif has responsibility for 11 sites towards the south end of the county including the winter ski/sledding operation at Pigeon Creek Park, the Upper Macatawa Natural Area and the Historic Weaver House at Pine Bend. Leif also oversees the County Parks Invasive Species Control/Land Stewardship program. Leif has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Valley State University and has been an Ottawa County Parks Supervisor since 1998.
Parks Equipment Specialist
Jeremy is a skilled mechanic with over 20 years of experience in small engine repair. He has extensive knowledge of large machinery including tractors, trucks, and trailers. He is also a welder with proficiency in metal fabrication as well as torch, plasma, band saw, and drill press. He is skilled in overhead crane and fork lift operation.
Park Maintenance Worker
Parks Supervisor (North Area)
Anne has responsibility 13 sites in the north part of the county including some of the newest county parks such as Crockery Creek Natural Area and Eastmanville Farm. Anne has an extensive background in facility management and maintenance and has worked for parks since 2005.
Park Maintenance Worker
Parks Supervisor (West Area)
Eric Frifeldt was hired as the Park Supervisor overseeing the Lakeshore Parks, including the ever popular Rosy Mound Natural Area. Eric most recently was with the Michigan DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division at Silver Lake and Muskegon State Parks. Before that he spent a number of years working seasonally for Ottawa County Parks. He has a degree in Parks and Recreation from Michigan State University.
Parks Maintenance Worker
Tom has been with the Parks Department as a full time maintenance worker since the start of 2013. Tom brings a wealth of experience and skills from his many years in the construction business. Tom was also the Parks Seasonal Maintenance Crew Supervisor for 2 years before he moved to this full time position.
Parks Visitor Center
- The Nature
at Hemlock Crossing
8115 West Olive Road
West Olive, MI 49460
- Tuesday - Saturday:
9:00am - 5:00pm
12:00pm - 5:00pm
- Phone: (616) 786-4847
- Pigeon Creek Hotline: (616) 738-9531
- Room 267
12220 Fillmore St.
West Olive, MI 49460
- Monday - Friday:
8:00am - 5:00pm
- Phone: (616) 738-4810
Fax: (616) 738-4812
- In Ottawa County:
(888) 731-1001 ext.4810
General Park Hours*March 1 - October 15
7:00am - 10:00pm
October 16 - February 28
7:00am - 8:00pm