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Great Lakes Article:

Dune speaker series begins on Thursday
Muskegon Chronicle
Published February 16th, 2005

The latest addition to the Ottawa County parks system, 500 acres of dunes south of P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, will be the topic of the first session in the Lake Michigan Federation's "All About Dunes 2005 Speaker Series."

John Scholtz, manager of the Ottawa County Parks Department, will discuss the county's recent acquisition of dunes in Spring Lake Township. Scholtz will discuss the property's natural features, how the county raised funds to acquire the land, and future plans for the site.

Scholtz's talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park.

This is the third year the Lake Michigan Federation has offered the dune series, which is an effort to inform area residents about the dunes. The federation, a Chicago-based environmental group, has an office in Grand Haven.

The Lake Michigan dunes are the largest assemblage of freshwater dunes on the planet. Each session in the dune series is free and open to the public; the state park may charge an entrance fee and donations are accepted. All sessions begin at 7 p.m. and are at the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center.

Here is the schedule:

April 26: "The Elusive Pitcher Thistle." Tameka Dandridge, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will discuss this endangered plant, which is found only in the Great Lakes dunes.

Sept. 22: "The Changing Face of the Lake Michigan Dunes." Researchers Deanna van Dijk and Edward Hansen will discuss their latest research findings into how wind and other natural forces change dunes, including those at Hoffmaster.

Nov. 1: A representative of the Kitchel Lindquist Dune Preserve will discuss the 112-acre dune preserve in Ferrysburg.

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