Visitors to Laketown Township can now get a little extra direction in finding the unique plants, animals and other features in township parks thanks to seven recently installed informational signs.
More signs to help people enjoy the parks are on the way as well.
The township Parks and Recreation Commission approved the informational signs in April 2022. The signs, most about 24 inches by 36 inches, were designed by Patty Meyer, operations director at the Felt Estate.
“Laketown Township has so many beautiful parks, and when I began birding two years ago, I started to pay more attention to the diversity of plants, animals, and birds that inhabit the various ecosystems within the Laketown parks system. So often we overlook the treasures right in our own backyard,” she said.
“I wanted to create signage that would enhance visitors’ experiences in the parks, highlighting each park’s special features and inherent wonders, wonders that might be overlooked by the casual observer,” she explained.
Brett Grams, facilities operations for the township, installed each sign on their metal posts cemented into the ground.
The sign at Wolters Woods Park, 6281 147th Ave., is set along the trail where it meets a creek. The sign highlights turtles, beavers, muskrat, insects and trees.
Sanctuary Woods Park, 4750 66th St., focuses on barred owls and dune forest. The sign is at the base of the steps to the upper trail loop.
Huyser Farm Park, 4188 64th St., has two signs — one describing the blueberry fields and the other looking at wildlife in the pond.
Farview Park, 6257 138th Ave., highlights amphibians, fish and birds at the Big Pond.
Laketown Beach Park, 6710 142nd Ave., looks at the dune habitat. The sign is at the entrance at the parking lot.
Shore Acres Park, 6602 138th Ave., highlights the area bluebird population. The sign is placed near the chapel.
“In today’s tech-heavy world, being able to be immersed in nature is essential for our emotional and physical wellbeing. My hope is that visitors are so overwhelmed by the beauty around them that they forget their phones, forget their tablets, turn off their social media, and soak in a wider world,” Meyer said. “A greater appreciation for the world around us also leads to a greater sense of care and protection for the earth. So, another hope I have is that, in some small way, these signs help us all to be better conservationists and better stewards of our parks and places.”
Each park will also get a welcome sign that includes a trail map and park description for a total of 13 signs. Those welcome signs are in their final stages of production.