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DeGraaf Nature Center Awarded $40,000 Grant from Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CHHZ)

Press release date: Thu Jul 17th, 2014

HOLLAND - The City of Holland and the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) are pleased to announce that the DeGraaf Nature Center is the recipient of a $40,000 competitive grant from CFHZ’s community endowment. The grant will fund the acquisition of a neighboring property that will generate long term benefits for the Nature Center and its visitors.

“We are very excited and thrilled that we have been selected to receive this funding, which is needed to support a number of critical improvements to the DeGraaf Nature Center that have been planned for many years.  The gains will be enjoyed for generations to come at this very popular natural refuge in the heart of an urban environment,” noted Ryan Cotton, City Manager.

This grant will enable the DeGraaf Nature Center to create an improved entrance and a safer environment for our school children and other guests to enter and exit the facility, including multiple busses which need to properly gain access. The addition of this grant will provide a long lasting park-like entry way for the Nature Center, and in turn, improve Holland and the neighboring communities.

“The Community Foundation believes this purchase represents a pivotal investment for DeGraaf Nature Center that will have a lasting impact on the valuable educational and recreational experiences that the Center provides to our community members,” said Elizabeth Kidd, Vice President of Community Impact at CFHZ.

“The City of Holland is grateful to the VanArk family, for their patience throughout this process, and their willingness to partner with us on this endeavor. We are especially thankful to the Community Foundation donors, multiple community donors – large and small, and the Community Foundation Board and Staff for realizing this potential and assisting us in this process,” said Ryan Cotton.

The City Council formally accepted the formal grant document at their regular meeting on July 16, 2014.

Ryan Cotton, City Manager
City of Holland, 270 South River Avenue, Holland, MI  49423  (616) 355.1310

Elizabeth Kidd, Vice-President of Community Impact
Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, 85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI  49423  (616) 396.6590

Andy Kenyon, CPRP, CPSI
Parks and Recreation Interim Director, City of Holland, 429 East 24th Street, Holland, MI  49423  (616) 928.2450