Aman Park inducted into national Old-Growth Forest Network
Published on May 19, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) has recognized Grand Rapids’ Aman Park for its protections, ecological quality and value to the community as a future old-growth forest. Jacob Aman donated Aman Park, O-1859 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, to the City in 1926 and is the largest City-owned park at 339 acres.
OGFN recognized Aman Park’s maturing and diverse second-growth forests including dry-mesic, southern mesic and floodplain forests along Sand Creek – a tributary to the Grand River. Forest tree species include northern red oak, eastern hemlock, red maple, American beech, black cherry, white oak, and white pine, with silver maple and sycamore common in the lowlands.
“We’re honored to have a Grand Rapids park recognized for such a rare distinction,” said David Marquardt, director of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation. “This donated land has been an enduring gift to our community and beyond for its biodiversity and natural beauty.”
“Aman Park is well known for its plant diversity and especially for spring wildflowers, which thrive in protected forests,” said Nick Sanchez, OFGN’s network manager. “This forest is a refuge for the community, particularly for students from nearby Grand Valley State University, making it a great place to study forests, relax, stretch the legs and lungs, and find inspiration in nature. Hiking through the ravines and along the shady creek, it's easy to forget you are only miles from Michigan’s second largest city. This old-growth forest makes an excellent addition to the national network.”
The mission of the OGFN is to connect people with nature by creating a national network of protected, publicly accessible forests, and a network of people inspired to protect them. The organization’s goal is to ensure the preservation of at least one forest in every county in the United States that can sustain a forest, estimated to be 2,370 out of a total of 3,140 counties. OGFN’s program works to identify forests for the Network, ensure their protection from logging, and connect people to these forests to experience mature and old-growth forests. OGFN also educates about the extraordinary ecological and human wellness benefits of old-growth forests, and speaks out regarding immediate threats to specific ancient forests.
Founded in 2012 by Dr. Joan Maloof, OGFN has recognized over 180 forests in 32 states. Aman Park will be the seventh Michigan forest to join the Old-Growth Forest Network. It will join Hartwick Pines State Park in Crawford County, Otto Nature Preserve in Oceana County, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area - Huron-Manistee National Forests in Mason County, and Sand Point Nature Preserve in Huron County, Oden Island Nature Preserve in Emmet Co, and Witherell Woods-Palmer Park in Wayne County. The full list of forests in the Network may be viewed HERE.