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Plant sale, birding hikes, May 11 at 'Spring Blooms in the Dunes' event at Hoffmaster State Park

Contact: Elizabeth Tillman, 231-798-3573 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources

May 3, 2013

The Spring Blooms in the Dunes event in P.J. Hoffmaster State Park at the Gillette Visitor Center in Muskegon will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association, the event will include a native plant sale, children's activities, a special presentation on native plants for birds and special hikes highlighting birds.

The native plant sale will feature spring woodland wildflowers such as Virginia bluebells, prairie trillium, bloodroot, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and white trillium. The white trillium will go quickly; visitors are encouraged to shop early for best selection.

The Gillette Nature Association has a long history of promoting the use of native wildflowers in the home landscape. Native plants nourish and encourage beneficial butterflies and insects and provide valuable cover for other wildlife species.

Park Interpreter Elizabeth Tillman explains, "The Gillette Nature Association has hosted this spring plant sale since the 1970s. As long as I can remember, the white trillium are the most popular plant at the sale and we have sold out."

Another highlight of the event will be the presentation "Native Plantings for Birds" by Hudsonville naturalist Craig Elston at 11 a.m. in the center's auditorium. Elston will share his many images, experience with native plants and knowledge of gardening for wildlife. He will highlight plantings that will attract birds. The formal presentation will be followed by a brief outdoor hike to look at plants that are beneficial to wildlife.

Other event activities include:

  • A special Birds of the Dunes hike at 8 a.m. sharp. All participants should meet in the visitor center parking lot.

  • Lunch with the Bluebirds at noon. Bring a brown-bag lunch and your binoculars for this interactive hike and viewing opportunity.

  • Children's Make-a-Trillium and Face Painting activity from 1-3 p.m.

All children attending programs must be accompanied by an adult. All programs are free. All programs are sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association, For more information, contact the Gillette Visitor Center at 231-798-3573.For a listing of other events taking place in Michigan state parks and recreation areas, visit

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking "YES" for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can enjoy real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($30.50 annual; $8.40 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan's outdoor recreation and natural resources at For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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