Scavenger hunt proves to be fun family event

Julia Wesphal holds Charlotte before she goes out on a Nature Walk & Scavenger Hunt with Harry Blakley (middle) and Daniel Ferret on Saturday at Orchard Beach State Park. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Trees, birds, chipmunks, arrows and spider webs were just a few of the things people were looking for on Saturday during a Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt.

Friends of Orchard Beach State Park and Homeward Bound Animal Shelter collaborated to host the free event at the trails at Orchard Beach State Park.

“They got grant money to get their trails groomed for cross country skiing so they want people to go out to their trails,” said Manistee County Humane Society president Colleen Kenny. “So we’re kind of doing a collaborative event, highlight the shelter, get your animals out walking, get to know the trails that they have here – which are beautiful.”

Friends of Orchard Beach State Park and Homeward Bound Animal Shelter collaborated to host a Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt on Saturday at the park’s trails. Signs placed along the way helped participants out. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

The event is also in place of the annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser, which had been held in September on the city’s Riverwalk for the past eight years.

Kenny said it had become difficult to get enough volunteers to support Strut Your Mutt, and the time of year could present a problem with the weather.

“We thought we’d try something new in connection with the Orchard Beach State Park,” she said. “We thought we’d do an event with a scavenger hunt, so people can come out with their families and kids, for something fun to do.”

Dozens of people came out — with and without dogs — to check out the trails, win some prizes and enjoy free hot dogs and chips.

“We’re just accepting donations; we’re asking people to sign a little bit of a waiver. We’re giving them a map and a list of items to find if they want to participate in the scavenger hunt,” said Kenny.

Participants could check out the trail across the street from the park and choose varying lengths, or stay in the park and walk a paved route.

Staff from Parkdale Animal Hospital was also in attendance.

“They’re huge supporters (of the shelter),” said Kenny. “This is 10 years this month of them providing their matching food program. They’re here to offer what services they have.”

Parkdale Animal Hospital has donated almost 120,000 of food to date through its Pound for Pound Can for Can program. Any bag or can of food brought into the veterinary hospital for donation will be matched before going to Homeward Bound.

Participants of the Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt at Orchard Beach State Park had the opportunity to check out the trails offered there. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Roger Betts owns Parkdale Animal Hospital along with his wife, Dr. Laura Betts. He said they support the shelter in any way they can.

“We take the food and double it, and it gets sent out to the shelter for the dogs and cats out there,” he said, adding the veterinary office delivers the donated food to the shelter. “It was just something that we wanted to do for the community to help the shelter. Food is very expensive. When people donate, to double it for everybody makes it better for the shelter, and they have all the food they ever need.”

Manistee County Humane Society also has three open seats on its board. Anyone interested in joining can call the shelter at (231) 723-7387 for more information.

“I’ll talk to them about what it is. We also have a brochure about the expectations of being a board member, because being a 24/7 shelter it’s more than just attending a meeting – it’s events, fundraisers and being on a committee. We have two interested, but we’re always looking for interested people,” said Kenny.

A full board includes nine members, she said.



Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or

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