If you go about a mile down 10th street from Hope’s campus towards Lake Macatawa you will find yourself in Kollen Park.
Kollen Park sits on land that used to a basket factory in the late 1890s into the early 1900s. Eventually the land was bought by Martha Diekema Kollen who gave the land to the city of Holland with the purpose of it being converted into a park that everyone could use. She dedicated it in memory of her late husband who noted the lack of lake front green space for the people of Holland to enjoy.
Next door to the park is a Heinz Pickle Factory. The factory was established in 1898, and is apparently the largest pickle factory in the world. When I first visited Hope with my parents we took a drive around Holland to check it out and drove on past this Heinz pickle plant. We were surprised to see it because, to us, Heinz is associated with home: Pittsburgh, PA. It was funny to find out that of all places I would go to college in a little city in Michigan that happens to have a connection to Pittsburgh via pickles. So, if you’re a Pittsburgh fan or a pickle fan, you can add this to your “Reasons why I should go to Hope College” list.
Moral of the story: when you visit Kollen Park or are on a run along the walkway, nine times out of ten you can expect to have the strong smell of pickles and vinegar in the air to greet you.
Thanks for reading!
*my historical information came from the various articles I linked out to so if you want to learn more you can check those out to read on. It’s amazing what you can learn on the internet. 🙂
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