Living In Our Area - Think Dunes - Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Living In Our Area

A Great Place to Call Home

Area Overview

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes area, which includes Hart, Mears, and Silver Lake, is a wonderful place to call home. Located in Oceana County in on Michigan’s west side, we are a scenic community surrounded by beautiful views of Lake Michigan, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, numerous inland lakes and streams, and lush farmland.

Though the Hart, Mears, and Silver Lake area is largely rural, there is an active business community here which includes the industries of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, construction, automotive service and repair, retail, financial, and more. During the summer months, the greater Silver Lake area hosts a large tourist population that enjoys our remarkable natural features and attractions. Learn more about our business community below.

With that small-town charm comes that benefit of a safe community and well supported schools. Academics and extracurricular activities are important to the residents here and there are two public schools and a private school in the immediate Hart area, as well as several schools in the surrounding Oceana County towns. Learn more about our schools below.

As a resident of the Silver Lake, Mears, and Hart area, you’ll also find excellent healthcare services. With a hospital only minutes away in the town of Shelby, and numerous primary care clinics, dental practices, optical centers, and pharmacies throughout the county, you’ll find your family is well cared for here.


Work & Industry

Agricultural and agricultural processing is the number one economic strength in our community. Throughout our county we have corporate and family farms that produce asparagus, cherries, peaches, pears, apples, plums, corn, squash, pork, beef, and dairy products. Various high-tech commodity processing facilities are also located in our area, complementing our agriculture industry and providing jobs of varying skills sets.

Tourism is our second largestindustry which brings seasonal jobs and with it a variety of opportunities and excitement.  Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a natural Lake Michigan tourist destination location. National, state, county parks and preserves offers us many hunters, fisherman, off-road vehicle drivers, photographers, and nature vacationers, which provide us more job opportunities.

Small Businesses is our third largest industry. You will enjoy and benefit from our small businesses in our county. They provide our living necessities, such as salons, contractors, spas, automotive, and hardware. Plus they give you the opportunity to get to know the business owners and entrepreneurs.

Manufacturing is not to be forgotten either; many communities in our county have at least one manufacturer. Several of the factories are high-tech as well.



We have four public schools in our county: Hart Public Schools, Shelby Public Schools, Pentwater Public Schools and Walkerville Public Schools.

There are also two private schools in Oceana County: Oceana Christian School located in Hart, and New Era Christian School located in New Era


Hart Public Schools

Hart Public Schools serves over 1,200 students in four buildings located on an attractive single campus. The buildings include the Diman-Wolf Early Childhood Center which houses Head Start/Early Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program, Pirate Playgroups (for children birth to 5 years old), and the Central Business Office; Spitler Elementary which houses grades K-4; Hart Middle School which houses grades 5-8 as well as the district auditorium; and Hart High School which houses grades 9-12.

We take pride in our staff and students with their many accomplishments. Among these are the strong curriculum initiatives that are being aligned with the new 48 State Common Core Standards, an excellent and effective program for English Language Learners (ELL), cutting edge technology, rising test scores, and a strong performing arts program for the school and community.


Shelby Public Schools

Shelby Public Schools is dedicated to providing high-quality education to around 1,000 students in its comprehensive K-12 system. The district is comprised of Thomas Read Elementary, serving students from Pre-K to 5th grade, and Shelby Middle and High School catering to students in grades 6 through 12. The schools pride themselves on a curriculum well-aligned with the Common Core Standards and their ongoing commitment to technological integration in classrooms. The Spartan Achievement Program in the High School supports students to reach their fullest potential, providing personalized learning plans tailored to individual needs.

The district is also committed to the safety and security of students, demonstrated through continuous improvements in campus infrastructure and secure access points. The dedication of the district to enhance the educational experience for students and the community’s support is encapsulated in the successful passage of a substantial bond issue for school improvements in recent years.


Pentwater Public Schools

Situated in the heart of Pentwater, Pentwater Public Schools serves approximately 250 students in a single Pre-K-12 building, offering an intimate, community-centric learning environment. The school’s small size does not limit the scope of its offerings, with a curriculum that effectively meets the 48 State Common Core Standards and an advanced program for English Language Learners (ELL).

The school takes pride in its innovative technology integration, high academic standards, and a notable arts program. Its small student-teacher ratio ensures personalized attention for each student, fostering an environment conducive to comprehensive growth and development. The school’s commitment to community and education extends beyond the classroom, offering community education courses for lifelong learning and engagement. Pentwater Public Schools’ dedicated staff and administration have succeeded in creating a nurturing, effective educational environment that equips students for future success.


Walkerville Public Schools

Walkerville Public Schools are located approximately 12 miles east of Hart and 45 miles northeast of Muskegon, Michigan in Oceana County. The school district serves approximately 280 students from kindergarten through 12th grade throughout the school year and generally serves an additional 100 to 120 students during the autumn and spring months. These additional students typically move to southwestern states throughout the winter months where their families seek out seasonal employment. The school district employs approximately 25 teachers in one high school/middle school building, one elementary building, and a multiple resource buildings. The Walkerville area is comprised mainly of farming communities. Those who do not work on local farms generally find employment in surrounding cities.

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