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Friday, 11 August 2017 11:55

Kent County considers expanding parks system by 150 acres

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Chief Hazy Cloud Park Chief Hazy Cloud Park COURTESY PHOTO

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County government will vote later this month on whether to recommend expanding two county-owned parks by a total of 153 acres.  

At its meeting on August 24, the Kent County Finance & Physical Resources subcommittee will vote on two separate proposals to expand Chief Hazy Cloud Park in Ada Township by 145 acres and Fallasburg Park in Lowell by 12.8 acres, according to memos included in the agenda for the meeting.

The total purchase price for the two expansions is $3.35 million. If approved by the subcommittee, the full county board is expected to take up the proposal at its Aug. 24 meeting. 

“Both projects have been in the long-term plans of each park,” Roger Sabine, director of the Kent County Parks Department, said in an emailed statement to MiBiz. “We pursue these opportunities when they become available.”

 

Chief Hazy Cloud Park

The existing 123-acre park along the Grand River could grow by 145 acres if the proposed $3 million acquisition gets approved. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has already awarded a grant of just over $2.1 million to finance up to 70 percent of the acquisition, according to Kent County documents.

The remainder of the acquisition will be financed with funds from Ada Township, the Kent County Parks Foundation and $300,000 from the county’s 2017 General Fund budget.

The adjacent land the county hopes to acquire is owned by Grand Rapids-based East River Holdings LLC.

The plans for Chief Hazy Cloud Park align with the goal of adding to the network of nature trails and boardwalks along the Grand River that was outlined in the five-year master plan for Kent County Parks originally completed in 2014.

 

Fallasburg Park

The 267-acre county-owned park in Lowell has the opportunity to expand by 12.8 acres with the acquisition of two adjacent parcels now available for sale, according to Kent County documents.

The $275,000 purchase — plus $4,000 in closing costs — would include two single-family homes and outbuildings. The Lowell Area Community Fund has awarded a grant of $110,000 in support of the proposed expansion.

“In addition to offering a mix of open fields, woods and historic stone walls, adding this land to the footprint of the park would provide for more sustainable overflow event parking while preserving the natural and historic character of the park setting,” according to a Kent County memo.

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