Cass Co. acquires Dodd Park

Published 9:30 am Friday, July 31, 2009

CASSOPOLIS – The County of Cass has completed the acquisition of Arthur Dodd Memorial Park in Sumnerville, Michigan from the State. The County has leased the land where the Park is situated from the State for many years but did not own it. Parks and Recreation

Director Scott Wyman said “Having the park in local control eliminates any threat that the State could sell the land to private use when times are tough. It means the park will be enjoyed by citizens for years to come.”

In 2008 the State proposed that the County purchase the land from the State. The Board of Commissioners counter-proposed a land exchange that would benefit both County residents and visitors to the County. The exchange involved trading two County-owned lots located on Curtis Lake in Calvin Township for Dodd Park. The State will use the lots to provide public access to Curtis Lake which did not previously have a public access.

The State operates numerous public landings on lakes. They are used mostly for fishing or boating.

The State of Michigan mandated that the County obtain and pay for appraisals to State standards. It also required that the County pay for demolition of the residential structure and garage that were on the Curtis Lake property. The County had to obtain title insurance on the lots and pay all closing costs.

Arthur Dodd Memorial Park is operated by the Cass County Parks and Recreation Commission. It includes 51 acres along the Dowagiac River. Within the Park boundaries are a recreated meander of the River that has been a project of the nonprofit MEANDRS organization.

Visitors to the park can enjoy picnics, walking, fishing, and kayaking, canoeing and similar outdoor activities. For more information go to and click on “County Parks” or call 445-8611.