Representative praises planned Dowagiac park development
DOWAGIAC — State Rep. Aaron Miller recently praised a state agency for recommended funding of three projects that he says will enhance local recreational opportunities.
Miller, of Sturgis, said the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board has suggested funding for a land acquisition and two improvement projects at local parks. Funding for the projects is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.
“I always get excited when we hear our communities are recommended for grants to enhance access to our amazing natural resources,” Miller said. “These projects are a perfect example of how the state and local governments can work together to achieve something that benefits people living in the area and visitors as well.”
Projects recommended by the board are:
• The City of Dowagiac’s project to develop the Cass Avenue Trailhead. The $175,300 will be used to create parking and pathways, install playground equipment and build a universally accessible fishing platform. Future development will include pavilions, restrooms and a trail along the creek, linking the park to more than 8 miles of trails.
• The $293,700 development of a canoe and kayak launch site north of the bridge at Memory Isle Park in Three Rivers. The development will also convert lights at the park to LED and create a universally accessible picnic area. Also included is renovation of the pedestrian bridge at the park, allowing for safe access to an island in the Rocky River.
• Acquisition of 54 acres that includes frontage on the St. Joseph River at a cost of $166,500. The land purchase will provide access to the river between Three Rivers and Constantine, and involves preserving critical habitats in the area, further developing St. Joseph County’s canoe and kayak river trail network.
Miller said it is rewarding to see money from land leases come back to the local communities in the form of recreational grants, improving the quality of life for families throughout the region.
The Legislature will consider the recommendations in 2018.
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