Subject: News from Kent County Parks 🌳

September, 2018
Hello Friend!
Summer may be winding down but cooler weather invites us to explore local parks and trails! Below, you'll find updates on Kent County Parks projects and events. We're also asking for your input as we revise our five year master plan. We hope you enjoy these last warm gasps of summer 2018!
Please Share Your Thoughts!
Complete a Survey for our
5 year Master Plan Update
Every five years we take a long look at our hopes and plans for Kent County Parks and Trails, to update and revise our overall master plan. Public input really helps inform our ideas and priorities moving forward, so we're asking for your input! Please follow this link to participate in our survey. The survey will only be active for a limited time and should take just 10-15 minutes to complete. Our current plan covering 2014-2018 is available online if you'd like to have a look. Thanks very much for participating and for sharing your thoughts!
Social Media Updates
For more up-to-date information, you can now follow us on social media, including Instagram and Facebook! Follow us on Instagram @kentcountyparks and like us on Facebook for more information regarding volunteer services, awesome events, and of course, photos!
Volunteer Projects, Events, and Opportunities
Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who supported Kent County Parks sites this summer! Business groups, students, scouts, community organizations, KCP Stewards and individuals made a huge difference by pitching in to improve our green spaces. Click here for photos of our volunteers in action! Fall is a beautiful time to get outdoors and we have many volunteer opportunities available on our calendar. Projects include native prairie seed harvesting, native species planting, trail support and invasive species control. To register for a scheduled event or plan a group project, send a note to park.volunteers@kentcountymi.gov or call 616-632-7842. We also have more info online.
Chief Hazy Cloud Park Expansion
In our previous newsletter, we wrote of our hopes for receiving a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) and guess what? We got it! With the help of this grant, we will be purchasing 145 acres of land along the Grand River. Now, we've also received another MNRTF grant to purchase an additional 123 acres!
In addition, with the generous help of Ada Township and private donors, we now have plans to connect Chief Hazy Cloud to Roselle Park with a pedestrian bridge over the Grand River. The Land Conservancy of West Michigan also has in place a conservation easement on 200 acres of land near Roselle Park, which will further help this area become one of the largest protected areas of land lining the beautiful Grand River!
Mill Creek at Dwight Lydell Park

In 2019, Kent County Parks will champion an ambitious project at Dwight Lydell Park to improve the banks of Mill Creek from the railroad bridge downstream to the waterwheel by the Comstock Park Library. For more than 100 years, concrete walls, and concrete lined slopes have channeled Mill Creek through this area. The walls have degraded over time and are beginning to fail, which could cause severe impacts to the Creek and park.

The project will remove the walls and concrete lined slopes, regrade the banks along the creek, and replace the bridge connecting the park to the library. The playgrounds will be relocated to higher ground, the ball diamond will be updated, and an underutilized low, wet area of the park will be converted to a naturalized habitat to receive creek water during heavy rain events. Some pathways will be modified to accommodate the changes. One of the most noticeable changes will be that in order to remove the walls a lot of the mature trees along the Creek will need to be removed too. The good news is, restoration will include planting more than 250 new trees. The new Creek banks and portions of the Park will be naturalized to minimize soil erosion and to provide habitat for wildlife.

Kent County Parks is working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and local organizations to make this a successful watershed restoration project. Also, we're assembling additional funding and hope to have news on that soon! The park will definitely look a bit messy next summer, nevertheless, we look forward to seeing the transformation and watching it mature in the years to come. This is a park with a lot of history and we are positioning it now for its next 100 years!

Click here for more photos of the creek issues and project plans.
Project Updates
Like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for more updates on these and other projects
M-6 Trail Connection
This summer, we've been working to connect the M-6 Trail between Division Ave and 68th Street. A big part of this work was installing two pedestrian bridges to cross a creek and railway. With the bridges in and paving complete, this new section of the trail is open for use!
Dutton Shadyside Park Creek Enhancement
The Plaster Creek Stewards are engaged in a major project to improve the stream environment at Dutton Shadyside Park. The goal of this restoration project is to stabilize Plaster Creek's banks by decreasing erosion and creating a safe and sustainable floodplain. Due to how the creek channel has evolved in the park, invasive species are moving in, banks are severely eroding and the water quality is degrading. In addition to restoring the floodplain to a more natural and sustainable state, the Stewards are also going to remove damaged, dying or threatened trees along the creek route. To offset the tree removal, the Stewards will be planting more than 120 new trees in the park. Dog agility trials will still be able to be held at the park as they have previously.
Honoring Peter Secchia
The Kent County Parks Foundation is hosting an event at the Meadows of Millennium Park on Wednesday, September 12th to honor Peter Secchia for his dedication to our parks system. Tickets are $250. There will also be a surprise unveiling from the DeVos Family! For more information, please visit KCPF on facebook.
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1700 Butterworth Dr SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534, United States
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