PORTLAND, Mich. — Portland city officials, community members and many more picked up shovels Thursday at a groundbreaking celebration for a $650,000 revitalization project at Toan Park.
The project includes replacing outdated equipment, adding a new splash pad, shaded seating, a community fireplace, sidewalk connectors and the relocation of more modern playground equipment in the riverfront park.
Nine-year-old Jonah Gorman said he’s looking forward to spending time with his family at the park and enjoying the splash pad.
“We’ve needed some excitement in this town,” Gorman said.
The money came from the Portland Downtown Development Authority and a local fundraising campaign that raised $146,103.
“That doesn’t even include the in-kind contributions that are coming our way," said the executive director of the Portland Downtown Development Authority Tina Conner Wellman. "Michigan Steel and Trim will be helping us build the pavilion. Eagle Enterprise will be helping us build our donation sculpture. RCP Artist Services has helped us all along the way with the fundraising sign and making our marks as we went.”
Portland Mayor Jim Barnes said he’s proud of the community for coming together.
“The gratitude that goes out to the people that are willing to put their money on the line, so to speak, and actually make those donations. To me, is very representative to the people that live here," Barnes said.
The splash pad and the upgrades to the park have been in the making since 2014.
“People in Portland have been looking forward to a splash pad for eons," said Cory Grimminck the chair for the Portland Downtown Development Authority. "We’re the city of two rivers, but it’s kind of hard to access the water and get into the river in our town, so it’s just going to be a great place for people to congregate, cool off in the summertime, have fun and meet with other families.
The project is expected to be complete by mid-September.
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