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Volunteer group People for the Parks and Trails are brightening several Jackson area parks for the holidays

Christmas lights
Christmas lights
Posted at 3:38 PM, Nov 23, 2022

JACKSON, Mich. — Volunteers are lighting up a few Jackson parks including Phil Lower who was born and raised in Jackson.

“Couldn’t wait to get out when I was a teenager,” he said.

After traveling around the country, he and his wife decided to move back to the area. That’s when he came across a group of people sprucing up Jackson’s parks.

“Last December as we’re in the process of moving we saw the lights on S. West Avenue they put that clued me in that a parks and rec group were doing volunteer work to put up Christmas lights, fix the parks around and it seemed like something that was appropriate,” he said. “Being retired I got the time to do it.”

With more time on his hands he decided to help the non-profit volunteer group People for the Parks and Trails.

“Just recently we were over at Lions field picking up trash that gets built up in the park area. There’s been a couple or three different parks we’ve gone to,” Lower said. “It’s just an hour or two of your time. You show up. You meet some people. If it’s a Saturday morning, sometimes they have coffee and doughnuts. It’s a good experience.”

This year ahead of the holiday season, he’s helping out by brightening up several parks with holiday lights. This time at Austin Blair Park.

“Just letting the people in Jackson know that there’s something to celebrate with the holidays coming up and helping the place look a little better,” Lower said.

Betsy Butterfield Park
Holiday lights hanging up at Betsy Butterfield Park

In July, the group had a Christmas in July fundraiser that raised more than $1,500. It allowed the group to buy the lights, extension cords and timers.

“We care about our neighborhood parks so we’re hoping this will bring joy to people in the holiday season, help brighten up a dark time of year, but then also help illuminate our neighborhoods and bring a sense of pride here in the city of Jackson,” Founder Aaron Dimick said. “We take care of our neighborhood parks and trails and we want to do that all year.”

You can enjoy the lights at Kiwanis, Elnora Moorman, Betsy Butterfield and Ganson Street Parks as well.

“People don’t give Jackson enough credit for the parks and open spaces,” Lower said. “One of the reasons we liked it here is we can live somewhere close to Sharp Park and the Cascades and there’s thousands of acres of open space. To us that’s an important part of the city.’

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