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Ingham County has $15M parks improvement plan in the works

Burchfield Park
Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 18:31:53-05

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. — What if you and your family could get the up-north camping experience right here in Ingham County? A newly adopted project is going to make that a reality, with the construction of rental cabins and more.

Ingham County Parks Director Timothy Morgan said there are a lot of big improvements coming to Lake Lansing South in the next two years. "Also a lot of big improvements coming up at Burchfield, as well as Hawk Island. So, our three major parks, you're going to see a lot of work," said Morgan.

The five-year plan is expected to cost around $15 million, which includes a new disc golf course at Lake Lansing North.

"That's being started now," Morgan said. "If you go up there to North Park now, you can kind of see some flagging and stuff, and staff started working on that as much as they can with the weather, but should be finished sometime this summer."

The new rental cabins will be constructed at Burchfield Park, though that project is still in the design phase. There will also be improvements to the boardwalks and trails at all three parks.

Morgan said county park visits have gone up a lot since the start of the pandemic.

"About the total increase from pre-COVID to COVID, just under a million more visitors we've seen," Morgan said.

In turn, the amount of feedback the department received has been unmatched.

"Part of our five-year master plan is we solicit for input and we have a survey," Morgan said. "We had 2,500 responses. I've been in parks and rec. for 35 years. I've been a part of a lot of master plans and I've never seen this kind of input back. There was 100 pages of written comments."

So, how will all of these improvements be paid for?

"Since the trails and parks millage passed back in 2014, we really have been very aggressive as far as the parks department with this capital action program to try to make the local millage dollars be our match for as many grants as we can apply for," Morgan said.

The six-year, 0.5 millage brings in about $4 million a year, and it was renewed in 2020.

"To date, we've received just over $4 million in DNR grants since 2015, to match our local trails and parks millage," Morgan added.

To see the full master plan, click here.

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Tianna Jenkins

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins