SL Village seeks input on park proposals

Marie Havenga • May 28, 2019 at 12:00 PM

SPRING LAKE – Recreational opportunities at Mill Point and Tanglefoot parks may get a boost in the the future.

Village officials will host a community engagement meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Seven Steps Up to unveil potential improvements, which could include a splash pad, rock climbing wall, new playground equipment, bike rentals, hammock hanging area and more.

“People can come in, relax and have a drink,” said Village Manager Chris Burns. “It's an open house so they spend five minutes here or three hours, it's up to them.”

Visitors can view the drawings done by Progressive AE and provide feedback on any or all of the potential additions. That input will then go to a subcommittee for review.

But Burns cautioned that nothing will be finalized any time soon.

“We're working on a five-year parks and recreation plan that expires at the end of 2019,” Burns said.

She said Village Council will take the public input seriously.

“Ultimately, I think council wants to do what the public wants to see there,” Burns said. “I love the idea that Tanglefoot Park could be used by community members and visitors alike.”

Tanglefoot Park, which was deeded to the Village for public use by the Thum family (of Tanglefoot flypaper fame), has been used as a campground for many years.

“Right now, that very pristine prime piece of (riverfront) property is used just a handful of months during the year,” she said. “When the Thum family donated the property, they wanted it to be accessible and open to everyone.”

Burns said improvements to both Mill Point and Tanglefoot Parks could create “a water gateway.” Additional transient both slips could also be part of the plans.

She noted many people don't realize that transient docks are available at both locations for boaters to tie up and enjoy Spring Lake Village amenities.

“They can walk downtown and enjoy the new development that's going to go along with Epicurean Village, Burns said.

She noted that potential additions are intended for all age groups and abilities. She's curious to learn what residents want to see.

“Do they want see a rock wall?” Burns said. “Do they want to see a splash pad? A playground for 5-to-7-year-olds? But that doesn't appeal to older kids and it's certainly not appropriate for toddlers. I think it needs to appeal to a wider audience.”

Burns hopes grants will be in play for any future play/recreational areas.

“Our intent is to apply for a Michigan DNR Trust Fund grant in the spring (of 2020),” she said. “And we have a couple of potential donors. If they could get naming rights, they're willing to help fund improvements. Nothing is solidified, but we will pursue those opportunities as well.”

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