May 20 • 12:08 PM

Capac park gets boost

Village awarded $45,000 Recreation Passport grant from MDNR

The village, adding $15,000 of their own funds, plans to use the $60,000 in grant monies to build a gazebo, install playground equipment, create sand volleyball courts and more at the Aldrich Street Park. photo by Maria Brown.

January 04, 2017
CAPAC — The village is one of 36 communities to receive a 2016 Recreation Passport grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Capac will receive $45,000 of the more than $1.46 million awarded last month. Funds for the program come from the sales of the state's Recreation Passport, the $11 annual pass that grants residents vehicle entry at state parks and recreation areas throughout Michigan.

"We are very happy," said Village President John Grzyb.

"We'll be putting in $15,000 in matching funds so that gives us $60,000 to work with."

The funds will be used to develop the Aldrich Park, located on the east side of town, just south of the Capac Museum.

Per their grant application, the village said they'd use the money to purchase and install playground equipment and benches, build a gazebo and create two sand volleyball courts along with other accessibility amenities, such as a pathway.

"We want recreational opportunities for residents living on the east side of town," Grzyb said.

The village's Lions Park is on the west side of town, adjacent to school grounds.

Grzyb anticipates the village can start the grant projects sometime this spring.

"Once we get started we can build on it some more," he said.

The village will use parks and recreation millage money that's distributed to municipalities through St. Clair County's levy for the match requirement.

Visitors can access the park from Aldrich Street or the museum grounds.

Currently the park is open space. The village acquired the property in 2010, purchasing the three acre parcel from the Council on Aging for $25,000.

The land was already in the village's name through a trust agreement dating back to the early 1990s. Terms of the deal stipulated that the village develop it into a park, allow senior citizens to place some sort of memorial on the site and pay the closing costs.

This year, Recreation Passport grant applicants sought funding for a broad range of public outdoor recreation projects, including playground development and renovations, sports and fitness facility development and improvements, trail and walkway development, park and picnic area improvements and improved access for those with disabilities.

Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to increase public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. The selected projects were chosen from a field of 77 grant applications seeking $3,053,000 million in funding.

"Recreation Passport grants support local units of government in their efforts to offer their residents and visitors quality recreation opportunities," said Steve DeBrabander, DNR grants manager.

"This funding enables us to work together to improve quality of life and tourism in communities across the state."

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.
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