July 16 • 07:47 PM

Summer fun in store at park

Volunteers putting final touches on new park near Imlay Township Hall

June 18, 2008
IMLAY TWP. — Area children will soon have a new place to cavort with their playmates.

Work on the new 13-acre township park on Fairgrounds Road is progressing and should be completed within a matter of weeks.

Spearheaded by a park committee that includes residents John Mulder, Dick Wilson, Nancy Schiller and Terry Gebhardt, the $30,000 project is being paid for through general fund money appropriated by the Imlay Township Board.

Mulder, chairman of the park committee, explained that original funds for a township park came in 1992 through a $36,000 grant from the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources.

That money had been dedicated for the creation of and improvements to the former township park, located on M-53, behind the old VFW hall.

Committee chairman John Mulder tries out one of the play toys at Imlay Township’s newest park.

After the VFW sold the property, the township was informed it would have to build a new park or return the original grant money to the DNR.

In addition to refurbishing the park grounds and creating a public walking trail, the township has purchased six play toys for placement at the site. They include a swing set, merry-go-round, teeter-totter, slide, a climbing net and a climbing dome. The committee, along with Imlay City Lions Club volunteers Gary Upleger, Phil Upleger, Bryan Zender, Terry Bowerman, Tom Lupo, Jim Herr and Chet Rivard, was at work again Saturday, putting some of the finishing touches on the project.

"There's still more to do," said Mulder. "We have to cement under the pavilion and lay the wood chips and pea gravel (for children's safety)."

Mulder predicts the park will be ready for visitors later this summer, assuming the weather cooperates. He credits the assistance of the Lions Club and Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves for having helped move the project along.

"The Lions have been just fantastic," Mulder said. "They took it on as a service project and they've been great.

"Kip (Reaves) has also been helpful," he said, adding that local businesses have offered discounts on materials used for the project.

Although an exact date has yet to be set, Mulder said a grand opening ceremony will take place later this summer to welcome the public and show off the new grounds.

"We hope to continue improving the park as money becomes available," he said. "We're always interested in input from the community."

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