County Adds More Park Land

December 9, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County commissioners recently agreed to add a new park and enlarge one of the county’s most popular parks.

The new park will actually be a nature preserve in Caledonia Township. Developer John Lepard donated 55 acres to the county that will make up the preserve, property he had left after Caledonia Township approved the site plans for Cherry Valley Woods and Cherry Valley Meadows — two nearby condominium projects he is building.

The land has an appraised value of slightly more than $1 million, and township officials recently committed $100,000 to the development of the preserve. The new park will be named after the Lepard family.

Commissioners also agreed to buy 2.3 acres of lakefront property to expand Myers Lake Park. The property has an appraised value of $1.02 million, will increase the size of the park by a third, and will give the public another 492 feet of lake frontage to Big Myers Lake. The sellers are Nadine Prawdzik, Richard White and Robin Prawdzik-White.

Commissioners had hoped that a grant from the state would pay for nearly three-quarters of the purchase price, but the Department of Natural Resources denied the county’s request saying it had too many applications and not enough funds to go around. So the county will use money from its Parks Acquisition Fund to buy the property as long as the appraisal doesn’t exceed $1.02 million.           

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