Government, Real Estate, and Sustainability

Kent County buying land for parks

August 25, 2017
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Chief Hazy Cloud Park Ada
Chief Hazy Cloud Park in Ada features Grand River frontage, wood and wetlands. Courtesy Kent County

Kent County has approved land purchases that will expand two parks.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners voted yesterday to add more than 157 acres of land to Fallasburg Park in Lowell and Chief Hazy Cloud Park in Ada Township.

“These parks are great legacies for the current residents of Kent County, and I am proud that this board understood the need to preserve and expand these parks for future generations through the purchase of this additional property,” said Jim Saalfeld, county board chair.

Two parcels totaling 12.8 acres at the gateway to Fallasburg Park offer a mix of open fields, woods and historic stone walls. Parks department staff said adding these parcels provides for more sustainable overflow event parking while preserving the natural and historic character of the park setting. The Lowell Area Community fund awarded a grant of $110,000 toward the project, and Kent County will be paying the remaining $169,000.

“Buying the property preserves this setting and offers new opportunities for trail connections and facilities for large events,” said Roger Sabine, director of the parks department. “This is also a continuation of our ongoing plan to preserve the most scenic and historic areas surrounding Fallasburg Park so future generations can enjoy the same quality of experiences that we do today.”

The Chief Hazy Cloud Park expansion will double the park’s size by acquiring approximately 145 acres adjacent to park, which is located on the Grand River. This purchase will keep key riverfront property preserved for outdoor enthusiasts, residents and families. In December 2016, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund awarded grant funding to cover up to 70 percent ($2,152,500) of the cost of the acquisition, estimated at $3,075,000. The $922,500 local match will be funded with $300,000 from Ada Township; $322,500 from private donors; and $300,000 from Kent County.

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