Park & trail plans are moving forward
Winter is a great time to make plans for parks in Lowell. Several plans have been presented to Council in February and opportunities for public input are happening soon.
In early 2019, discussion began about what to do with Recreation Park once the Kent County Youth Fair moves to its new home in 2023. With the pandemic shutdown, the discussion was tabled until the February 22nd City Council meeting. Williams & Works presented the results of previous public input and their recommendation during that meeting.
The recommended plan includes an upgrade to the boat launch, a kayak launch and fishing area along the Grand River. Picnic areas, bocce ball and horse shoes were all included in that area. An open market area and splash pad can be used for events and community activities. Sports fields and an amphitheater are combined for multifunctional space. Finally, a campground is included in the design to allow tent, camper and rustic cottage options.
This is just the beginning. More public conversation and input will be needed to make this the space the City wants and needs. The Parks & Recreation Board will be next to review and engage in this conversation. Council was looking at this as a 10-20 year plan looking at grants, donations and partnerships to make each section happen over time. If you are interested in reviewing the presentation, it is available on the City website in the news section. Look for future opportunities to engage in this conversation.
LARA Trailways project along the Grand River will begin phase one next year. When both phase one and two are completed, this trail will connect the trails on the east and west sides of the City. LARA has full funding for the project, but is still working on agreements with the railroad portion of the project.
That agreement delay and securing grant funding are the reasons the project is being broken into two phases. Phase one begins at the Township Park on Bowes Road following the river through Stoney Lakeside Park. The trail continues under Hudson Street and through Recreation Park to connect to Bowes Road.
Phase two will connect the trail at Hudson Street with a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the Grand River and continue along the south bank of the river to Montcalm Avenue. Once this trail is completed, you will be able to bike/walk/run from the east side of Lowell to the west side and circle through town on trails. This makes our community safer and more enjoyable for all of us.
If you are interested in more information or opportunities to offer your input, look at the City website. Questions and comments can also be shared with Council members.