North Lake Park improvement project unveiled Thursday

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By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE – The five-year effort in making improvements to the North Lake Park came full circle Thursday.

Stevensville community members gathered at the park to marvel at the additions made by the Lakeshore Rotary Club and other volunteers.

The improvement project included building a 300-foot boardwalk, a new fishing platform and boat ramp, added signs, handicapped-accessible bathrooms and additional picnic tables and benches.

Township Supervisor Dick Stauffer said the project would not have been possible without the $150,000 matching grant it received from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

What proved to be special about the project was how Lincoln Township provided its $75,000 portion of the grant.

“The township put in $25,000, the Rotary had $20,000 and in-kind labor has exceeded the remaining $30,000,” Stauffer said. “It all started with a vision and about 15,000 screws drilled by Rotarians.”

A few curious residents take a stroll on the new boardwalk Thursday, as part of the North Lake Park improvement project ceremony. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

A few curious residents take a stroll on the new boardwalk Thursday, as part of the North Lake Park improvement project ceremony. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

One by one, Stauffer brought different people to the forefront of the opening ceremony to talk about their experience with the project.

Local artist B.J. Goetz worked with Revolution Design, a Benton Harbor company, for months on what the signs posted along the boardwalk would look like and say.

Goetz said she wanted to the signs to showcase informational aspects of the living animals and plants that mattered to the area. The top marquee sign was the largest sign put in, which can be seen as park visitors enter the grounds.

“This is where we raised our kids and this particular lake here is where I used to do a lot of my fishing,” Goetz said. “This a family park and kids are going to remember what they learned here.”

Mindy Walker, a member of the Sarett Nature Center, even gave attendants a condensed version of how the area went from a glacier to the lake it is today.

After Stauffer and a few others cut a ceremonial ribbon at the entrance of the boardwalk, attendees took a tour of the wooded pathway, which zigzagged over the remaining marsh and wooded area.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on June 19, 2015)

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