MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Meridian Township has five new projects planned for Central Park this summer. The projects include a new marketplace, bike trail, restrooms and pavilions.
Construction of a new Marketplace on the Green is currently underway. So far, a few of the support post for the pavilion have been erected. The concrete base for the stage area has been poured. Also, the restroom and office building is finished. The project is planned to be finished by early August.
Construction of a new multi-use, paved bike trail will begin this June. The trail will extend from the Historical Village to the pond in Central Park South. A trail head area will be implemented complete with a bike fix-it station and an air pump. There will also be a new fishing dock attached to the new trail in the Central Park pond. This project is funded by a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Park Millage. Construction of the trail is expected to finish in August.
The new trail will lead to the entrance to another park project. A new large dog park in Central Park South. This fenced, off-leash dog park will be for dogs over 30 pounds. It will be completed as part of the Central Meridian Regional Trail Connector project. Construction is anticipated to be finished in September.
The Meridian Historical Village will have improved access with the installation of a new gateway footbridge connecting the village to the new bike trail. There will also be a new restroom facility constructed for all Central Park guests. It will be funded by a Land and Water Conservation grant provided by the National Park Service and the Meridian Township Park Millage. Construction of this project is expected to begin in late June and will be complete in August.
The last park project planned for this year is for a new restroom facility and pavilion in the park area adjacent to the Harris Nature Center. Park Naturalist, Allison Goodman, talked about the plans the Nature Center has for pavilion.
“It will be great for our nature camps that we have here,” she said. “We have a lot of school groups that come in the springtime and in the fall. That’ll allow for them to have a place to have their lunch when they come.”
This project was awarded to the L.J. Trumble Construction Company. This project will be funded by grants received from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), and the Meridian Township Park Millage. The project will begin in August and is slated for completion in October.
Along with the new projects, there is a new volunteer opportunity coming soon. The Meridian Conservation Core will be an opportunity for the community to get involved with the parks and preserves. Volunteers will be able to assist with the maintenance of the trails, removal of invasive species, planting native gardens, and much more. The program hopes to raise awareness and knowledge of the current stewardship work being done and the work that will be done in the future. They also want to give the community an opportunity to use their skills and expertise while creating a sense of place, meaning, and ownership in the community. Land Stewardship Coordinator, Emma Campbell, spoke about the other benefits the Conservation Core will have with the community as well as the park itself.
“Not only is it going to improve the mental and physical health of the community,” she said. “But also, the ecosystems that we have throughout our parks and reserves that are really special.”
Once everything is approved for the Conservation Core, flyers will be posted around the parks, preserves, local businesses, and MSU’s campus. A program outline will be linked to the flyer on the Township website. There will also be a form made available for those who wish to sign up to choose what activities they would like to participate in.