Grand Ledge park may expand to offer increased recreational opportunities

A signature park in Grand Ledge that is home to the unique sandstone and quartz rock formations that gave the city its name may soon double in size.
The city of Grand Ledge signed an agreement in late January to purchase 3.5 acres of undeveloped land that borders the west edge of Oak Park. The purchase of the land enables the city to offer additional recreational opportunities and increased access to the ledges, while also protecting the environment and natural features of the park.
"The expansion shows our city's continued commitment to incorporate and recognize recreation and public space as critical infrastructure in attracting and retaining families and residents," says Adam Smith, Grand Ledge city administrator. "Quality of life is the bottom line."
Smith notes that the expansion is contingent on funding to offset the cost of the acreage being offered for sale by Terry Hanks. The city has applied for funding through the Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund. If approved, the grant would fund 70 percent of the $48,000 sale price, with the city paying the remaining $19,000. Hanks, city officials say, is offering the property at considerably less than the fair market value.

The new acreage would expand the now seven-acre park by nearly 50 percent. The current park is located on a northerly bluff that overlooks the Grand River, and offers shaded picnic and wildlife viewing areas within a canopy of red and white oak, sugar maple and black cherry trees. The sandstone formations which front the river are an attraction for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and for recreational rock climbers.

Parks and green space are an important aspect of life in Grand Ledge, with Oak Park being one of nine parks or recreational facilities owned by the city.
"One of the great things about Grand Ledge is you have the ability to go from a downtown urban setting to parts of our community that resemble being in northern Michigan," says Smith. "The ledges are a part of that."
Source: Adam Smith, City Administrator, City of Grand Ledge
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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