Couple helps ensure Tanglefoot Park is a place where families make memories

Jess and Skylar Garrison like to say Spring Lake is in their DNA. They grew up in the waterfront community and returned after earning their college degrees to start their family and careers.
Jess and Skylar Garrison with their daughter, Rosemary.
As new parents, the couple wants to give their baby daughter, Rosemary — and other children throughout the community — an opportunity to make memories at Tanglefoot Park. The waterfront part is undergoing a multimillion-dollar transformation.

That’s why the lifelong residents have signed on to raise money for the park’s expensive renovation as the co-chairs of the Tanglefoot Park Transformation Capital Campaign. 

“Being parents of a young child, we see the value of the Tanglefoot Transformation to the community,” says Skylar. “The splash pad alone will be an amazing treat in the summer! And as our family grows, we’ll be enjoying the trails, the kayak launch, the artwork, and the event center as well. The entire park is being designed with Universal Access in the details. This will be a beautiful place for families and people of every age and ability to gather. This is a place where families will make memories.”

$3.5 million project

Redevelopment costs are projected to be $3.5 million. The project is being led by the Spring Lake Village Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and will continue through Dec. 31, 2021.

The goal of the campaign is to raise funds in support of the renovation. With $1.3 million in private donations and grants already committed toward the village’s commitment of $1.5 million, the capital campaign is looking to raise an additional $200,000 from public and private donors along with additional grants. 

“Skylar and I have deep roots in the Spring Lake community,” says Jess. “We were both born and raised here, and both of our families have been here for decades. Between our two fathers and their brothers, all nine of them are Laker alumni who raised their families in Spring Lake. To say this community is in our DNA is an understatement.”

Laker alumni

The tradition continues. Jess and Skylar are both Laker alumni. Skylar went on to attend Grand Valley State University, Jess to Michigan State University, and then both came back home to Spring Lake. 

They were married in September 2017 and built their home in the Village of Spring Lake in 2020. 

Jess works as a Realtor with Greenridge Realty in Grand Haven and a busy community volunteer. He currently serves as the President of the Spring Lake Rotary Club, a board member for the nonprofit OAR (Ottagon Addiction Recovery), North Bank Community Field of Interest Fund (a subsidiary of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation), and he recently became a member of the Village Zoning and Planning Commission.

“It’s just important to us to be active members of our community,” says Jess. “It’s how to be a part of the change that you want to see.”

Honored to serve

Since Rosemary was born in May, Skylar has begun working as Client Relations Coordinator for Jess Garrison Homes. 

“Jess and I are so honored to be asked to co-chair this capital campaign. Spring Lake is our home, and to serve and be a part of the effort to make it an even better living experience for our family and others is a gift,” Skylar says. 

To donate, send checks to Spring Lake Village Hall at 102 W. Savidge St., Spring Lake, MI 49456 or to the GHACF at 1 S. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417. Please write “Tanglefoot” in the memo. The public can follow the renovation process on the Tanglefoot Park Facebook page.


Spring Lake campaign raising final funds for Tanglefoot Park renovation


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.