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Solon reaches into history to name new park


The new Solon Township Park, which will be built on the acreage surrounding the township hall on Algoma south of 19 Mile, will take the name that the area used to be known as—Velzy.

According to the Solon Township Park Committee, the name of Velzy Park was chosen for its historical significance to the area, dating back to late 1800s. It is situated near the center of the township, west of Solon Township Hall on Algoma Avenue. The plans include walking trails, restroom facilities, playground area, farmer’s market and picnic pavilions, and sports fields. The three old barns currently on the property will be restored and moved to areas where they can be used for public performances and other purposes. The acreage at the far west border is planned for native prairie restoration. The appearance and atmosphere of Velzy Park will retain the rural nature of the township.

A federal grant awarded in 2014 allowed the committee to hire Viridis Design Group to assist in creating a Park Master Plan and 5-year Recreation Plan. Goals for the park were established, with a good deal of public input, to provide a safe and welcoming park that will offer recreational opportunities and strengthen the bonds of the community.

The committee intends to build the park with donations, grant awards and fund-raising projects. It is in the process of applying for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, which requires matching funds. The park will be developed in phases to give the park committee time to raise funds.

The first fund raising event is February 12 at 6:00 p.m., when they will serve a Spaghetti dinner catered by Kelly’s Restaurant.  A dessert auction and 50/50 raffle will be handled by Emcee and Auctioneer Reese Rickards. Tickets are $9.95/person or $18/couple and can be purchased at the Solon Township Hall or Cedar Springs Library. They plan to share park plans at this event.

The Park Committee said that volunteer hours are an important part of successful grant applications and donations from area businesses will also be of tremendous importance.  The park committee will be pleased to have you join them in this ambitious endeavor that will be an asset to the community. Contact them at:  616-696-1718, clerk@solontwp.org; www.solontwp.org; and https://www.facebook.com/SolonPark.

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