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Algoma opens new park and dog park

Algoma Township held a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday, September 8, for the grand opening of their River’s Edge Park and Wynalda Memorial Dog Park located at 10191 Edgerton Ave (between 12 and 13 Mile Roads).

Algoma officially opened the newly-developed 30-acre park, including a new restroom, first township dog park, parking, new playground equipment, rustic nature trail and almost a mile of footpath/trails on or near the beautiful Rogue River. The ceremony featured remarks about the park history and a formal recognition of the Wynalda family and that helped make the new developments possible.  

“Seeing River’s Edge and the Wynalda Dog Park become a reality has been nothing short of miraculous with six contiguous parcels being funded primarily through grants and donations over the years.  It shows what a community can accomplish with vision, ingenuity and a generous community,” explained Township Supervisor Kevin Green.  

Green said that Township leaders locked in the first 7 acres over 25 ago in 1996. “Over the last six years with the help of our grant writer Josh Zuiderveen, we have been able to secure three additional parcels (one each year) and with the Wynalda family’s most recent contribution were able to finish a dog park and mile of trails, which our residents have been requesting for years.

Green said that since 1996, Algoma Township has acquired $820,600 in land next to the Rogue River for the park—approximately 60 percent of these funds were paid for through grants and donations over the years. 

“In 1996, the first parcel of property was purchased with grant money,” said Green. “Algoma Township Treasurer and parks enthusiast Deborah Ellenwood applied for and received a grant for the Township to purchase the first 7 acres. Since then, two more grants helped purchase two more properties, another grant funded a small bathroom (which we donated to the White Pine Trail) and first quarter mile of trail.   Kent County Road Commission then granted us the piece of property they owned furthest north for one dollar and lastly the Wynalda family donated over 12 acres and made a large financial contribution to make this all happen.  Now the park is nearly complete with nearly ½ a mile of riverfront property and almost a mile of walking trails.”

Thanks to the generous donation from the Wynalda family, the park has its first ever Dog Park.  The Wynalda family donated the 12 acres and financial contribution in honor of their parents Bob and Pat Wynalda (who recently passed away and used to live on part of the property they donated). They shared a love of animals and this was a fitting way to remember them. 

“This park represents Bob and Pat Wynalda’s spirit of giving. They were a very generous couple.  They loved God, their family, and their dogs. Their children and grandchildren always treasured playing in the Rogue River by their house. Their gifts to Rivers Edge Park provide children, dogs, and dog owners the opportunity to enjoy God’s creation,” recounted Connie Wynalda.

In addition to the playground equipment, trails and dog park, Miaja Carlson collaborated with R.A.C.E. and the Rockford Rotary club to install a nature trail and bench along the Rogue River for her Eagle Scout project.  “In the true spirt of scouting, Miaja chose Algoma Township, which instrumentally enhanced Rivers Edge Park,” reflected Algoma Township Trustee Gord Picked. 

“We are really grateful to generosity of so many people and organizations that made this happen!” said Green.

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