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Solon Park committee needs public input

Could see North Country Trail cut through property

N-Solon-Park-conceptABy Judy Reed

The Solon Township Park Committee now has two conceptual drawings for how a new park could be laid out on the township property on Algoma, and they want the public’s input. They invite residents to come to a meeting on Monday, March 30, from 5:30 to 7 at the township hall and give their comments.

“These are not set in stone,” said Len Allington, Vice President of the committee. “These are just ideas people have come up with.”

N-Solon-Park-conceptBEach of the designs are a little different, but contain things like baseball, softball and soccer fields, a skate park, splash pad, and more.

“We’d really like to engage more kids and young adults in the decision process,” noted Allington. “We really just want to get a conversation going.”

Once they get some input, they will create updated designs for the public to view at the May election.

Allington said that the funding model the committee would like to follow is the same one that Algoma followed for their park—using donations and grants to get it done. And that could be a real possibility if the North Country Trail travels acoss their property. Carolee Cole, Community Building Development Team member and North Country Trail committee member, made a presentation about it to the Solon Township board earlier this month.

The North Country Trail is the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States stretching 4,600 miles from upstate New York to North Dakota. The national headquarters are based in Lowell and the entire length of the trail is a national park. Cole said that the board of the North Country Trail Association for West Michigan has voted to begin the process of certifying the trail route through Cedar Springs on its way from Lowell to the Rogue River State Game Area in Solon Township.

Cole told the Solon board that the route they are most interested in taking is between the White Pine Trail at Maple St. in Cedar Springs and the Rogue River State Game Area. “The plan would be to go under US131 at White Creek and proceed to Wiersma, travel Wiersma to Solon Township Hall. We would like to travel past the building here, perhaps making options for water and restroom facilities if you would choose, and through the green spaces in the Saddlebrook development and on out to the State Game Area by whatever route we can negotiate with landowners. The advantages to Solon Township are of course, having the distinction of a national park being routed through the township and any possible grant opportunities that might come with that as well as opportunities for local folks to walk a nationally acclaimed trail and simply being on the map with a nation park and trail running through the township,” explained Cole.

The Solon Township Hall is located 15185 Algoma Ave, between 18 and 19 Mile.

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