Wonch Park next in line for a make-over; not all are pleased

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By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — The year of 2016 seems like the year of Meridian Township building and changing the way their township is seen, from new roads, a new fire station and potential new paths that connect the township together. And they haven’t stopped at just that: an old park is getting a make-over.

The latest round of improvements in Meridian Township parks have just begun off Okemos Road. Wonch Park is the first to be discovered that needs new renovations, which lies along the bend of the Red Cedar River.

Lots of projects began in late 2015, but now are able to come to a close now that the snow is out of the way. Wonch Park is a highly-used recreation park area with its 15-acre grass area that has picnic area pavilions, grilles, a volleyball court and even restrooms for your convenience.

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The director of parks and recreation, LuAnn Maisner, believes that the township needed something new. Considering that the park was built and purchased from Theodore Wonch back in 1969, 47 years later seems the time to refurbish the parks.

In 2014, the township at first nixed a $250,000 plan to rebuild and refurbish the park along with building an eight-foot pathway next to the Red Cedar River in Wonch Park, but since then the plan has been approved. It is known that the park is used by hundreds of school children yearly for nature study.

Not everyone thinks the plan is a good idea. Kristin Johnson of Okemos was unaware of the project in Wonch Park.

“How much will this cost the township?” Johnson said.

She continues, “my husband is a fire fighter and they just destroyed then created a whole new fire station that doesn’t even have enough room to hold all their equipment, so now they need a shed, which is another project for the township. So do we really need a whole new renovation to a park?” Johnson said as she rolled her eyes about the situation.

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