By Monica Reida, Staff Writer
Bath Township is in the process of obtaining land to create a nature trail surrounding Park Lake. According to the 2011 Capital Improvements Program report for Bath Township, the project will cost $300,000.
The project is being paid for through a grant Bath Township obtained from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through their Trust Fund Program, according to Bath Township Superintendent Troy Feltman.
Grants awarded from the Natural Resources Trust Fund are used to create public recreation opportunities, according to Sam Duncan of the Michigan DNR grants management department.
The trail will connect Webster Road to Park Lake Road and will allow visitors to take in the nature around them. Feltman said in an email that the trail will increase the opportunities residents of Bath Township have to get out and enjoy natural areas of the township as well as get a little bit of exercise.
The trail system will offer fishing opportunities, bird watching and other nature experiences.
Park Lake sits south of Interstate 69 and is surrounded by homes and businesses. According to a water level control study for Park Lake shows the water level is controlled by a water level structure and a series of dikes.
“In reality it [the trail system] is also predicated upon the need for the County to fix the dikes and water control structure intended to maintain the lake level,” Feltman said. “They have failed and the trail system will sit on top of the repaired dike system.”
Clinton County Drain Commissioner Phil Hanses said the county board was petitioned by Bath Township last year to do something about the lake level for Park Lake. The township and drain commissioner’s office are now working on restoring the lake level to an ideal state. This includes taking care of the dikes which have been around the lake since the 1940s.
“The dikes have sunken into the ground,” Hanses said. “We’re in the process of restoring or replacing the dikes. We cannot simply restore the lake level without doing something about those dikes.”
Feltman said the dike system improvements will be completed in late 2013 or early 2014.
The purchase of land for the Park Lake Trail was included in a summary of the six-year capital improvements program for 2011. The total amount requested for all ten of the projects was $1.8 million dollars over six-years.
The Park Lake Trail accounts for about 16 percent of the budget for capital improvements.
The total budgeted expenditures for Bath Township in 2011 was $6.2 million, with $498,994 dedicated to the Capital Projects fund, about eight percent of the budget.