By Ryan Squanda
The Lansing Star
LANSING – With the approval of 56 percent of voters, the city of Lansing has been given the green light to sell the 128-acre Grand Woods Park, located at 4500 Willow Highway.
The park runs along the Grand River and has many amenities to offer, including a picnic shelter, a pavilion, playground equipment, a fishing pond, nature trails and a softball field.
For now, the likely buyers of the park appear to be Delta Township, a community adjacent to Lansing which has leased the property for the past 30 years for $1 a year.
“The park was actually originally a gift to the city of Lansing,” Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Brett Kaschinske said. “And in 1984 (Lansing) made an agreement with Delta to maintain the area as a park. It’s actually outside of (Lansing’s) city limits and lies under (Delta’s) jurisdiction.”
According to Delta Township Parks and Recreation Director Marcus Kirkpatrick, the prior 30-year lease of the Grand Woods property agreed upon in 1984 ran out in February of 2014. Following this, Delta then extended its lease by two years to February 2016.
Once the current two-year lease runs out, Delta will make a push to purchase the property from Lansing, which both Kaschinske and Kirkpatrick have confirmed is part of both communities’ plans.
“We’re very interested in purchasing the park,” Kirkpatrick said. “We’ve operated it for 30-plus years … The park is part of our community so we certainly have a lot of interest in keeping it for our residents.”
Kirkpatrick confirmed that in the event the park changes hands, the property will not be transformed in any way. It will remain the same park that has served Delta families for the past three decades.
As for the exact price the park will go up for, that has yet to be determined. However, as part of the agreement of the approval, in order for the city of Lansing to sell Grand Woods in 2016, an appraisal for the property must be done by Feb. 21 2015. Once the appraisal comes back, the city of Lansing and Delta Township will come to terms with an agreement.
According to Kaschinske, proceeds raised from the sale of Grand Woods Park will go to the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department, where it will be used to maintain any number of things, which includes Lansing’s 114 parks and 77 playgrounds.