New boat launch coming to Delhi-Holt this summer

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Eric Bach

Construction equipment at the site of the new Esker Park in Holt.

This summer, Delhi Township residents will have a new place for water sports and hiking. Construction has just begun on a new watercraft launch and fishing dock that will be called Esker Park, just northeast of the roundabout at Cedar Street and Holbrook Drive in Holt.

The township’s Downtown Development Authority will oversee the project and provide most of the $1.18 million needed to complete it. According the the authority, the township received a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and $180,000 from the park and trail fund.

For access, the project includes a bridge over the creek just west of Cedar Lake will have a bridge built over it.

Eric Bach

The creek just west of Cedar Lake is getting bridged as part of the Esker Park project.

Delhi Township Parks & Recreation Director Mark Jenks will be managing the park once it is finished, and he said that he’s excited for the diverse number of residents the park will attract.

“There’s really no place right now in the township for folks who want to kayak or canoe,” Jenks said.  “We hope that this space will provide a little something for everybody. People will be able to kayak, canoe, fish, hike or swim here, and it increases the trail space that we have in the township.  Right now, we don’t have any watercraft options, but now we will.”

The park will connect residents to Cedar Lake, which has been difficult to access publicly.  To go on the water, residents will have to carry their craft down to the launch themselves. Motorboats will not be allowed to be launched from Esker Park.  The facility will also feature a handicap-accessible ramp and a restroom.

Laux Construction, headquartered just more than a mile from the site, will be overseeing the project. Laux has done work all over Ingham County, including at Michigan State University’s Skandalaris Football Building and the Berkowitz Basketball Facility in the Breslin Center.

The construction is somewhat expensive because a new road will have to be built at the entrance of the park going northeast out of the roundabout. The road will have to be built over a creek between Cedar Lake and the roundabout at Cedar St. and Holbrook Drive.  Clearing some of the wooded area for new trails is also part of the project.

For Jenks, perhaps the most important aspect of the project is how it links the county trails.

“This just gets us closer to having a trail that connects from East Lansing all the way down to Mason,” Jenks said.  “We’re not quite there yet, but I see us having a trail that goes all the way south within five years. This is an investment to not only make our township more beautiful and accessible, it’s also an investment to connect everything, which I think is really important.”

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, with a ribbon-cutting tentatively scheduled for the week after the Fourth of July.

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