Milford Central Park renovations continue through summer

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Rendering of park renovations. Courtesy Milford Downtown Development Authority

MILFORD, Mich.—Milford’s Central Park renovations continue as the summer months heat up. At a recent board meeting, the Milford trustees made it clear that features such as the amphitheater, the memorial, and the playscape will remain untouched.

In March of 2023, the discussions of a renovation of Milford’s Central Park were first introduced, and through many planning phases and discussions, city council approved the new and improved plans on June 29. The project would break ground in October 2023, with a projected budget of $1.5 million, according to the Milford Downtown Development Authority. Updates to the park include features such as a boardwalk alongside the Huron River, new basketball and volleyball courts, an ice rink, and countless new walkways to get around the park.

The Central Park renovation is part of a bigger plan put in place by the Department of Natural Resources, which allows communities to apply for land and water conservation funds. This is a fund meant to safeguard natural land and water areas, according to U.S. Department of Interior.

For a small town like Milford, every little bit of advancement can help build the town and community around it.  

“Milford’s renovations are very exciting,” said Proving Grounds Coffee & Ice Cream owner James Courtney. “ I have been around Milford for quite some time now, and it should improve on the small-town dynamic we already have here.” 

Historically, businesses in the area of Central Park used the Huron River for industry. The owners have taken advantage of the area’s natural resources by building a series of mills along the river banks, which gave Milford its name. The businesses that surround the park today, while no longer mills, still rely on the river and park’s natural beauty to bring crowds to the area. Families have enjoyed the large playsets and baseball fields before the park was closed for renovations last October. 

“Central Park has always been a great place to gather with friends and hang out,” said Milford resident Brandon Gibson. “Although I am excited for the park renovations, the park being closed is really annoying. I like playing basketball with friends and we have had to find a new place to play.”

The park has also held concerts at the LaFontaine Amphitheater on Thursday nights during the summer, allowing for large after-hours gatherings. While the renovations have temporarily closed off these activities, local business owners are excited for the reopening. The concerts are set to start again on July 25 and conclude on September 12, and the park is projected to fully reopen late summer or early fall.

“Yes, the park should help the businesses but I’m not too worried about that. As long as the residents are happy with the changes, I will be happy and I’m sure other businesses will be too!” said Courtney.

For the latest updates on the park’s renovations, visit the city website.