State parks vie for new campers

By JOSH BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING — To attract new visitors and save money, many state parks in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region are updating utilities and campsites and creating programming for less traditional visitors. That includes seek growth in usership by trying to attract non-campers. For example, those participating in Michigan’s First Time Camper program and Ontario’s Learn to Camp program arrive to a fully set-up campsite with park employees to guide them. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) partnered with camping goods manufacturer North Face and retailer Gander Mountain to provide free equipment for the department’s two-night camping program, said Ron Olson, the department’s parks and recreation chief. DNR’s Rec 101 programs teach new campers such skills as kayaking, paddleboarding, mountain biking and geocaching, he said.

Delhi Township steadily grows thanks to stable home values

By Austin Short
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

Delhi Township’s home values and population continue to rise thanks to the reputation of Holt’s Public Schools and the great recreation options that are available in the area. According to U.S. Census data, Delhi Township increased its house occupancy by 19 percent from 2000 to 2010. That was the biggest change of any township in Ingham County during that time span. Not only does the population continue to go up, but the median value of owner-occupied housing units is higher in Holt than the state as a whole, according to Census data from 2010 to 2014. “Its location, schools and then the amenities like trails are a big draw,” said C.J. Davis, Delhi Township Supervisor.

Dog park conversation heating up in DeWitt

By Zachary Manning
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — DeWitt is in the process of looking into adding a dog park to the city and the township. The project is mostly citizen-run, but local officials are reviewing comments from the public and working on leasing agreements. “It is a community-driven project, so there is a group of citizens that have been working with the township and the city,” said Rodney Taylor, DeWitt Charter Township manager. The dog park would be located at the front end of the Southern Clinton County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCCMUA) building on Herbison Road. The land for the park is not being utilized right now.

What do we want? Walking paths, a park-to-park crosswalk and a splash pad, DeWitt survey says

By Zachary Manning
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — According to a recent survey, residents in the city of DeWitt would like to see more walking paths, a marked crosswalk on Bridge Street, and a splash pad added to DeWitt Memorial and Riverside Parks. DeWitt Memorial Park is located at 404 S. Bridge St. and Riverside Park is located at 405 S. Bridge St. The parks are across the street from one another, so a marked crosswalk on Bridge Street is vital for people who want to get from one park to another. “Walking paths are one of the primary municipal factors that are identified by younger families.

DeWitt’s pride is in its parks

By Brittany Flowers
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — According to the Charter Township of DeWitt website, surveys show that the excellent park system makes DeWitt Township a great place to live, work, and play. The township has nine park properties which total 200 acres. The city of DeWitt in particular has six major parks which include a memorial park and a sports park. Michigan.org refers to the city as a peaceful historic community and the city’s parks are a main reason DeWitt is seen as peaceful. The park system contributes to the overall commitment to the city’s community forest which has earned the DeWitt recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for 17 years in a row.

In Meridian Township, being outdoors is a year-round activity

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

The smell of a bonfire fills the air while playful screams echo in the distance. About 15 parents surround the fire pit watching their kids run up a giant hill, and sled down the same hill lit by the moon and some help from overhead lights. Despite the below-freezing temperatures, the biannual Moonlight Sledding event in Okemos was under way recently. Although, for Recreational Specialist Mike Devlin, the turnout wasn’t quite as large as it usually is. “This is a huge family event,” Devlin said.

Fourth graders will get field trips to federal parks

By KAYLA SMITH
Capital News Service

LANSING — Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of 186 federal parks that will split the $1.1 million National Park Foundation grant to set up field trip programs.

The $4,820 grant secured last fall will get local kids educated through public parks, said Melissa O’Donnell, the interagency education specialist at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Hiawatha National Forest. The money was raised through a crowd funding campaign, supported by the tag #FindYourPark on Twitter. The foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program supports the White House youth initiative called Every Kid in a Park. The field trips give elementary school kids a chance to experience public land. National Park Service officials say parks and public lands offer kids great opportunities to get their feet wet while collecting water samples, studying wildlife in its natural habitat or exploring where history happened.

Native grassland project grows as Motz County Park extends

By Luke Robins
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS – Located near Motz County Park, just north of St. Johns, a grassland project that has used old farm land will add on to the park has been completed. This new addition will provide a safe habitat for local wildlife along with providing more recreational opportunities for visitors. “The goal of the project is to establish a prairie grassland with some native Midwestern grasses and provide a winter cover for a possible pheasant habitat or deer,” said Tom Olson, the Parks and Green Space Coordinator.

Residents are pursuing a dog park in DeWitt

By Kamen Kessler
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter

DEWITT — A group of DeWitt residents are pursuing approval from the city to open up a fenced-in dog park. While DeWitt has a few different parks, none of them allow dog owners to let their pet off the leash to roam free. The Dog Park for DeWitt, Mi group is trying to change that by meeting with the city and township. “It is refreshing to have a group of citizens driving the idea rather than the government. A good public-private partnership would only improve the quality of life here,” DeWitt Charter Township Manager Rod Taylor said.

The hunt is on, as geese overrun the area

By Luke Robins
Clinton County Chatter staff reporter

ST. JOHNS – Located north of St. Johns, at 4665 N. DeWitt Road, Clinton Lakes County Park is infested. Not with something one normally calls a pest control & exterminator service for when they hear the word infested like termites or cockroaches, but with a much larger, winged animal; the goose. Clinton County officials say they have a geese problem at their parks and officials are attempting to control it with the help of citizens through a controlled hunt in October and November.