A draft of the 2021 longe-range Ottawa County parks plan is ready for review. A public meeting is planned for the December 2 Parks Commission meeting (approximate time TBA; meeting begins at 3 pm). Public comment will be available via Zoom; a link to the meeting will be available on the day of the meeting at miOttawa.org/parks. Comments may also be sent via email or mailed to the Parks administrative office: 12220 Fillmore St., West Olive, MI 49460. Please submit all comments by November 20, 2020.
Ottawa county residents and park visitors helped build and guide this plan by completing surveys, comment cards, and directing comments and suggestions to the Parks Commission.
Parks Plan Overview
- Continues emphasis on high quality maintenance and operations with projections of long-term capital renovation needs. Over one-third of discretionary (non-operating) millage funds are dedicated to renovations of current park facilities.
- Identifies key property acquisitions and funding to enhance and expand park properties.
- Calls for efforts to improve and develop the Macatawa and Pigeon River Greenways, Ottawa Sands, the Bend Area, and to complete the Idema Explorers Trail along the Grand River Greenway.
- Continues efforts to meet and exceed ADA accessibility guidelines at all lands and facilities.
- Provides flexibility to consider other unexpected opportunities and expand existing park properties.
- Continues focus on providing quality nature education programs throughout the park system.
- Expands emphasis on communications to residents of available opportunities for optimal park use.
The parks plan also includes detailed budget projections and a capital improvement schedule. The plan notes that the current dedicated park millage combined with grant funds has allowed the Parks Commission to provide a large and high-quality park system to serve residents and visitors. However, with continued park expansion, a higher percentage of millage funds are now devoted to operations and maintenance creating greater reliance on other funding for new initiatives.