Mecosta County parks prepared for opening day

SEASON OPENING: Paris Park, along with School Section Lake and Merrill-Gorrel parks, will open for the season on Friday. Brower park opened on May 1.

SEASON OPENING: Paris Park, along with School Section Lake and Merrill-Gorrel parks, will open for the season on Friday. Brower park opened on May 1. (Pioneer photos/Karin Armbruster)

MECOSTA COUNTY — Warmer spring temperatures have finally arrived, and park staff throughout the county are preparing to welcome visitors from near and far who wish to camp on the grounds.

Paris Park, School Section Lake and Merril-Gorrel officially open on Friday, May 8, while Brower Park opened on May 1.

“Opening in May allows us to prepare for guests in optimal conditions,” said Mecosta County Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel. “By that time, we’re also past the weather like we had two weeks ago — the snow and freezing overnight temperatures.”

Three full-time maintenance crew members, along with community service volunteers, have been working hard to ensure the parks and their facilities are efficient, clean and ready for use, Abel added.

Each park offers something different, and visitors and campers have their choice of which best suits their needs.

“I think we pride ourselves on the variety we offer,” Abel said. “Whether it’s the beach at School Section Lake, or the canoe and kayaking opportunities at Paris Park or the relaxing atmosphere at Merril-Gorrel, we have options for everyone. Anything you’d like to do, we have it.”

The weekends boasting the highest attendance in the parks are any of the holiday weekends, and the weekends near big local events. In fact, Abel said Brower Park only has about 10 percent capacity left for the weekend after Labor Day, which features Hot Boat Weekend at Hardy Dam.

“We’re optimistic that it’ll be a well-attended year for us,” he added.

Osceola County parks, including Rose Lake Park and Crittenden Park, also will open on May 8 and offer amenities and attractions for families and individuals.

Rates for each park vary. For maps or more information about Mecosta County Parks, visit mecostacountyparks.com, or visit osceola-county.com for Osceola County Park information.

PREPARATION: Many of Mecosta County's parks are days away from opening for the season. According to Mecosta County Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel, a full-time maintenance crew of three have been working to make sure each park is ready to welcome visitors. (Pioneer photos/Karin Armbruster)

PREPARATION: Many of Mecosta County’s parks are days away from opening for the season. According to Mecosta County Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel, a full-time maintenance crew of three have been working to make sure each park is ready to welcome visitors.

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Posted by Karin Armbruster

Karin is the reporter for Osceola County’s Herald Review. She is the coordinator of the Health page, which runs in the weekend edition of the Pioneer. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8382 or by e-mail at karmbruster@pioneergroup.com.

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