Boat launch dock added to Eastlake park

EASTLAKE — A universally accessible boat launch dock was added to Penny Park in Eastlake this week, which take it closer to completion of phase one of the park renovation.

The last step is to install universal access playground equipment, which has already been purchased. The playground area is fenced off, ready for equipment to be set up by local volunteers.

Completed work includes a bathhouse, concrete sidewalks and some concrete parking, including handicap spots.

Phase one is estimated to cost $207,000, and includes the rest room building; improving the parking lot, walkways, adding a universally-accessible playground and the dock.

The majority of the funding came from a $141,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Land Trust Fund, which was secured in 2012.

Subsequent phases call for a universally-accessible fishing pier, upgrades to the fish cleaning station and making the park a trail head for a system envisioned through the expansive marshland along the Manistee River.

Penny Park was established in 1965, and is operated by the Village of Eastlake through a lease agreement with with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.The project will make the park an Explore the Shores site.

Explore the Shores was created in 2008 with the aim of making Manistee County a premier destination for people of all ages, needs and abilities to access and enjoy water resources (exploretheshores.org). The program is organized through the Alliance for Economic Success (AES) and the Manistee County Community Foundation.

The Partners for Penny Park continue to seek donations of money, volunteerism, materials and equipment. The Penny Park of Eastlake Fund is established at the Manistee County Community Foundation. For more information, contact Laura Heintzelman at (231) 723-7269 or laura@manisteefoundation.org.

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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