Design session on Platte River project to be held June 28

HONOR — All are welcome to join a community celebration and design session from 7-9 p.m. on June 28 involving a new community park consisting of 52 acres with 1,550 feet of frontage on the Platte River in Homestead Township of Benzie County, just west of the Village of Honor abutting U.S. 31.

The meeting will be held at the Gathering Place, located at 10579 Main St. in Honor.

With a grant of $225,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the financial contributions of several other organizations and individuals, the 52-acre site is being acquired by Homestead Township.

The design session will be facilitated by Honor Area Restoration Project (HARP) consultants and Pat Bentley from the Spicer Group that will oversee final site design and development. Once approved by Homestead Township, development funding will be sought in 2019 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and other sources.

Prior to the June meeting, tours of the site will be guided by volunteers between 4-6 p.m., starting from where U.S. 31 crosses the Platte River just west of Honor. In addition to Platte River, the site includes wetlands, wildlife habitat and even an abandoned blueberry farm. A concept site plan will serve as the point of departure for the June 28 meeting.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to join in framing the community vision for what will become Platte River Park,” said Shelly Rosa, Homestead Township treasurer and HARP member. “We could not have done this without the support of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Rotary Charities of Traverse City and the charitable contributions of many who support this game-changing project.”

“From the very beginning, this project has been by, for and about the residents and visitors of the community,” said HARP president Ingemar Johansson. “This was identified as a priority over 10 years ago through a community planning effort.

“The project is about our quality of life as well as our economic well-being,” he added. “This will be an outstanding destination for those who love nature, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and more. It is now time to bring our friends and neighbors back together to celebrate the purchase of the property and talk about how it should be designed to encourage wise use in keeping with the fragile environment.”

Johansson said that project partners include Homestead Township, the Village of Honor, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the Platte Lake Improvement Association, the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, the Benzie Area Conservation District, the Honor Area Restoration Project, Grow Benzie and the Alliance for Economic Success.

“As the home of the National Coho Festival, it could not be more fitting to engage our community in the design for Platte River Park,” said Shannon Purchase, Homestead Township supervisor. “We are grateful to a large number of organizations and individuals who made this possible and look forward to continuing that partnership in the design, development and management of this great addition to our community.”

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