Filer Township receives grant for Magoon Creek Park improvements

A combined $16,000 grant from the CMS Energy and Consumers Energy foundations is helping to pave the way for Magoon Creek Park improvements. (Jane Bond/News Advocate)

A combined $16,000 grant from the CMS Energy and Consumers Energy foundations is helping to pave the way for Magoon Creek Park improvements. (Jane Bond/News Advocate)

FILER TWP. – A combined $16,000 grant from the CMS Energy and Consumers Energy foundations has leveraged more than $70,000 in additional funding to improve public use of a little-known treasure on Lake Michigan in Manistee County’s Filer Township.

Local leaders announced a list of improvements planned for 2019 to the Magoon Creek Natural Area, a 97-acre park with 2,300 feet of Lake Michigan frontage owned by Filer Township.

The $16,000 grant that was presented on Friday helped secure a $71,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to finance the improvements.

“We are dedicated to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources, and enhancing this area along our Great Lakes shoreline strengthens CMS Energy’s commitment to Michigan’s people, planet and prosperity,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the CMS and Consumers Energy foundations and a senior vice president for CMS Energy. “Improvements to the park will provide a beautiful space for community members and visitors to gather, and our support will enable access to people of all abilities to use the park and enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan.”

CMS Energy is part owner of the T.E.S. Filer City Station electric generating facility in Filer Township, while Consumers Energy’s Manistee County electric operations include the Tippy Hydroelectric Plant in Dickson Township.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy.

There was an additional $5,000 donation already made to the park project directly by T.E.S. Filer City Station.

The grant funds will be used for a number of improvements to ensure that people of all ages, needs and abilities can access and enjoy park amenities.

These include a new paved parking area with ADA parking spaces, hard surface connections between the parking area, restrooms, a 20’ x 30’ overlook on the Lake Michigan bluff, a picnic area and a trail that is designed to accommodate wheelchair users and others using mobility devices.

The funding will also cover the costs of sitting areas and environmental/informative signage about the history of the site, the importance of stewardship and the value of universal access to recreation.

“We are indebted to our partners at the Consumers Energy and CMS Energy foundations as well as T.E.S. Filer City Station,” said Filer Township Supervisor Terry Walker. “Without their support, this project would not have happened. As we have repeatedly seen, good things happen when people and organizations have shared values and goals. This is a tremendous example of what can be done through partnerships that create a win for all involved. The plant along with the Consumers Energy and CMS Energy foundations have been great partners for Filer Township and all of Manistee County.”

Roger Morgenstern, Consumers Energy spokesperson, said the improvements will ensure more people can enjoy the park.

“We’re excited that our contributions will make it fully accessible to everyone,” he said. “All told, it’s a $100,000 project. CMS and Consumers Energy are happy to be able to help with that match.”

Walker said the improvements were also important to the township’s economic development strategy to draw more people to discover Filer Township by enjoying the four-season opportunities at Magoon Creek Park.

“With the Great Lakes shoreline, the shore fishing opportunities for migrating trout and salmon along with 1.5 miles of hiking and cross-country ski trails and outstanding hunting, Magoon Creek is a priceless resource year-round,” said Walker. “It’s a terrific way to show visitors why our township is as great a place to visit as it is to live.”

Walker said in the warm season, the park sees hundreds of visitors on a weekly basis.

“It gets used year-round. People use cross-country skis and snowshoes in the winter, hunters use the park in the fall, and families access the lake down by the creek,” said Walker. “You come out here when the weather is nice and it’s packed.”

Walker said Spicer Group will oversee the project that will begin and be completed in 2019.

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