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Phase II of Waterfront Park delayed | Environment

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Phase II of Waterfront Park delayed
Phase II of Waterfront Park delayed

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Phase II of East Grand Rapids’ Waterfront Park will have to wait.

The city is postponing the project after failing to secure a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.  Parks and Recreation Director Fred Bunn says the city’s application scored 360 points, narrowly missing the cut for grant money.  Bunn says five projects scored 360 points—three of them were awarded funding and two were denied.

Phase II would include expanding wetlands and restoring woodland areas by weeding out invasive trees and planting 430 native trees.  The work would also include installing overlook decks, building an outdoor classroom and adding handicap accessible walkways.

 Bunn says the total cost for Phase II would be approximately $750,000, and the city cannot cover the amount the grant would have paid for.  Bunn says city officials will discuss whether to reapply for the same grant for next year, or consider other options. The deadline to apply for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant is April 1.

Phase I of Waterfront Park officially opened to the public in May 2011.  The $614,000 project included restoring the lakeshore along Reeds Lake Boulevard, installing a floating boardwalk, overlook deck, pathways with benches and picnic shelters.

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