The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that it will award Trust Fund grants to both municipalities to purchase 43 acres of waterfront property on the east side of Little Black Lake, which is bisected by the county line.
Spring Lake Township will receive a $94,900 grant for 30 acres and 675 feet of lake frontage, while Norton Shores will be gifted $146,800 to acquire 13 acres with 1,100 feet of shoreline.
The property will be used for passive recreation, such as hiking and bird-watching, with a possible future launch site for kayaks and canoes.
The Hines family has agreed to sell both parcels to the municipalities. Spring Lake Township is expected to pump in the additional money toward the $150,000 asking price for the land, which is located west of where Wilson Road ends.
Norton Shores' portion will cost $199,000 because it is a peninsula and includes more lake frontage. The city already owns the 45-acre Little Black Lake Park immediately north of the Hines land.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Club of Muskegon Heights owns 30 acres immediately south of the Hines property that the township is purchasing.
“It's kind of a hidden gem,” said Spring Lake Township Community Development Director Lukas Hill. “I don't think a lot of people have had a chance to get out on Little Black Lake.”
The 223-acre lake is shallow and not suitable for motor boats, according to Township Supervisor John Nash.
“It's a kayak-, canoe-, fishing-type lake,” he said.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.