An old-fashioned barn raising

Becky Vargo • Jul 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

POLKTON TWP. — More than 40 volunteers showed up Saturday for an old-fashioned barn raising of the new picnic pavilion at Sheridan Park near Coopersville.

Members of the Tillers group from Kalamazoo helped guide the work. The Tillers teach animal-powered farming, blacksmithing and building structures like the Sheridan Park pavilion in Third World countries.

Work started at 8 a.m. Eleven hours later, the framing was complete.

“Everything went smooth, with no injuries, and we had a very good time living in the past,” said Jerry Grimminck, secretary of the Sheridan Park Committee.

Sheridan Park is a Polkton Township facility located at 17000 64th Ave., just north of Cleveland Street. The rural park is close to the bike path that is being constructed from Spring Lake to the edge of Polkton Township, Grimminck said.

The estimated cost of the pavilion is $30,000.

Area residents have been able to use the park since the land was donated in 2003. The late Dr. Harold “Red” Sheridan, a longtime local veterinarian and former Polkton Township trustee, donated the 57-acre parcel to the township with the understanding that the land would be used to establish Sheridan Park. Sheridan wanted to provide a place where the community could participate in physical activity while enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

In 2008, a Sheridan Park Committee was established to plan and develop the park. The committee has focused on fulfilling Sheridan’s wishes by coordinating the construction of boardwalks and bridges, which permits access to the entire park, developing pedestrian trails for exercise, establishing picnic areas and installing benches along the paths.

The park has scenic features such as Deer Creek, Beaver Creek, Fox Creek, abundant wildlife, unique plants and wild flowers, wooded areas and grassy highlands. The parking lot off 64th Avenue is plowed during the winter and the trails are groomed for walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Access to the park is available from the 64th Avenue parking lot and Cleveland Street pedestrian entrance. Limited access is available through a pedestrian entrance in the back of the Coopersville/Polkton Cemetery.

Funds may be donated through the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation/Coopersville Foundation or the Coopersville Chamber of Commerce. Donate online at www.ghafc.org; or send donations to: Coopersville Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 205, Coopersville, MI 49404-0205. Direct the gift to the Sheridan Park Pavilion.

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