Parks committee selects Hofma Vision priorities

Alex Doty • Oct 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The township has a better idea about what they’d like to see done first on parklands addressed in the recently-created Hofma Vision plan.

“Since the adoption of The Hofma Vision by the Township Board on July 24, the Township’s Parks and Recreation Committee has been prioritizing the projects contained within the plan,” Cargo said.

Nearly $6 million worth of improvements were proposed in the 39-page document. The plan contains many different ideas and not everything will happen at once, while other ideas may not happen at all, township officials say.

The Hofma Vision was created following a set of events in June in which design experts, township officials, and residents and property owners walked both the Witteveen and Wolf park properties and participated in community engagement sessions.

Following the community input, a combined meeting of the Township Board, Planning Commission and Parks & Recreation Committee met to view a draft version of the vision.

Ideas generated for the Witteveen property include hiking and biking trails, art and sculpture installations, selective tree removal, native forest and vegetation restoration, a parking area, and restroom facility. The total estimated cost for all proposed Witteveen improvements is about $970,000.

Concepts for the Wolf property include several irrigated multi-sport fields, an irrigated baseball field, pickleball courts, playground, hiking trails, wetland boardwalks, pavilion and restroom facilities, enhanced parking areas, new signage, and various landscaping enhancements. The total estimated cost for all of the identified improvements to the Wolf property is a little more than $5 million.

According to Cargo, for the 2018 grant cycle, the following projects were identified for the old Witteveen tree farm portion of Hofma Park and Preserve:

— Converting portions of the Christmas tree farm to native meadows and forested areas.

— Installing an entrance and parking off 168th Avenue.

— Constructing restroom facilities and basic park amenities (e.g., benches, bike racks, picnic pavilion, etc.).

“If a grant is approved by the state of Michigan, construction on these improvements could begin as early as 2019,” Cargo said.

Also, Cargo noted that he planned to meet with the Ottawa County Conservation District forester this past week to begin the process of delineating the best method for converting portions of the Witteveen farm back to a more natural setting, consisting of meadows, natural forest, etc.

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