Homestead Township, Mich. – Homestead Township has been awarded $222,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to purchase 52 acres on the Platte River to turn into a public park. The property includes almost 1/3 mile of frontage on the Platte River, a federally designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream.
“We are very excited about the purchase of this property,” said Homestead Township Trustee Beverly Holbrook. “The township board felt it was important to have public access to the Platte River and this property is a wonderful addition to the beautiful parks here.”
Holbrook notes that no taxpayer funds are being used for the acquisition or future development or upkeep of the future park. All funding has been through grants and donations raised by the Honor Area Restoration Project, totaling $78,000, the required grant match to purchase the $300,000 property.
“The acquisition of this property fits well within the mission of HARP, a group of citizen volunteers that has worked diligently for several years to advocate for improvements to and economic stimulus in the area,” said Ingemar Johansson, HARP chair. “Development of the park will provide a resource for locals and visitors alike for generations to come.”
Future developments at the property may include universally accessible fishing access, hiking trails, nature interpretation, picnic facilities, universally accessible canoe and kayak access, restrooms, and parking to provide for a variety of recreation opportunities.
The site will be become the first Explore the Shores (ETS) site in Benzie County. The park is the 23rd Explore the Shores project, a program created 10 years ago by the AES in 2008 to provide access to water for people of all ages, needs, and abilities to enjoy Manistee County’s bounty of water resources. We are grateful to be able to assist the expansion of this project in Banzie County, and we are looking forward to even more projects in the next decade.
Since its inception, AES has helped communities secure over $9 million for Manistee County in grants and charitable contributions from 24 sources to create access to Lake Michigan, fishing piers, fish cleaning stations, anglers paths, children’s play areas, fishing platforms, scenic overlooks and others. Explore the Shores is primarily a Manistee County program but is reaching into Benzie and Wexford Counties to create even greater universal access opportunities regionally. Contact Lisa Leedy, Executive Director for Alliance for Economic Success at 231-723-4325.