EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board recently approved a $219,000 grant application from the City of East Lansing for a future improvement project at Bailey Park.
Pending approval from the Michigan Legislature, the MNRTF grant funds will be appropriated next year and will be matched with $35,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, $25,000 contributed by the Capital Area Housing Partnership and $16,700 raised by the Bailey Community Association.
The Bailey Community Association has partnered with the City of East Lansing to assist in developing the concept for this project and to help in making the project a reality by raising matching community funds. A Park Project Fundraising Team made up of Bailey Community Association board members has met regularly since earlier this year and has worked hard to solicit donations from neighborhood residents and local community groups, including the Kiwanis Club of East Lansing ($1,600 donation), the East Lansing Basketball Club ($1,000 donation) and the East Lansing Soccer Club ($500 donation).
“The Bailey Community Association is excited to work with the City of East Lansing on this important neighborhood project and we appreciate the City’s leadership and support,” said Chuck Overbey, a Bailey Community Association board member and a member of the Park Project Fundraising Team. “We are pleased with the community financial contributions that helped bring this project to reality. Based on the collective efforts of the City and residents, improvements to the Bailey Park will transform this former school yard into a welcoming and engaging gathering place for neighborhood activities and events.”
Key park improvements will include:
- Removing the existing fence and sidewalk surrounding the parking and constructing a 10-foot concrete pathway loop
- Constructing a concrete plaza with a shade structure, picnic tables and benches to serve as a social area for park visitors
- Installing a new play structure for 2- to 5-year-old children
- Replacing the engineered wood fiber surface material beneath the existing play structure for 5- to 12-year-old children and installing a poured-in-place pathway to an accessible swing
- Installing a drinking fountain near the social area and a decorative archway designating the main pedestrian entrance into the park
- Installing pollinator friendly landscape beds with interpretive signs to serve as demonstration gardens for using natural landscaping techniques in a suburban setting
Assuming the MNRTF grant funds are appropriated, the Bailey Park improvement project is expected to begin by no later than spring 2020.
“We appreciate the continued support of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund in helping us to make park improvements that will be enjoyed by community members for many years to come,” said East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts Tim McCaffrey. “This Bailey Park project has been particularly rewarding because of our close partnership with the neighborhood and their enthusiasm for making it a reality. We are looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition in the coming years."