Funding Sought for Bailey Park Fixes

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Friday, March 23, 2018, 7:10 am
Jessy Gregg

Having received East Lansing City Council’s approval during the March 20 meeting, the Parks and Recreation department will be applying for a $222,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources’ Trust Fund for improvements to Bailey Park, located adjacent to the newly renovated Liberty Hyde Bailey Center.

The park is located in the Bailey Neighborhood and is heavily used by local residents for recreation and dog-walking. City staff met with the Bailey Community Association on three different occasions to receive feedback on the proposed improvements and park design.

Planned improvements to the park include the removal of the existing chain-link fence, widening of the sidewalk to ten feet, and the addition of a paved plaza with a shade structure, picnic tables, and benches.

There will also be a new play structure for 2-5-year-olds added to the existing play structure currently on site. New landscaping is planned to be “pollinator friendly” and would include interpretive signs to serve as demonstration gardens for using natural landscaping in a suburban setting.

Click here to see a larger image of the design.

In order to qualify for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant, the community must provide a 25% local match. The City plans to direct $35,000 from HUD Community Development Block Grant funds, and another $25,000 is expected from the Capital Area Housing Partnership, which was a partner on the Bailey remodel and will have an office in the building.

The Bailey Community Association has committed to raising the final $14,000 needed for matching funds. On March 20, Konrad Hittner, Chairman of the Bailey Community Association, addressed Council to express support for the park improvements. He said City staff approached the Association and offered three different park improvements as possible areas for sponsorship; a gateway entry, a pergola to provide shade over a seating area, and a drinking fountain.

Hittner said that ultimately the Association chose to select a goal of the highest level of support, $14,000, and to view their contribution as being towards the park project in general rather than being tied to a specific structure within the park. Hittner told Council they had secured commitments for approximately one-third of the funds, and said that he’s “reasonably confident that we can find enough other donors to meet our obligation.”
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