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City of Lapeer awarded Michigan Spark Grant for Rowden Park improvements

The City of Lapeer Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a Michigan Spark Grant of $767,600 for repairs to the Linear Park Pathway at Rowden Park.

According to Park and Recreation Director, Rodney Church, construction will pulverize the existing nearly 1.2 miles (6,250 ft) of HMA surface and use it as a base to resurface the entire pathway with three additional inches of HMA surface. The pathway varies in widths from 6'-12'. It is also planned to replace and repair existing culverts, fix one of the boardwalks approaches, re-paint crosswalk markings, and replace crossing signs.

"We are extremely grateful to be one of 21 communities out of more than 460 applications to receive funding during phase one of the Spark Grant Program. Trails and pathways are a very integral part of our park system throughout the City of Lapeer," said Church. "Not only are we planning for future extensions to the pathway system, now we can begin rehabbing some of our original pathways in town."

Per the Grants Management staff of the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Spark Grants help local communities to create, renovate or redevelop public outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors – especially those whose economic opportunities and health were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Historically, grant opportunities for trail rehab projects are rare; that is why the Spark Grant Program piqued our interest. With this funding we will now be able to repair one of our oldest extensions of the Linear Park Pathway system in Rowden Park with zero taxpayer dollars," said Church.

The project is currently in it's planning and design phase with bidding to begin in January of 2024, and construction to kick of in Spring/Summer of 2024.