Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 27, 2013

Leelanau Parks & Rec to present 5-year plan

SUTTONS BAY — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore might be Leelanau County’s most famous park, but county officials also manage several other parks that offer space for hikers and snowshoers, as well as soccer players and other athletes.

Leelanau County Parks and Recreation Commission officials are set to discuss a new five-year plan during a public input meeting on Monday. The plan enumerates ways for the commission to manage the parks and spells out future goals.

“We are focusing on having our parks as closely match the needs of the individual communities they serve as closely as possible,” said Steve Christensen, the Leelanau Drain Commissioner and member of the parks commission.

Christensen hopes Leelanau residents will offer their perspective on the plan, which can be picked up at the county administrator’s office or viewed online.

Christensen said the plan hasn’t significantly changed from the last five-year plan, but is more specific in spelling out goals for the Myles Kimmerly Recreation Area, Old Settler’s picnic grounds, and Veronica Valley County Park.

Goals range from keeping ponds stocked with fish to maintaining and building trails.

Christensen said naming goals in the five-year plan also can make the department eligible for grants.

The plan will be available at the public input meeting on Monday. The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Leelanau County Government Center. The plan is also available for official viewing from Oct. 31 to Nov. 14. Members of the public can still submit comments through then.

A public hearing on the final draft will be held at a parks and recreation meeting Nov. 20 at 1 p.m., at which time commission members will vote on the plan. The plan will then go to the county commissioners for approval before going to the Department of Natural Resources.

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