Five-year recreation plan adopted

Township aims to gain more parkland in near future

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published March 22, 2016

 The parks department master plan can be viewed online at gomtpr.org.

The parks department master plan can be viewed online at gomtpr.org.

File photo by Thomas Franz

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A five-year master plan for Macomb Township’s Parks and Recreation Department was adopted by the Board of Trustees during a Feb. 29 meeting.

The plan acts as a wish list for what the parks department would like to accomplish, but it does not guarantee that all of the projects listed will come to fruition.

“That’s the main thing — you have to have a five-year master plan with the Department of Natural Resources and the state to qualify for state assistance,” said Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro. “Even things you may or may not do, you want them in there because if it’s not in your master plan, you’re not going to get any money for it.”

The master plan, which can be viewed online on the parks department website, gomtpr.org, reveals that acquiring more parkland in the central part of the township is one of the main goals for the near future.

As the township’s population continues to grow, the plan shows that more parkland would be needed to support the desires of the growing community.

The plan details how the township is presently deficient in parkland acreage. The study shows that according to National Recreation and Parks Association standards, for every 1,000 residents in a township, there should be 6.25 to 10.5 acres of parkland. That would mean for the nearly 80,000 township residents, based on 2010 census figures, there should be 497 to 836 acres of parkland.

Currently, the township boasts 230 acres of parkland, and if play areas and ballfields on schools grounds are included, that figure rises to 333 acres.

“Between population and size, we are obviously deficient in parkland. We’re growing so fast as a community, so that’s why we need to get more parkland,” DiCaro said.

The plan outlines several goals and objectives for the parks department, including 10 recreation facility goals.

Some of the notable projects include the development of a sledding hill, providing a system of trails that link township parks and community facilities to a proposed county greenway system, and creating a community center for large community gatherings, banquet space and senior facilities.

“This is more of a wish list of things we’d like to do, to try to help predict some of the things we’d like to do in the future. Now, will all of those things get done? Probably not, but they need to be in that plan if we’re going to try to obtain any sort of funding for them,” DiCaro said.

The community center proposed in the plan would be located across from the township’s recreation center on Broughton Road.

Also detailed on a map of possible developments are future park locations on already acquired township property on Foss Road and also on 24 Mile Road.

“We’d like to find a parcel of land in the middle of the township somewhere around 22 Mile would be great,” DiCaro said. “If the parcel is big enough, we would love to have at least one more Macomb Corners-type park, and if we can’t find parcels that big, we would probably want something like Waldenburg, more of a passive-type park.”

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