Richmond/Reed City teams discuss rec program

RICHMOND TOWNSHIP — A recent meeting at Richmond Township Hall was full of hope and much faith as various updates were given and discussions held concerning the steps being taken and progress by a group of people representing three townships, Lincoln, Richmond, and Hersey, the Village of Hersey and the City of Reed City.

They are taking a long, careful look at what’s needed to upgrade and add to recreational assets in this larger “community.”

Formed to work as a team to coordinate and meet the recreational needs and dreams of the greater “community” not only for local residents, but to include as a draw to the area activities for those in search of what could become the real crossroads for a whole gamut of events.

The groups proposed Articles of Incorporation were discussed which would allow for the creation of the cooperative team effort as one. Those attending were reminded that a public meeting was set for that same night to explore new ideas and give an overview of the progress.

There were no issues concerning the Articles of Incorporation which would blend not only Reed City, but also the Village of Hersey, and townships of Richmond, Lincoln and Hersey working together to meet various needs and desires for recreation as a team.

In addition, the group received a library update and more information regarding input on the recreation planning.

The planning process got a good start earlier, with the local leaders indicating a desire to explore opportunities together.

As a result of those initial meetings, it was decided to apply for a grant from Partnerships for Change Sustainable Communities Program, and were able to move ahead in June with an award of a $7,000 grant to pursue development of such a plan.

The plan will allow for coordinating the five partners in future efforts and investments together which can result in the goal of improving recreational offerings in the vicinity.

The various bodies have been gathering input from their areas to see what suggestions people have along these lines.

Some of those suggestions included the need for restrooms and trash cans along waterways that run through those townships and communities, especially between Evart and Hersey, then on to Big Rapids. It also was suggested that both bathrooms and waste containers would be helpful along the nearby trails.

The group explored a whole list of suggestions as to what area residents perceive as needed park and recreation facilities, along with those already in place but needing improvement.

It was noted that a staging area for not only canoes and tubing, but also for snowmobilers, bicyclists, and others could bring not only people but also much revenue into the struggling economy in this crossroads area.

After discussion on what suggestions had been made, the group was reminded that a public meeting was scheduled that same night at the Reed City Fire Department to give an overview of what has been discussed, and take additional suggestions.