LEROY — A grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund will help make Rose Lake Park more handicap accessible by next spring.

Osceola County Parks Director Carl Baumgras said two campsites and one of the park’s three bathrooms will be made totally handicap accessible.

“We already have two sites we call handicap sites because they are closest to the bathrooms and have hard surface already,” Baumgras said. “Now we’re going to make it so someone in a wheelchair could actually have complete access to the bathrooms. The bathroom doors will be built to specifications, toilets, sinks, even a complete shower.”

Baumgras said the inside layout isn’t going to change necessarily, but brand new fixtures will be installed.

The grant from MNRTF is a match grant and will cover 55 percent of the proposed $58,000 cost. The parks department is responsible for paying the remaining expenses on the project.

Updating the parks in Osceola County is important, Baumgras said, especially for bathrooms.

“Campers come in and if you have nice showers and bathrooms, they’re happy,” Baumgras said. “You’ve got a happy camper. Everything else is secondary.”

Eventually, Baumgras said the park wants to work down along the beach to make that more handicap accessible as well.

“We do have a hard surface that goes down there to the swimming area, but it’s tough in a wheelchair to get in and out,” he said. “The boat launch is accessible, but technically it should have a lift.”

One of the problems with handicap accessibility is that it also increases the cost of a project, Baumgras said.

The two parks in Osceola County, Rose Lake and Crittenden, are operated off a roughly $240,000 budget.

Baumgras said at least 15 to 20 percent of that goes back to the parks for projects, which are rotated between the two parks.

Recently, full hookup campsites were added at Crittenden, and Rose Lake upgraded a bathroom.

“We want to do full hookups (at Rose Lake) and we’re talking about cabins down the line,” Baumgras said. “Everything costs money and when you’re looking at a budget of about $240,000, it doesn’t go far.”

Construction on the new handicap-accessible bathroom is estimated to begin in the fall. Once a final engineering plan is adopted, bids can be let out for the job.