Crossroads Recreation Connection continues work on outdoor projects

Intends to make Reed City an outdoor recreation mecca, members say

REED CITY — Crossroads Recreation Connection held its 2023 initial meeting recently, during which they re-elected the current executive committee officers, established three standing committees and appointed members to lead several projects.

Continuing their service on the executive board are: Ellen Finkbeiner as president, Stephanie Boyce as vice-president, Chris Mund as treasurer, and Shelli Droke as secretary. 

Dawn Giese and Lori Platz were re-elected as trustees, and Sherry Franklin was elected to fill the vacancy caused by Denise Nelson stepping down.

"The CRC is very grateful to Denise for her service on the board and looks forward to working with her in other capacities," a spokesperson for the organization said.

The following committees were established: grants and finance, public relations, and fundraising. Each committee will meet independently, reporting to the executive committee.

The CRC is currently actively working on five recreational projects in Reed City: the off-road bike park at Westrburg Park; the disc golf course at Rambadt Park; a dog park at Westerburg Park; and a pocket park with a splash pad and ice rink, on Chestnut Street net to Pompeii's Pizza.

The following CRC members will lead those efforts:

  • Off-road Bike Park: Jonathan Zelinski
  • Disc golf: Dan Burchett
  • Dog park: Dan Burchett
  • Pocket park/splash pad: Ellen Finkbeiner
  • Ice rink: Casey Merris

Other projects under discussion include pickleball courts and a skate park.  

CRC is partnering with the city in hopes of obtaining a major grant to fund the pocket park and splash pad. An application was submitted last spring for a Michigan Economic Development Corporation Community Development Block Grant for $1 million to fund the pocket park/splashpad project but was declined. An application has since been submitted by the city to the Department of Natural Resources SPARKS grant program, 

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the state has allocated $65 million of its funds to local parks and recreation through the SPARKS grant program to supports projects that provide safe, accessible public recreation facilities and spaces. That grant is pending. 

The CRC has also submitted a grant request the T-Mobile Hometown Grant Program to fund the remainder of the construction of the off-road bike park, and that grant is pending, as well.

T-Mobile has partnered with Smart Growth America and Main Street America investing in small town projects by awarding up to 100 towns a year with project funding up to $50,000 each.

The organization is planning potential fundraisers to help fund the projects, as well. Tentative fundraisers include a bed race at Spooktacular, a Polar Plunge, a raffle, and a community bike race on the White Pine Trail. Further details on the fundraisers will be announced on the organizations Facebook page.

CRC is seeking corporate sponsorships and welcomes all monetary donations, whether large or small. You can find them on Facebook by searching Crossroads Recreation Connection. The group also welcomes anyone interested in volunteering, as they have an ambitious agenda planned for 2023. 

For anyone interested in becoming involved with the CRC, meetings are held every other month at 6 p.m. at Reed City Group, according to the following schedule: March 16, May 18, July 20, Sept. 21, and Nov. 16.

For more information, and to keep up to date on projects, follow the Crossroads Recreation Connection Facebook page.