The Nov. 12, 2013 meeting of the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission included four major items of business. Commissioners approved pursuing a conservation easement on 264 acres in Sylvan Township, and the donation of 10 acres along the Huron River in Ann Arbor Township. They also authorized replacement of a chiller at the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center, and got an update on the Eastern County Recreation Center in Ypsilanti. Also announced at the meeting was the departure of long-time commissioner Nelson Meade, who plans to step down from WCPARC in December.
At its Oct. 8, 2013 meeting, the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission took final action on the acquisition of a conservation easement on 82 acres in Superior Township. The land is adjacent to 65 acres that are already part of the county’s natural areas preservation program. WCPARC also approved buying 10 acres in Bridgewater Township, and approved participation in Pittsfield Township’s State Road corridor improvement authority. Ypsilanti mayor Paul Schreiber attended the meeting to show support for a proposed recreation center in that city.
The 2014-2017 budget was a highlight of the Sept.10, 2013 meeting of the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission, with discussion including the possibility of a millage renewal in 2014. Commissioners also gave final approval to buy 13 acres of natural land near the Pittsfield Preserve, and authorized spending up to $100,000 for an HVAC upgrade at the Meri Lou Murray recreation center.
After skipping the July meeting for a summer break, the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission tackled a full agenda at its Aug. 13, 2013 session. Commissioners took action related to land preservation and the East County recreation center in Ypsilanti, and were briefed about a proposed corridor improvement authority along State Road in Pittsfield Township.
The Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission is moving ahead on acquiring several parcels of land for its natural areas preservation program (NAPP), including 71 acres owned by a Domino’s Farms subsidiary. Commissioners also approved a staff recommendation to expand NAPP’s stewardship program by creating three new staff positions, doubling the county’s investment in NAPP crews. And the commission was briefed on recent market research regarding a proposed east county recreation center in downtown Ypsilanti.
At their May 14, 2013 meeting, Washtenaw County parks & rec commissioners voted to grant $150,000 to the city of Ypsilanti to help complete the Rutherford Pool project. The Friends of Rutherford Pool is trying to raise about $1 million to rebuild the community pool, located on the eastern end of Recreation Park at 975 North Congress Street. Commissioners also took steps that will lead to spending over $1.713 million on natural areas preservation of more than 300 acres countywide.
At its April 9, 2013 meeting, the Washtenaw County parks and recreation commission took the first step to acquire more properties for the county’s natural areas preservation program (NAPP). The group also heard a report from the Legacy Land Conservancy about a second round of farmland preservation through a NAPP program that the conservancy helps administer.
Several actions at the March 12, 2013 meeting of the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission related to grants and partnerships – including the allocation of $600,000 in Connecting Communities funding. Ann Arbor received a $150,000 grant for the 721 N. Main project, contingent on securing matching state funds. WCPARC also took action on the proposed recreation center in Ypsilanti, a master plan for the Staebler Farm, and expansion of the countywide Border-to-Border trail.
Washtenaw County parks and recreation commissioners took a range of actions at their Feb. 12, 2013 meeting related to natural areas preservation, including a possible partnership with the city of Ann Arbor to buy property near the Ruthven nature area off of Geddes. The commission also reviewed applications for WCPARC’s Connecting Communities grants, including a $300,000 from the city of Ann Arbor for trails in the Allen Creek greenway. Commissioners also voted to raise fees on county parks and recreation facilities in 2013.
At its Dec. 11, 2012 meeting, the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission gave final approval to spend $500,000 for 65 acres in Superior Township, in an area that’s known as the Superior Greenway. They also authorized staff to undertake due diligence toward a sales offer on 473 acres in Manchester Township, which could result in a new state recreation area that includes the southwest corner of Washtenaw County.