City, volunteers team up to improve parks

Photo by James Mitchell Volunteers dug in Friday to the two-day community build at Affholter Park, with plans to install new playground equipment made possible through county grant funds. The collective effort was the city's second parks improvement project on the heels of last month's playscape installation in Haas Park.

Photo by James Mitchell
Volunteers dug in Friday to the two-day community build at Affholter Park, with plans to install new playground equipment made possible through county grant funds. The collective effort was the city’s second parks improvement project on the heels of last month’s playscape installation in Haas Park.


By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — Community spirit and solid work ethic were on display Friday for the second time this year as nearly 50 volunteers took part in a group project to do a makeover on a local park.

All hands were on the playground deck Friday and Saturday to complete a $30,000 upgrade to Affholter Park, improvements made possible through county grants and volunteer effort.

Trenton Parks and Recreation Director Joann Gonyea said the two projects – Affholter and a playscape installed at Haas Park in September – brought to life both the spirit of community volunteers and master plan visions of upgraded recreational facilities.

“That was one of the big goals of our department based on the master plan,” Gonyea said. “We did a park assessment and there were many in need of updating. We’ve been able to secure two grants from the Wayne County Parks millage, which was instrumental.”

The projects provide considerable improvement to local quality of life – to include housing values – without putting additional strain on city finances.

Affholter Park – at Pinetree and Lodge Lane west of Grange Road – has served as the primary neighborhood playground since the closing of Owen School. The community build project brought to the park a new play area, relocated near the tennis court, which replaces outdated equipment that was removed last year.

Gonyea said last month’s Haas Park project brought additional support from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through its Passport grants program. More than $100,000 worth of grant funds were used to replace facilities that had fallen out of compliance.

The final element of the project will be the installation of a new picnic shelter and pathways, expected to be complete by spring 2015.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)