By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON – City and county officials gathered last month to dedicate the completion of a nearly $100,000 improvement program at Haas Park, with improvements made possible through a combination of county millage funds and a state Department of Natural Resources grant.
Parks and Recreation Director Joann Gonyea said the improvement program was among many that city officials have made in recent years to various park facilities. The upgrades to Haas Park – at Sibley and Washington streets – included a playscape and path work to complement the park’s ball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts.
The project had been put on hold after first being proposed due to lack of funding. Gonyea said the improvement project was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Wayne County Park millage and a $45,000 MDNR passport grant.
Investment in “quality of life” programs and facilities has been difficult to make in recent years as city officials struggled to maintain a balanced budget. The annual Fourth of July fireworks display was cancelled for 2016 due to lack of sponsorship, and improvement plans at Haas and other local parks struggled to locate funding.
Grant funding, however, has resulted in a number of recent developments including a Downriver Greenway Initiative grant for construction of a pathway linking Elizabeth Park to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, where a visitor’s center is expected to open next year. Ground is expected to be broken this fall on the $326,000 project funded through a federal lands-access program grant.
The city maintains nearly 200 acres of park land at more than a dozen community and neighborhood parks. Facilities are available for group special events. For information contact Trenton Parks and Recreation at 734-675-7300 or go to www.trentonmi.org.
(James Mitchell can be reached at email@example.com.)