City of Kentwood Voters Approve Funding for Parks, Trails and Recreational Improvements
Permanent Dedicated Millage Estimated to Generate $2.3 Million in the First Year
City of Kentwood voters Tuesday approved a permanent dedicated millage that will provide funding to improve the City’s parks, trails and recreational facilities and programming.
The millage will be levied starting July 1, 2023, and is expected to generate approximately $2.3 million in the first year. In addition to the millage funds, the City will contribute up to $22 million through public and private sources for park, trail and recreation improvements outlined in its investment plan.
City leaders and staff will immediately begin planning projects based on the following tentative timeline:
- All parks will receive improvements to address the most immediate needs within the first five years, with all remaining improvements completed within 10 years.
- Trail improvements and construction planning will be prioritized in the first year, followed by ongoing trail repairs and expansion to enhance the trails for all users.
- Construction of park amenities and a multigenerational community recreation center on the City campus will begin in the second year.
“Kentwood residents have spoken through this ballot proposal to invest in our parks, trails and recreation,” Mayor Stephen Kepley said. “We will ensure this millage will provide dedicated funding for needed repairs today and improvements, operations and maintenance of these invaluable amenities and services for generations to come.”
The millage was recommended by parks advisory committees that included residents and other stakeholders, as well as extensive community engagement and an in-depth review of the City’s current parks, trails and programming, its projected growth and community needs.
The millage will support Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades and a variety of other improvements and developments, including:
- Bowen Station Park: Restroom, playground equipment, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
- Burgis Park: Trail and sidewalk improvements and a new drinking fountain.
- City campus: Splash pad, playground, plaza, shelters, stage, event lawn, parking, restrooms and other amenities, transforming the area around City Hall into a community gathering space.
- Community recreation center: Approximately 50,000 square feet of year-round indoor and multigenerational programming and recreation space on the City campus.
- Covenant Park Phase 1: Trails, sports fields, event lawn, lighting and infrastructure to support future phases.
- East Paris Nature Park: Trail improvements, signage and other amenities.
- Home Acres Park: Skate park improvements, shade shelters, lighting, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
- Jaycee Park: New restroom/program building, additional parking, disc golf improvements and other amenities.
- Kellogg Woods Park: Restrooms, softball/baseball field improvements, new sports fields, lighting and landscaping.
- Northeast Park: Restrooms, playground, splash pad, landscaping and other amenities.
- Old Farm Park: Parking improvements, playground, shelter and other amenities.
- Paris Park: Trail improvements and signage.
- Pinewood Park: Splash pad improvements, pickleball courts, a new restroom, shade shelters, landscaping and other amenities.
- Rondo Street Station Park: Playground, bicycle rack and repair center, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
- Stanaback Park: Playground, parking improvements, signage, pickleball courts, landscaping and other amenities.
- Stauffer Station Park: Kiosk, bicycle rack and repair center, signage, lighting, landscaping and other amenities.
- Summerwood Park: Playground and landscaping.
- Trails: Repairs, replacement and new connections.
- Veterans Memorial Park: Shelter, additional parking and other amenities.
Updates on the construction process will be shared on the City’s website, social media pages and in its monthly eNewsletter.
Kentwood is home to 15 parks that cover more than 400 acres and more than 13 miles of non-motorized trails that are used year-round by residents and visitors. Numerous community events and more than 700 recreational programs are offered annually for people of all ages and abilities through the Parks and Recreation Department in the Kentwood Activities Center, on City campus and other locations.
More information about the Parks and Recreation Department is available at kentwood.us/parks.