Over the winter months, the First Baptist Church of Brooklyn has had an open gym, allowing for Pickleball (as shown in the photo above) weekday mornings between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Jackson County Parks Department has recently approved renovations at Grass Lake County Park to include outdoor Pickleball courts.
By John Hummer
If a grant comes through that is in the works by the Jackson County Parks Department, the tennis courts at Grass Lake County Park will be renovated to include pickleball courts – next year. In addition, the parking lot would be improved, and accessibility upgraded for both the courts and the park restrooms.
A letter written by Grass Lake Village Manager Sabrina Edgar on behalf of and approved by Grass Lake Village Council at its meeting last week expresses support for a Jackson County Parks grant application for the renovation.
The grant application, due April 1, is being submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund program, said Kyle Lewis, Jackson County parks director. The total cost of the project is $234,000. The county’s grant application is for $175,500. The remaining $58,500 match will be provided by the Jackson County Parks millage fund.
“We’ll be renovating the two tennis courts to include both tennis and pickleball,” Lewis said, adding that the parking lot will be paved at the park and accessible walkways will be created from the parking lot to the courts and the restrooms.
“We’ll have an idea this coming December if the grant is awarded,” Lewis noted. “I feel like it’s a pretty strong project.” Work would commence in the spring/summer of 2023 if the grant comes through.
“These renovations will serve the community by increasing the number of people able to fully utilize the park amenities,” Edgar stated in the letter of support. “The Grass Lake community has been vocal about their desire for local pickleball courts.” In 2020, the Jackson County Parks Department completed a tennis court repair-replacement study for Grass Lake County Park. (more below)
In other business, after a three-month trial of doing work sessions instead of regular council meetings on the first Tuesday of the month, the village council voted to go back to regular council meetings on the first Tuesday as well as on the third Tuesday of each month.
Edgar said she will still attempt to have most council decisions made on the third Tuesday meeting, with more discussion happening on the first Tuesday. Any date-sensitive decisions will still be made on the first Tuesday as needed.
The council approved a request from the Roaming Goat Coffee Shop on Lake Street to close the street and put up a banner for a street art fair on Saturday, May 21. “They’re excited about it – it’s going to be good,” said Edgar. “It’s usually very well attended.”
Village Council also approved a Resolution for Designation of Street Administrator, naming Edgar as the village’s new street administrator. The resolution states that the street administrator has “the responsibility for street improvements, maintenance, and traffic operations work, and the development, construction, or repair of off-street parking facilities and construction or repair of street lighting . . .”
The council also approved the village moving forward with a mobile boat wash event. “Michigan State University Extension, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the U.S. Forest Service has an all-inclusive mobile boat wash station that they bring out,” Edgar noted. “The purpose is to knock down aquatic invasive species from boats before they actually go in the water.” Edgar is currently working on an application with Jackson County Parks to use the Grass Lake County Park as the site for the boat wash event, so the date is yet to be scheduled. “It’s kind of cool – they provide everything – there’s no cost to the community,” she said. “It’s a nice way to educate the people on how to prevent and be responsible about not bringing invasives into the lakes.
In other news, the village is considering signing a contract with a publishing company to do a cover-to-cover review and recodification of all the village ordinances.
A representative from the Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association was on hand at the meeting to let the village council know they are coming back to Grass Lake for another season of racing. Council members were happy with how the races ran in 2021. (more below)
Grass Lake events and special dates this year:
Grass Lake Farmers Market – every Wednesday beginning May 4 through Sept. 28
Music in the Park – Beginning May 4 and runs the first and third Wednesdays through Sept. 21
Memorial Day Service – May 30
Global Running Day – June 1
Veterans’ Let Freedom Ring Car Show – June 4
Take a Kid Fishing Day – June 11
Traffic Jam’In Festival – July 8-9
MHRA Boat Races – Aug. 5-6
Farm to Table Event (in Chelsea) – Aug. 21
Heritage Day and Veterans’ Let Freedom Ring Car show – Sept. 10
MHRA Boat Races – Sept. 9-10
Flag at Half Staff – Sept. 11
Veterans Day – Nov. 11
Festival of Lights – Dec. 3
It’s going to be another busy and fun year in Grass Lake!