Battle Creek Looking To Move Willard Beach

Posted at 5:53 PM, Feb 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-26 19:13:22-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich– It’s not something you think they can just pick up and move, but it is as simple as that.

“It sounds somewhat daunting, but it’s not as difficult as it could be when you think about the idea of creating a beach,” Ted Dearing, Business Manager for Battle Creek Parks and Recreation said.

Battle Creek Parks and Recreation has asked the state for money to relocate Willard Beach, slightly north from where it is now.  They will basically shift the beach up and a little, to a portion of land adjacent to the current beach.

“It gets us around a corner and into an open lake that’s more buffered from the rocks that are in the current beachfront area,” Dearing said.

They are looking to move the beach for boater and swimmer safety. Dearing says they’ve have instances where boaters and swimmers have been get a little too close for comfort, because the beach is located on the edge of a channel.

As for the actual moving process, Dearing says it’s quite simple.

“Because the beach is manmade in the first place, there is a layer of sand there and it tends to be clay underneath it. So what we need to do is excavate that top 4-5 inches of sand and resort that to lawn and then bring new sand in the new beach area that’s adjacent to the existing beach area,” Dearing said.

Dearing says they are asking for $400,000 from the state to pay for this project that will add more than just a new beach. It also includes new parking, added shelters, a bigger concision stand and making the park more handicap friendly.

The move will also improve the quality of the sand, by eliminating the rocky portion of the beach.

“The current beachfront is very rocky due to the movement of the water, so it’s somewhat uncomfortable for the swimmers to go from the beach into the water,” Dearing said.

Dearing says the state could take up to the spring of 2014 to complete the review process, then construction on the new beach could start sometime later that year. That means beachgoers could have a new place to spend time sometime in the spring of 2015.