ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Kent County’s parks department has completed a series of land acquisitions that will expand Chief Hazy Cloud Park into a 395-acre natural preserve, which will include woods, wetlands and three miles of frontage along the Grand River.
Leaders from Kent County, Ada Township and the Kent County Parks Foundation shared details during a Thursday morning news conference.
Expanding the park has been part of the Kent County Parks Master Plan for more than two decades.
Officials want to continue conservation efforts to preserve the Grand River and nearby upland and wetland habitats during the expansion.
“The past year has reinforced the importance of having spaces where people and families can enjoy outdoor activities,” Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter said. “For years, we’ve been committed to expanding this park to offer more opportunities for residents and we now look forward to giving people the chance to see this beautiful, natural green space for themselves.”
Most of the 395 acres is largely undeveloped as of now, but offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking and canoeing.
Funds for the acquisitions came from Kent County, Ada Township, private investors and a series of Michigan Department of Natural Resources grants.
The long-term vision is to transform the land into a major regional park, continuing to preserve the Grand River and upland and wetland habitats, with the trails and natural areas eventually connecting – via a pedestrian bridge – to Roselle Park, a 240-acre park located on the opposite side of the Grand River.
“We’re excited about the idea of a future bridge connecting these two remarkable parks with each other and with the township and county trail systems – allowing interconnected access to more than 600 acres of park and trails available to residents and visitors alike,” said Ross Leisman, Ada Township supervisor. “Our township residents recently passed a millage to grow and maintain our trail system, and we look forward to continuing to partner with Kent County on developing and connecting this unique, natural outdoor area.”
See the aerial outline here.
See the proposed bridge outline here.