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Group of moms organize fundraising efforts to revitalize two Douglas parks

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Posted at 6:35 AM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 06:35:18-04

DOUGLAS, Mich. — A group of West Michigan moms have come together to revitalize a couple park areas in the Douglas community.

It's a project that's been in the works since 2019.

"We thought we really need some parks in this area, and not only parks but accessible parks," said Douglas Park Project Co-Chair Anna Gregg.

Parents and children flock to Douglas' only downtown park at Beery Field but Anna Gregg said the park is not inclusive or that big.

That's how she and other moms came up with the idea to create the Douglas Park Project.

"We got the idea back in 2019 down at Schultz park which is the main area being redone. That is where a lot of the kids sports take place, and there really isn’t much of a playground down there," said Gregg.

The project focuses on revitalizing two park areas at Schultz Park and Beery Field.

The improvements would revamp the spaces with accessible and inclusive playground equipment for both younger and older children.

It would also add an adult workout area.

The project would be done in two phases totaling around $324,000 with the help of grants.

"This project is close to $50,000 and then down at Schultz park, it is $275,000," said Gregg.

Downtown business owner Kimberly Bale said it also acts as an economic development project which will be good for her restaurant and bar, Borrowed Time.

"I think it is going to improve business because it is great for use by locals and tourists alike. I think tourists are always coming into town trying to find things to do especially with kids. We are a family friendly area," said Borrowed Time Partner and Owner Kimberly Bale.

The project has already raised over $60,000 with some businesses helping fundraise with their own efforts.

In order to get the grant for the first phase at Beery Field, the Douglas Park Project committee still needs to raise $13,000 more by the end of June.

"It literally hits every range of ages. You don’t necessarily have to have kids to benefit from this," said Gregg.

"It’s nice to see that effort being put together by community members. I think that that is one of the biggest drivers of getting things done is when people who live in an area and love it so much want to make it better," said Bale.

The committee is hoping to start the first phase of construction in October 2021 with a community build. They're hoping the second phase will begin in early summer of 2022.