Photo courtesy of LINDSAY ROSS
The Blue Water River Walk County Park is now officially open in Port Huron.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Oct. 9 at the park, located at 2200 Military St., north of the Seaway Terminal and the wetlands.
The event included state and local officials, legislators and other partners, including Michigan Sen. Dan Lauwers, Michigan Rep. Shane Hernandez, members of the St. Clair County Board of Commissioners, including Chairman Jeff Bohm, St. Clair County Community Foundation President Randy Maiers, Port Huron Mayor Pro Tem Sherie Archibald, Raymond Excavating Co. President Ralph Livingston and representatives of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Grants Management.
The park is located along the Blue Water River Walk, a 1-mile trail near downtown Port Huron that is part of the Bridge to Bay Trail.
After a speaker remarked about the project and the official ribbon cutting, guests could enjoy a Wetlands Wanderings program hosted by the Friends of the St. Clair River.
The site of the new park, which cost $665,000, and the nearby Wetlands County Park, formerly a railroad right of way, were acquired by the county using a $300,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recreation passport program also provided a $75,000 grant. Additional costs and grant match funds were provided by the parks and recreation millage fund.
“Trust fund and recreation passport grant projects have continued development north of Wetlands County Park to naturalize the area using native plants, a dry riverbed directing storm water to the adjacent wetlands pond, while allowing space for trail users to rest, relax under a shade trellis, play on an artificial turf lawn and eat under a pavilion,” the Michigan DNR said in a news release. “The park will allow Blue Water River Walk users to get off the popular trail and engage in informal and formal recreation and educational activities.”
The new park will also provide opportunities for people to see wildlife, watch freighters, fish in the St. Clair River and take in views of Canada across the river.
Daily care and maintenance of the Blue Water River Walk is now being managed by St. Clair County Parks and Recreation.
— Emily Pauling, MediaNews Group