It’s celebration time at Hayes Township Park, Camp Sea-Gull, Saturday, June 7, and the public is invited to the open house at the park, located at 08580 Boyne City Road between Maple Grove and Burgess Roads.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 1. p.m. on the 7th, followed by a township hosted picnic with food and beverages.
Guests at the open house may walk the property and talk with local leaders about how they would like to see the park developed.
Golf cart tours will be available for anyone unable to walk the hills.
This summer the 20 acre park with 1,700 feet of beautiful Lake Charlevoix waterfront will be open for picnicking, swimming, trail hiking, and other recreational activities.
The dream of providing a public park on the shores of Lake Charlevoix became a reality over the past several years as local donors raised $625,000 in matching funds, the township’s recreation fund provided $500,000, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund made one of its largest grants of $3,375,000 to the township specifically for Hayes Township Park, Camp Sea-Gull.
“I grew up on Lake Charlevoix,” said Annie Kantola, one of the lead fundraisers. “I wanted to see preservation of lake access for the public. That’s why I became involved in this project.”
The township is working with park designers to determine future amenities, which will include a small boat launch.
A grant application has been submitted to the MNRTF and the DNR Waterways for the future boat launch.
Township residents recently participated in the first of many planning sessions scheduled for the next few months, discussing how the former girls’ camp will be developed with more recreational facilities.
“We are very excited and full of pride that we received the biggest financial grant this year for acquisition from the Natural Resources Trust Fund,” said Ethel Knepp, Hayes Township Supervisor. “It is really wonderful that we own that property now, that it is open to the public, and that the public has access to Lake Charlevoix.”
She added, “We could not have done this without broad public support and the help of the many volunteers who raised funds and are now helping prepare the park for summer.”