Parks board looks to finish painting, upgrade butterfly garden

Commission meets at 6 p.m. Dec. 20.
Volunteers from Perrigo Co. paint Laketown Township’s Old Township Hall, 6280 142nd Ave., on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, as part of the annual Day of Caring for the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. From left are Caroline Jenks, Jessica Bauman (on green ladder), Rebecca Veldhouse, Matt Janke (on tall ladder), and Matt Wilfong. At far left, under sign, are Brett Grams, Laketown Township Facilities Operations, and Michelle Sall, Laketown Township Community Development Director.

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission is looking to finish the painting at the Old Township Hall, 6280 142nd Ave.

Commissioner Brad Laninga has received one estimate for work on the building for $4,800. He said at the Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, meeting that he will get two more quotes so the commission can paint the eaves and seal the vertical wood strips around all four sides of the historic structure. Painting estimates will also include the outhouse.

Volunteers from Perrigo Co. painted much of the Old Township Hall on Sept. 28 as part of the annual Day of Caring for the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. They couldn’t reach the eaves.

The hall was built in 1884 and was used for township meetings until the new hall, 4338 Beeline Road, was built in 1987.

Butterfly garden

The commission has been in contact with a person who could assist in improving the milkweed garden at Huyser Farm Park, 4188 64th St.

Several years ago, the parks commission set up a half-acre area at the park as a butterfly garden to help preserve the monarch. The area does need planting and attention.

The garden was also dedicated to Parks Commissioner Ellen Fitch who worked with Brett Grams, facilities operations manager for the township, to make the initial plantings.

Fitch, 70, unexpectedly passed away in December 2020. The parks commission dedicated a bench to Fitch that is at Huyser Farm, under the park’s gazebo where people can see the butterfly area and the nearby blueberry field.

Other business

In other business, the commission:

  • Continued work on its 5-year master plan. The plan helps guide the commission in planning and projects. It also assists in securing state grants.
  • Was informed that Grams replaced more than 180 boards on the eight bridges on the about 10 miles of township shared-use paths. The bridges were originally installed in 2010.
  • Decided to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20. Traditionally, the commission does not meet in December. The agenda is available here.
  • Was informed that Commissioner Karen Simmons will not be resigning at this point. In September, Simmons announced that October was going to be her last meeting.
  • Later in the week, Chairperson Jeremy Van Hoven announced his resignation from the commission as of Nov. 16. The township board will appoint a replacement to serve until the November 2024 election. For more information on applying for the opening, visit here.