Township expands dune-grass planting

The goal is to stop, reverse erosion on the newest parcel.
Workers from Olde Paths Inc. of Holland plant dune grass on recently acquired land at Laketown Township Beach on 142nd Avenue. Photo provided by Olde Paths Inc.

About 63,000 sprigs of dune grass were planted last week on recently purchased beach property in Laketown Township.

“We needed to act there this year because of the amount of erosion that had occurred. Our goal is to stop and reverse the erosion,” said township Manager Al Meshkin.

The township purchased 3.17 acres on Jan. 11 that adjoins the existing park property. The new land does not touch Lake Michigan but has a view of the water.

“The newly acquired property at Laketown Beach has some potential erosion issues and I am glad we could focus this spring’s dune-grass planting in that area,” said Brad Laninga, chairperson of the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission. “In order for these new sprigs to flourish, I ask visitors to respect the new plantings and stay clear of the area marked by signage so the grass can effectively take root.”

Over the past several years, the township has acquired several parcels for the park. In total, including the original land acquired in 1926, the township has about 9 acres of land at the end of 142nd Avenue.

Laketown Township Beach is the township’s oldest park.

The township began a dune-grass planting program in fall of 2022 with plantings along the east-west boardwalk and trail to the beach.

Planting is being done by Olde Paths Inc, 14828 Barry St., Holland. The township spent $35,035 for the most recent planting on 0.4 acre of land.

Signs will soon be posted around the new area to keep people off the new grass, according to Meshkin.