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Important Information

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Prein&Newhof Project Manager Scott Post, PE joined Ottawa County Parks at Connor Bayou Park in Grand Haven to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement: The Governor plans to allocate $150 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan to fund local parks, trails, and recreation facilities. If approved by the legislature later this year, the money will be administered as a grant program by Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Last month, Governor Whitmer announced a similar proposal to invest $250 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan in parks and trails managed by the state. Bringing the total proposed investment in Michigan’s local and state run parks, trails and recreation facilities to $400 million.

The event was held at Connor Bayou Park on the Idema Explorers Trail. Prein&Newhof is currently designing 2.34 miles of the Idema Explorers Trail that will run along Green Street, from 144th Avenue to Connor Bayou Park at North Cedar Drive. This missing piece is known as the Stearns Bayou section of the Idema Explorers Trail.


Post explains the importance of the new trail to the area, “The Stearns Bayou section will finally close the loop between Grand Haven’s trail network and Spring Lake’s trail system—connecting downtown Grand Haven to Spoonville Trail and North Bank Trail.”

The Stearns Bayou project will include 10-ft.-wide paved, non-motorized pathway along Green Street. Plans call to widen the 450-foot-long existing bridge over Stearns Bayou to include a 14-foot-wide bike lane. The current project estimate cost is $3.5 million. As a local agency project, a portion of the project will be funded by the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Grant. Construction is expected in 2022.

When complete, the 30-mile-long Idema Explorers Trail will connect the Greater Grand Rapids area (Millennium Park) to the Grand Haven/Spring Lake lakeshore area.

While it only took eight months from the start of construction to project completion, the City of Ludington’s new Legacy Plaza has been a community dream for well over 35 years. With the help of a generous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through a Community Development Block Grant, the vision of Legacy Plaza finally became a reality for this small lakeshore community.

July 1, 2021 marked a special day in the history of Ludington. On a picture-perfect summer day, members of the community gathered downtown to celebrate and dedicate this $2.1 million project on what was formerly North James Street, between Ludington Avenue and Court Street. The plaza is designed to honor the legacy of the Native Americans—the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi tribes—living along the shores of Lake Michigan and nearby forests, as well as the lumber and maritime industries that grew the community of Ludington to become what it is today.

Legacy Plaza is a welcoming space in the heart of downtown and includes a farmers market pavilion, restroom facility, raised performance stage, gas fireplace with seating wall, decorative lighting, green space and native rain gardens, as well as site furnishings tied together with decorative concrete and landscaping.

Those who dedicated the new space included Ludington Mayor Steve Miller, Ludington Community Development Director Heather Tykoski, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Sue Devries, 35th District State Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), and a representative of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Jay Sam, who performed a ritual ceremony. The Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce performed the ribbon-cutting.

Prein&Newhof provided site design, water main and storm water sewer design, landscape architecture, and construction observation services. Members of the Prein&Newhof design and construction observation team included Matt Hulst, PE, Project Manager; and Landscape Architects Matt Levandoski, PLA, Paul Reinhold, PLA, and Collin Manns. Matt Tipping, PE from Century AE oversaw the design for the restroom facility, the fireplace, and the site’s electrical needs. Heirloom Carpentry & Construction’s Josh Wickham was the contractor project manager.

While the space is now in use, fundraising will continue to install a few additional features, including an archway, a digital kiosk, and canvas sides for off-season use of the pavilion. Prein&Newhof is proud to see this vision become reality and is honored to see farther with the City of Ludington for the benefit of all those who live in and visit the area.