Parks & Recreation Minutes – June 6, 2016

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Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes 06/06/2016        Approved 7-11-16 In attendance: Mike Crawford, Steve Dell, Brad Gerlach, Jim Gurr, Ken Masck, Dave Peterson, & Ruth Smith. Absent: Jan Loveland

1. Community Input: Laura Westerman presented a concern about walkers cutting down the bank to gain access at the southeast end of Ball Diamond Park. Laura feels that someone could be hurt going down this bank. Mike Crawford will take a look at that area and report back to the Committee.

  1. Minutes from the 05/02/2016 meeting were reviewed and approved as presented. They will be published online.
  2. Information from the monthly Helena Twp. Mtg. The Historical Society will work with HT on getting estimates on repair work needed at Depot Park. Board approved buying large buoys that are tied together for the Ball Diamond Park swim area. Funds were approved to have ADA doors installed in the two bathrooms at the Alden Community Center.


  1. How to get into the meeting room if Dave is not attending? Dave gave the needed keys to Steve Dell.
  2. Recreational Passport Grant from DNR – tennis court resurface + sidewalk: A benefactor has offered to pay for new net posts to replace the two that are bent and also to provide a bench at the end of the sidewalk. The posts will be purchased to have ready when needed.
  3. Pickleball lines on basketball court at Tennis Court Park. This project was presented to the HT Board at the May meeting and they approved the work. When we began to work on this project we realized that for safety reasons the back line of the pickleball court would be too close to the poles holding up the basketball nets. This project is on hold. Mike Crawford will consider the best way to move forward. Part of the conversation on this project suggested that we wait to see what type of input we get after the tennis courts are resurfaces with pickleball lines on one of the courts. Perhaps public input will let us know if residents desire an additional pickleball court or not.
  4. Juniper Garden Club request. A picture of one proposed sculpture was presented and approved by the Committee. The recommendation to approve this project request will be presented at the next HT Board meeting.
  5. Kayak launch & Erosion abatement project at Ball Park. At the May HT Board meeting the HT Board approved matching funds up to $975 toward purchase of a kayak launch at Ball Diamond Park. We are waiting to hear if the kayak grant request was approved or not.


  1. Volleyball Court at Depot Park: Mike Crawford has checked out the set- up of several volleyball courts in nearby parks. He recommends 1. Three new posts 2. Additional brackets and other hardware needed 3. New nets. 4. More sand may be needed 5. Boards to bank the sand making for better footing and less maintenance. Cost estimate is under $1,000.. The Committee supports Mike’s plan and this will be presented to the HT Board at the June meeting.
  2. Requests for memorials. This was discussed and there was general agreement that the township may want to develop a policy concerning memorial requests in HT. The general consensus was that there would be no physical memorials. Memorials in the form of donations to specific parks or programs was seen as the direction HT may wish to pursue. Steve and Ruth will work on the wording for such a policy. This issue of memorials in HT and the potential policy will be reviewed at the July Pk. & Rec. Meeting.
  3. Revision of our five-year-plan. Moved to the July agenda.
  4. Report on our 5-year-plan progress. This has been moved to the July agenda.


  • The poor condition of the infield at Ball Diamond Park was discussed. It was suggested that the infield needs a lot of work in order for it to be safe. Weed killer, diamond dust, and dragging the area were mentioned.   The poor condition of the outfield was also mention
  • The trees at Coy Mt. that Bob and Ken believed should probably be removed for safety reasons have been removed by Tree Pro.
  • Tree Pro has removed the unhealthy trees near the kids playground at Tennis Court Park
  • Mike mentioned that additional wood chips are needed in the play equipment area at Tennis court. The Committee supports this action and will recommend to the HT Board that 10 yards of ADA approved wood chips be purchased.
  • Brad announced that a garlic mustard pull has been arranged for Coy Mt. for Tue., June 14th. The public portion will be 10am until noon. This pull will be done by local volunteers working with CAKE CISMA (staffed by our Conservation District) and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy who has a large Americorps crew this year.
  • A listing of needed maintenance at Depot Park was discussed. The Committee plans to prepare a complete list to present to the HT Board at their August meeting.


              • Discuss and decide what twp. Roads would be best for a bicycle route. Look at the entire county for continuity. (See master plan) (September).
                • Discuss 80 acres that HT owns on McPherson Rd. to decide what recreational uses it might provide (Oct.)
                  • Prepare a listing of needed maintenance at Depot Pk for HT Bd.(Aug.)
                    • Coy Mountain forest management.
                    • We were asked by the Helena Township board to come up with a forest management plan for Coy Mountain. (See previous minutes for specifics) Our current plan involves:
            • Come up with a plan for forest management and improved trail system(s). This might involve bringing in an ecologist, asking Mike Meriwether to speak to the committee again or both.
          • If an approved trail system is determined before the over-all forest management plan is formulated we may present this plan to the HT board separately.
        • After our Forest Management plan for Coy Mountain is formulated it will be taken to the HT board for review and action. (Nov)
      • Look into new sign for Coy Mountain. (Sept.) (Moved this to go with Coy Mt. forest management)
    • Annual review of Pk. & Rec. website. (Sept. of each year) (Steve/Ruth)
  • Handicap parking in Helena Township (Discussion). To be discussed when we review each park.
  • The next monthly meeting is scheduled for:                         Monday, June 11th, 2016 – 7pm at Helena Township Offices respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith 07-10-2016