Escanaba to assess land for recreation use

ESCANABA — A land assessment is being planned to consider future use and development of Escanaba’s recreation area and forest on the west side of the city. The topic was discussed at the Recreation Advisory Board’s regular meeting at city hall earlier this week.

The assessment is included in the recreation department’s five-year plan to determine wetlands and uplands, define the borders of the trails park, and create a land use suitability study, said Recreation Director Kim Peterson regarding Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’re looking at other areas to development into more cross-country skiing, flat tire and mountain biking, and snowshoe trails,” she said, also noting expansion of the trails network is also included in the five-year plan.

The area currently consists of several hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails in addition to Escanaba Public Safety’s firing range and property where sludge is transported from the wastewater department.

Peterson said the land assessment is expected to be completed by summer so plans can be proposed for future developments.

The recreation department’s goal to move the ski trail access from North 30th Street to the far west side of the park area located off 19th Avenue North took place last year and includes a parking lot, fencing, signs and benches.

Other goals in the five-year recreation plan include a system to secure the park from unwanted activities, as well as promote growth and wildlife. Another goal is to install lighting along

some of the trails so they can be used in the evening, especially during the winter months when there are less daylight hours.

In other business Tuesday, bids were reviewed for portable restrooms at recreation and park facilities, Fourth of July fireworks, and concessions at Ludington Park, the marina and beach.

Peterson also noted a public hearing on fencing and other amenities at the proposed dog park will be scheduled for the recreation board’s April meeting.

The dog park is also among the goals in the five-plan plan for the recreation department, which has received a $25,000 donation to develop the park on property east of the county airport.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,