Delta County Forest dedication Aug. 14

ESCANABA — The Delta County Forest is being dedicated Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m. in the forest’s parking area in Cornell Township. Signs will guide attendees to the ribbon cutting event. Transportation is also being provided by the Delta Area Transit Authority. (DATA)

The 1,400 acre forest was purchased by Delta County with the help of a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board.

Delta County Conservation District Director Rory Mattson said the forest is a way to sustain funding for the Delta County park system in the future.

“We searched for land that was a suitable source to grow hardwood.” said Mattson. “Now that we have the property, the timber will be cut every 10 to 15 years. That money will go into the fund for the parks.”

The Delta County Board of Commissioners chose the name “Delta County Forest” earlier this year at a county board meeting.

Besides being a source of park funding, the Delta County Forest is available for lovers of the outdoors. Hunters, trappers, hikers, cross-country skiers, off-road bikers and others will be able to enjoy outdoor recreation there.

“The walking trail is five miles long. We have proposed additional trails in the future.” said Mattson. “It was purchase Aug. 28, 2017, and open to the public Aug. 29, 2017.”

The activities have also been scheduled throughout the day to celebrate three additional projects in Delta County. Each project received a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board.

The tour starts at the Pioneer Trail Park Pavilion at 3 p.m. From there, DATA will go to Little Bay De Noc Trail (City of Gladstone/Escanaba Township) at 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. the tour continues at Van Cleve Park and the Gladstone beach. After the Gladstone stop, the tour will arrive at the Delta County Forest for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

DATA will return attendees to Pioneer Trail Park after the ceremony.

At 7 p.m., Drifter’s Restaurant in Escanaba will have its back room open to all for dinner. Attendees must pay for their own meal.

On Aug. 15, 9 a.m., there will be a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund meeting at the Quality Inn in Escanaba.

These meetings are normally in Lower Michigan. “Now would be a good time for trust fund candidates to meet the board members. Put a face to a name.” said Mattson.

The meeting will allow Mattson to request funds for the proposed Rapid River Falls ORV/ATV Campground at Rapid River falls Park.