Sandra Richardson Park:
Located on Platt Rd., just south of Willis Rd. on the east side
Mary McCann Park:
Located on Warner Rd., just south of Bemis Rd. on the east side
of Warner Rd.
SANDRA RICHARDSON PARK
Sandra Richardson Park, being the larger of the two, is being given priority in development as it offers more opportunity for a variety of recreation activities. The acreage converted to soccer fields is leased to the Saline Area Soccer Association for a twenty-year term. S.A.S.A. has exclusive rights to use the fields as well as maintaining them. The soccer association has invested a large amount of money and effort to make the playing fields an excellent site for youth soccer competition.
In 2002, under the direction of the Parks and Recreation Committee, a 1.4 mile walking trail was cut across the open land into the woods where it makes a large loop through the woods and returns across the open lands to its termination back at the parking lot. This was the first activity of the newly created Committee. The trail is used daily by numerous persons who thus far have shown a respect for the serenity of the woods and have expressed an appreciation for having such a walking trial within the community. In 2003 another trail was added. It loops around the open prairie land and returns to the parking lot. 2005 saw the first cut of a trail that will extend into the large expanse of land to the north of the small stream dissecting the park. However this trail was not maintained as there is no bridge crossing over the stream allowing movement of grass cutting equipment. A boardwalk planned for 2006 will allow the passage of equipment and the trail will be opened and maintained. Part of this new trail will be ADA compliant. This past fall saw the completion of a wooden boardwalk over a small seasonal stream on the woodland trail. This was a project undertaken by a Boy Scout from Milan who chose it as his Eagle award project.
Other near term plans for Richardson Park include a 32’ x 40’ picnic pavilion, several picnic stations, interpretive signs along the trial, expansion of the walking trail to branch out into new areas and replenishment seeding of the prairie grasses and wildflowers covering an area of about 5 acres. These enhancements are planned for 2006 and 2007. Funding has been forthcoming from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant awarded to the township in 2005. In addition to longer and improved walking trails, some will have hard surfacing for handicapped accessibility. Also to be constructed will be improved restroom facilities, an informational and shelter gazebo and the 120’ boardwalk over the wetland affording accessibility to the large park area north of the small stream.
An additional 10 acres fronting Willis Road was given to the township by the State of Michigan in the summer of 2005. This acreage adjoins the current Richardson Park. The eventual usage for this parcel has not been established but will be considered as part of the next phase of the overall park development plan.
MARY MC CANN PARK
Mary McCann Park, being much smaller that Sandra Richardson Park, is less accommodating for a diversified recreational development. The park is approximately half wooded and half open field. The ten year macro development plan put together in 2002 suggests planning for more passive activities such as nature trails, limited picnicking and wildlife observation. The first walking/ nature trail was completed in 2003 and is about a mile in length. In 2004, as a Scouting Eagle award project, a Boy Scout from Saline cut a new trail extension through the woods to the large open area to the east. In late 2006 an observation platform is planned for construction on a small knoll in the open field area. From it there is a rather pleasant panoramic view of the surrounding areas which are in a natural state at this time. A plan is underway to transform the open area into a pleasant ECO-DEMO site. Identifiable plot sectoring of the land into a number of zones each representing a different stage of ecological natural progression will provide an interesting and educational venue to those visiting the park. The park’s open area is to far from the road to be of practical use as an active playing field of any type. Cutting a roadway through the forest to the open area would be detrimental to the forest and the wildlife. In 2004, a small parking lot was constructed at the northwest end of the park as it fronts onto Warner Road. A bridge spanning the small stream which dissects the park was completed in the fall of 2004. An enlargement to the parking lot is also planned for 2006 which should be able to accommodate a school bus used for student field trips to the ecological demonstration site east of the woods.