Article: Saugatuck park users want more places to go (Commercial Record)

Area residents said Saugatuck city parks are a great place to go, but they want more places to go — restrooms, that is.

A survey of parks users showed they want new or improved restrooms at Oval Beach, Mount Baldhead Park, Coghlin Park and Wicks Park, according to landscape architect Rick Stout from the engineering firm Fleis & Vandenbrink.

Stout gave preliminary findings for a new parks master plan and recreation update at a city council special workshop Monday.

“We tried to get everybody’s feedback on what was working well and what wasn’t,” he said.

Stout will return to the council with conceptual designs for possible park changes and to further discuss survey findings.

In July, council hired Fleis for $8,100 to complete the five-year plan that will look at what to do with Coghlin Park, Cook Park, Mount Baldhead Park, Oval Beach, Peterson Nature Preserve, Wicks Park, Willow Park and the Village Square.

Having the updated plan will allow the city to apply for state grants to help fund improvements. Saugatuck’s plan will be incorporated into the Tri-Community Parks and Recreation Plan that includes Douglas city and Saugatuck Township.

Besides a tour of city parks with a focus group, engineers conducted an online survey and received 249 responses. Most respondents (63 percent) were year-round residents with 66 percent being over age 51. Only 4.5 percent were under 35.

“Recreational programs and facilities that target these more active age groups should not be overlooked,” Stout said.

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