Rec plan OK’d

MARQUETTE – The Marquette County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the latest revision of the county’s recreation plan.

Marquette County Planning Commission Chairman Charles Bergdahl said the planning commission and resource management planning staff began updating the county recreation plan last year.

“These plans must be updated every five years and a current plan kept on file with the (Michigan) Department of Natural Resources in order to maintain county eligibility for various grant programs,” Bergdahl said in a memo to the county board.

The “Marquette County Recreation Plan 2014-2018” was prepared by the Marquette County Resource Management Department’s Planning Division.

Stated goals of the plan include improving and maintaining county recreation facilities in order to provide desired recreation opportunities for residents and visitors to the area; incorporate universal design in new facilities and when upgrading existing amenities; incorporate recreation planning as a component of the County Comprehensive Plan; promote cooperation among governmental units, other public and private organizations and businesses in developing recreational programs and facilities and continued provision of the Big Bay Harbor of Refuge for safety of Great Lakes boaters.

Among the county-owned recreation facilities included in the plan is the Sugarloaf Mountain Natural Area, which has 3,200 feet of trail and stairways leading to the top of the hill, 470 feet above Lake Superior.

Additional areas owned by the county include the 45-acre Perkins Park in Powell Township, which has 73 campsites including 49 with electricity, the Big Bay Harbor of Refuge, the 420-acre Honor Camp Property, a wooded area situated in Sands Township, a 111-acre park at Little Trout Lake in Forsyth Township and 9,400 acres of county-owned forestland.

Bergdahl said public input into the process was solicited through various means including an on-line survey, comments at township or planning commission meetings.

“The county also had an accessibility survey performed at all county recreation facilities to identify improvements that would make recreation opportunities available to those of all capabilities,” Bergdahl wrote.

The information gathered was made available for public review. The plan was posted on the county’s website. On Feb. 5, the public process culminated in a hearing before the planning commission.

To view the plan, visit: www.co.marquette.mi.us/departments/planning/comprehensive_planning_documents.php.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.