Township rink plans shaping up into great project

We like plans from Marquette Township that made a bit of news this week, plans to develop an outdoor ice rink and warming house at Lions Field.

A township official told Mining Journal Staff Writer Mary Wardell, for a front page story Thursday, that completion is expected by this winter.

The project is substantial. Using a $100,000 Marquette County Community Fund grant from Cliffs Natural Resources and Lundin Mining Corp., a 150-foot by 70-foot concrete slab will be built, serving a dual purpose: a wintertime ice rink and summetime roller hockey rink.

Among keys to the project is vacation of a one-block section of Erie Avenue, which essentially cuts the park area at Lions Field into two.

But because the area is platted, the township must obtain sign off for the road abandonment from the state attorney general.

Once that’s in hand, workers will remove the blacktop and join the two halves into one.

Kids’ play equipment, additional parking spaces, a walking path, benches, outdoor grills and a half basketball court are all planned.

Hockey boards will also be installed around the concrete slab and the warming house will have vending machines, restrooms and space for maintenance equipment.

Township officials hope volunteers step forward to help with construction of the rink. And so do we.

This is an outstanding project that uses little or no public money to accomplish an enormous public good.

We wish planners well and look forward to its completion.