Park Projects and Improvements

Upper Emerson Restoration Project

This project re-purposes an abandoned water intake pump station on the Tittabawasee River into an elevated river overlook platform, with fishing dock, floating water access dock, boardwalk along the river's edge, gathering plaza, riverfront park areas and new parking lot, all of which are ADA-accessible and will be connected to the Rail Trail via a paved accessible walk. The project includes removal of invasive exotic plant species from the riverbank, opening up vistas to the river. Native species will be planted along the riverbank to re-establish the native flora. The park will serve as a rest stop along the 30-mile long Midland County Pere Marquette Rail Trail.

A brick and concrete water pump house building constructed in 1938 located at the river's edge, housed pumps which pumped in river water for the City's public water system and was processed at another location. This building use is abandoned and this project will re-purpose the building into a scenic overlook. Sitting on the edge of the river, and two stories in height, it will provide stunning views in both directions. The project focuses on expanding ADA accessible recreation opportunities for river and Rail Trail access.  

The 1938 water pump station will be re-purposed into a river overlook area with interpretive graphics of the public use of water and water reclamation. The overlook will provide a raised view in both directions of the river like no other view within the City. This simple, but interesting building framework, will provide an open air viewing platform for small program venues for historical and natural resources. A Gathering Plaza provides a space to gather and rest with benches, trash receptacle, and trees for shade.

A popular fishing spot at the base of the pump station will have an ADA fishing dock installed with a connecting ramp to provide ADA accessibility to the dock. No other accessible fishing dock is located along the River. An ADA accessible shoreline boardwalk will provide access for water and wildlife viewing between the Pump Station and floating dock. The dock will provide access to the river for up close exposure to the water, viewing of waterfront wildlife and fish, and a place for canoes and kayaks to tie up and rest.

All of the features will be designed for maximum accessibility for all persons.  The sidewalks and plaza will be constructed of concrete surfaces. The fishing dock will have varied height railings to allow for seated and standing fishing. The parking lot will be paved and striped to clearly identify the ADA accessible parking spaces and routes with three additional parking spaces.

Photos from December 3, 2018