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Issue 721 July 5, 2009
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Wenonah Park Redevelopment Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Celebration of Phase 1

July 1, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: Julie McCallum, Entertainment Editor

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Wenona Park, in Downtown Bay City, July 1, 2009 at 11:00AM marked the ground breaking for Phase 1 of the Wenonah Park Redevelopment Plan.

Chris Shannon, City Commission President, said, "There is no city dollars going toward this reconstruction, the funds come from grants, and gifts outside the City's Budget." Jeff Mayes, State Representative, said, "Any problem can be overcome if people & communities come together."

In 2005 the Downtown Development Authority contracted the Kalamazoo based architectural firm O'Boyle, Cowell, Blalock & Associates Inc. to develop a Master Plan for the redevelopment of Wenonah Park.

The comprehensive planning process involved a steering committee made up of a wide variety of local stakeholders and included the gathering of input from all segments of the community. Phase 1 of Wenonah Park Redevelopment is the riverfront promenade section. The riverfront promenade will include an upper and lower walkway along the river. The walkway will include benches, café tables, twin fixture lights, sitting steps, stairs and ramps. It will stretch from the tall ship docking area, which will also be renovated, to the Veteran's Memorial Bridge.

The upper walkway will be made of brick and will be laid out in a wave pattern. The lower walkway will include tie-off bollards so small boats can dock by Wenonah Park making it possible for visitors to dock their boats and enjoy Wenonah Park and the rest of Downtown Bay City. The promenade will also include a look-out over the water so people can enjoy the view of the water.

Phase 1 will cost approximately $1.1 million and is made possible by a $500,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant through the Department of Natural Resources. Contributions were also received from the Kantzler Foundation, and the Russell H. and Maxine E. Smith Charitable Foundation for $110,000 and $40,000 respectively. Plus, an additional $600,000 has been allocated for the redevelopment from the Downtown Development Authority's Water Street tax increment finance plan.

(Below) Candace Bales, Executive Director, Downtown Development Authority Hosts the ceremony.

Speakers at the event included,
  • Dave Green, Chairman of the Bay City Downtown Development Authority
  • State Senator Jim Barcia,
  • State Representative Jeff Mayes
  • Chris Shannon, City Commission President
  • Jule Stafford of the Department of Natural Resources
  • Dom Monastiere representing the Bay Area Community Foundation
  • Jeff Martin of The Dow Chemical Company (Above Right)

  • The celebration ceremony was held under a tent supplied by Dow along the riverfront.

    Music provided by local musicians, Andy Rogers, Kathy Morris and Carol Levack.

    Refreshments and food provided by the Riverfront Grille (Doubletree Hotel)

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    Julie McCallum, Entertainment Editor

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