During the Fall of 2015, the Village of Milford Parks & Recreation Commission, with the assistance of Mr. John Grissim, drafted the Central Park Plan to serve as a guide of the next 10-20 years of development within the Park. The elements contained in the plan were drawn from the results of public input and feedback sessions held over the past 5-7 years, including numerous public meetings and a survey conducted as part of the most recent Parks & Recreation Master Plan.
Highlights of the plan include:
- Installation of public restrooms near the LaFontaine Family Amphitheater
- Installation of a formal canoe/kayak launch on Pettibone Creek and several boat landings to allow paddlers access to picnic areas within the park
- Enhanced pedestrian access within the park, including a lighted pathway along the Huron River and a second bridge over Pettibone Creek
- Relocation of the existing volleyball and basketball courts and inclusion of a refrigerated ice rink as part of the new basketball court area
- Redesign of the existing pavilion to include a patio area with a fire pit and a covered trellis area
- Approximately 50 new parking spaces
- The installation of native, riparian plantings along the Huron River and Pettibone Creek to reduce erosion, deter geese, and improve water quality and natural habitat within the park
The Central Park Plan was reviewed and recommended for approval by the Village Parks & Recreation Commission on December 2, 2015. The DDA Board reviewed the plan, offered comments, and endorsed the Plan at its December 10, 2015 meeting, and the Village Planning Commission did the same at its meeting of December 10, 2015. The Central Park Plan was formally adopted by Village Council on December 21, 2015 and the Village Parks & Recreation Commission and the Village Administration have been tasked with prioritizing projects and identifying potential sources of funding for the various elements of the plan.
- The Village Parks & Recreation Commission, along with local volunteers, installed the first riparian planting area along the Huron River in June 2016. This pilot project was partially funded through a grant from the Wildflower Association of Michigan and included plants such Cardinal Flower, Wild Strawberry, and Buttonbush. A second planting was completed in 2018 to expand the native plantings area. Future projects will seek to exapnd the plantings further.
- The Central Park Restrooms were design in the spring of 2016 and officially opened for use in late fall 2016.
- Based upon prior discussions and additional public feedback, the southern portion of the park plan was redesigned to accomodate a canoe & kayak launch along the Huron River.
- The Village Parks & Recreation Commission is currently working on a detailed design for the construction of the canoe/kayak launch (in the revised location along the Huron River) and the walkway in the sourthern portion of the park. In 2020, a grant application was submitted to the Michigan DNR Trust Fund to cover a portion of the costs associated with this project.