EAST LANSING, Mich. — Community members are advised that the White Park Trail Extension and Natural Features Enhancement Project is expected to begin the first week in February and the parking lot on Lake Lansing Road will be closed for the duration of the project for construction staging, beginning this Wednesday, Jan. 29.
The project will include the extension of the Northern Tier Trail through the park and improvements to the park’s natural areas.
The trail extension through the park will include construction of 2,100 feet of new, hard surface pathway, which will connect the existing trail from Pebblebrook Lane to the intersection of Lake Lansing Road and Birch Row. This part of the trail extension will include 1,300 feet of asphalt and an 800-foot elevated boardwalk adjacent to the park’s vernal pool.
The trail extension portion of the project will also include construction of 1,250 feet of hard surface pathway that will connect the parking lot on Lake Lansing Road to the trail within the park and to the intersection of Lake Lansing Road and Birch Row. As a part of the project, there will also be construction of 800 feet of hard surface pathway that will extend the Northern Tier Trail along Towar Avenue from the East Lansing Softball Complex to East Lansing’s border with Meridian Township, where a future township pathway is expected to be constructed.
“This project will not only extend the trail through the park, but also create improved connectivity for our larger regional trail system, with new pathways that are of universal design and meet all ADA standards,” said East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts Assistant Director Wendy Wilmers Longpre.
The natural features enhancement portion of the project will include improvements to the existing pond within the park to improve fishing habitat, including bank erosion correction, removal of siltation and removal of invasive plant species around the pond. The pond will also be restocked with small game fish. Additionally, invasive plant species will be removed from around the park’s vernal pool and native vegetation will be planted in its place.
Other park improvements will include installation of interpretive and trailhead signs, installation of two park benches and installation of trash/recycling containers.
The trail extension portion of the project is expected to be completed by August 2020, while the natural features enhancement portion of the project is expected to be completed by this fall.
“We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to complete this important project, which will improve the unique, existing natural areas in the park and increase access to those natural areas by extending the trail through the park,” said East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts Director Tim McCaffrey. “We are extremely excited to see this project get underway and are appreciative of the funding support we have received to make this project a reality.”
Funding for the project includes $469,000 in Ingham County Trails and Parks Millage funding and a $300,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.