Hagar Township Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio is literally floating on cloud nine. Ideally, he should be in a kayak while he’s doing all that floating, because that’s why he is giddy with excitement. What was once a former landfill overgrown with heavy brush and considerable debris has been polished into an amazing new gem for the Hagar Township community and all of Michigan’s Great Southwest.
The new Riverside Park & Kayak Launch along a stretch of the Paw Paw River that was once literally inaccessible and virtually hidden from view is now officially open for business and awaiting your inspection.
DiMaggio tells me, “The spectacular transformation is complete, from a former landfill to a 2 level, gem of a park and kayak launch and fishing platform, the deal is done!” At a special meeting last evening, Wednesday, October 23rd, the Hagar Township Downtown Development Authority approved the official opening of the new Riverside Park and Kayak Launch as of 6 pm that night. The entrance & exit gates are now officially locked in the open position, the Kayak Launch is fully operational and is ADA compliant.
Izzy says, “This is the culmination of over three years of my leading this transformation, beginning with the hiring of Abonmarche Consultants in July of 2016, and a project that spanned more than three years.” DiMaggio adds, “Aided by 22 Resolutions and Letters of Support from local businesses, Legislators, Township’s, Village’s, Cities, and non profit organizations, a $300,000 grant was awarded by the DNR, which is actually the maximum given for development projects.” The balance of the $500,000 project was approved by the Hagar Township DDA, resulting in no Hagar Township General Funds fund dollars required to make the project spring to life.
Izzy tells m that the only piece left to complete is the picnic pavilion which will arrive shortly. He wants everyone to know that a formal park opening will be scheduled in the Spring, “At which time all those who contributed to the newest Park and Kayak Launch in SW Michigan will be duly recognized.”
The upper level will include a picnic pavilion, picnic tables, cooking grills, vault restrooms, asphalt paved ingress and egress off of Coloma Road with lockable gates, paved parking, overhead lighting and all ADA compliance for all amenities.
The site is actually a former landfill off of Coloma Road, just east of exit 4, at I-196. The site had been designated as a conservation district, owned by Hagar Township, and is comprised of 112 acres with approximately 7 acres being used for this project.
DiMaggio says, “This Kayak Launch will be a destination for paddlers from the Watervliet-Coloma area and should provide an increase in tourism and revenue for merchants of the Hagar Township area.”
The photo of the Kayak Park signage accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Izzy DiMaggio himself.