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Long range plan approved for Parks & Recreation

The road map for St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department’s next half-decade was approved by county commissioners last week.

The agency’s five-year plan includes one major development and a variety of minor tasks. With a portfolio of nine parks, however, the highest priority going forward will center on adhering to a consistent maintenance plan, according to department director Jaymes MacDonald.

MacDonald said the plan includes building upon and improving water trails; green-energy initiatives at some of the department’s parks that use electricity; collaboration by looking at partnering on projects with surrounding communities; habitat-restoration; smaller construction projects related to parks and trails; and increasing programming at many of the parks.

The department’s biggest news in the five-year plan, however, is moving its headquarters from a location in Centreville to Rawson’s King Mill County Park in Leonidas Township.

MacDonald called the park’s mill the most unique building in the department’s dossier. Making the park the department’s headquarters, despite its out-of-the-way location in the northeast corner of the county, simply makes sense, he noted.

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