Posted on Aug 11, 2017
Mark Murray, chair of the Annual River Raisin Cleanup, introduced today’s guests – Todd Brown, director of the city’s Parks & DPW Departments and fellow employee Jason Lawrence.
Todd thanked our club for the assistance we have given to this project over the last 25 years. He said that the city currently owns 5 separate parks amounting to 800 acres of land (half of it needing to be mowed periodically) throughout the city which are maintained by only 5 fulltime people! They include Riverside, Comstock, Trestle, Island, and Heritage parks. Heritage is outside the city limits. All but Heritage Park are adjacent to the Raisin River where routine cleanup is required. The Kiwanis Trail, on the other hand,  is a “beast of its own”, Todd said and is considered a part of Adrian’s “park” system. It is 7 and a half miles long! An AmeriCorp team, in partnership with city crews, is in town once again and have been for the past month to help clean up the river.
Jason, who is finishing his second year as a city employee, also commended the club for our work on the river as well. "The program just seems to get bigger each year", he added. He has been encouraged of late, he said, by the number of people who call the city offices to rent the soccer, softball and baseball fields not just for their regular games but for tournaments, too. The Dirt Bag Tournament itself, he said, attracted between 500 and 600 people a day when teams were playing. "This is great because it brings people who don’t live here into our city".
Todd concluded the presentation by returning to the podium to share with us what is planned for the future including the 5 capital improvement projects currently scheduled to take place yet this year and some that are part of the city's 5-year plan. This year, Todd said, Trestle Park’s railroad tie retaining walls will be removed and replaced with stamped concrete. He said that plans are also in the works to develop a Dog Park in the vicinity of Riverside Avenue and Bent Oak in the city once a $25,000 grant is approved. The lagoon, Todd said, that was formerly used by the Water Department has been filled in and will be used as a park grounds. Policies also need to be formulated and fencing issues need to be worked out first, however.