Friends of Park Lake is a member-based organization. Friends of Park Lake continues to work on these issues in the tradition of similar organizations before it, and since 2005 we have had several important and impactful projects that have been accomplished in partnership with valued community partners.
Park Lake Nature preserve
Friends of Park Lake is working in collaboration with Bath Township and Park Lake Advisory Board on the development of a Nature Preserve surrounding the southwest side of the lake. The nature preserve will include a proposed non-motorized hiking trail running around the south end of Park Lake, coupled with the novel idea of incorporating innovative kayaking and canoeing waterways or water trails along the southwest portion of Park Lake. Several “rustic” canals and small channels originally created in the 1940s already exist, and could be utilized again with some judicious removal of fallen trees and deadwood.
Our ad hoc committee recommendations have gone from the Park Lake Advisory Board to the Township’s Parks and Recreation Committee. This Park Lake Nature Preserve has been adopted by the Township Board of Trustees as their number one priority in the Parks and Recreation 5-year plan.
The members of Friends of Park Lake feel strongly that this project would greatly benefit the residents of Bath and surrounding communities. The Preserve would present a wonderful educational opportunity for those desiring to learn more about Michigan’s environments including wetlands, wildlife, and wilderness habitat including bogs and marshes.
Several programs at Michigan State University already utilize Park Lake’s accessible shoreline to inspect and discover its wealth of natural resources. MSU Fisheries and Wildlife management department regularly holds outdoor classes at the lake to give students a better feel for their environment on a first-hand basis.
Help us to promote this very worthwhile project for the Bath community by voicing your support of this important project.
Wiswasser Park All-Ability Playground
The much-loved and well-used playground at Wiswasser Park was conceived, planned and supported through the raising of funds and recruitment and support of community volunteers who worked tirelessly with the Township and Miracle Playgrounds to build the first all-ability playground in Bath Township.
Park Lake Water Control Dam
Friends of Park Lake and the Park Lake Advisory Board worked diligently and with dedication and persistence to get the water control devices for the lake replaced. The new dam and water control structure made it possible to return the lake level to what it was 60 years ago.
Park Lake Water Quality Management
Lake management issues are coordinated between the Park Lake Advisory Board and the Township, ensuring weed control treatment applications are current and effective. Friends of Park Lake monitors the lake at least twice a year for clarity, phosphorus and chlorophyll, works in partnership with the Park Lake Advisory Board to accomplish annual weed mapping. The Park Lake Advisory Board takes monthly measurements of the lake’s water level and water loss.
Friends of Park Lake researched ways to eliminate starry stonewort from the lake. If let go and not treated it will take over the lake. When the Park Lake Advisory Board weed mapping project first discovered this in the lake in 2012 it was a small patch by the boat launch. By the summer of 2018 it has spread throughout the lake!
Friends of Park Lake researched starry stonewort and learned from the experts that the only currently-known solution to rid the lake of starry stonewort was to keep the water moving as starry stonewort will not grow in moving water. Through further research we learned there is one company in Michigan that designs, builds, installs and maintains aeration systems for lakes. We talked with them and visited some of their projects and were highly impressed.
To be certain this treatment would work the company suggested a consultant be brought in to determine if our lake would be a good candidate for this treatment. Friends of Park Lake invited the consultant to make a presentation on her company’s work.
Community members, elected officials and policy makers were invited to the presentation from Restorative Lake Sciences. Bath Township hire them to preform an analysis of the Lake. Friends of Park Lake hosted a follow up meeting in August 2018 for its members, the community, township and county officials with Lake Savers, the company that designs and builds aeration systems for lakes. Restorative Lake Sciences presented their findings at our Friends of Park Lake meeting on October 9, 2018. Put simply, aeration will not work in the lake at this time because there are too many invasive species in the lake, primarily a hybrid milfoil. A weed treatment strategy for 2019 – 2021 has been adopted and funded by the Township.
Park Lake Road Widening
Friends of Park Lake works with the Township Planning Board to access resources for community improvements. Friends of Park Lake presented a proposal to the Planning Board 4 years ago requesting Park Lake Road improvements which would improve safety for pedestrians to the beach and park. We are pleased with the improvements made in spring and summer 2018 to Park Lake Road. Our voices resulted in the collaboration between the Township and the County to repave and widen the surface of Park Lake Road.
Park Lake Boat wash proposal
In 2018 we also requested the Township assist us with building a boat wash for our lake users. Invasive species of weeds are spread from one lake to another on boats that have not been properly washed off before entering the water. Friends of Park Lake raised commitments from community partners for the majority of the project costs, but several things happened to halt the project. The Sewer Authority required a 3-tank septic system be installed under the boat wash, a
high and unexpected cost which delayed the project, and we found starry stonewort, a highly non-native invasive species of algae had come into the lake at the boat launch. Friends of Park Lake requested a large sign be placed at the boat launch telling boaters we have invasive species in the lake and to please wash their boats. The sign was placed down there in the spring of 2018.