The “Webber Paddle Park” officially opened with a festive Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on September 24. The project has benefitted from the support of a number of Township officials, with recognition given to the Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Department, and former County Commissioner and current Township Trustee Kathy Vosburg, who back in 2014 envisioned the park on the former “Farm Marina” property located on the shores of the Salt River at Jefferson Avenue in the Township.
The park includes a new parking lot, universally accessible kayak launch, information kiosk, landscaping, and site furnishings. Funding was made possible by the generosity of the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Trust Fund Grant, Chesterfield Township Residents, Chesterfield Township, and Macomb County.
Township Leisure Services Director Amanda Bowers shared, “The ability to travel the Salt River via a non-motorized vessel affords the enthusiast an opportunity to explore our community’s heritage along the riverbank. The park supports the ecology in our community; it aids in the conservation and viewing of local wildlife and landscape.”
Future plans for the park, incorporated in the original design as a cost-saving measure, include additional soft launch areas, a pavilion, and restrooms as funding becomes available.
Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, Inc. (AEW) is honored to be Chesterfield Township’s Consulting Engineer and was privileged to work with township officials and a number of other agencies to bring this project to reality for all to enjoy. With Lou Urban, P.E., serving as the firm’s Project Manager, and Mike Sommers, Graduate Engineer, providing construction oversight, our team helped to navigate the overall process and produced multiple designs, prepared applications and permits for national, state, and local agencies, produced contract documents, performed the survey work, put the project out to bid, vetted contractors, and supervised the park’s construction.
The project team also worked through a post-election change in some of the Township’s elected officials, the Jefferson Avenue bridge replacement project over the Salt River, and work associated with the Salt River Marsh Enhancement project. Wetlands Impact Studies were produced, Geotechnical Testing was performed, Inland Lakes & Streams, and 303 Wetlands Permits were obtained.
In addition to the Chesterfield Township officials, these agencies and benefactors helped to ensure the project’s success:
- Wayne and Joann Webber Foundation
- State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources — Trust Fund
- Macomb County
- EGLE, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (formerly MDEQ)
- Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDoR)
- United States Army Corp (USAC)