Heritage Park Improvements

Announced April 2016

Mayor Rick Sollars announced in April 2016 that the City of Taylor would focus on improving Heritage Park this spring, and included in a laundry list of “to do’s” was total renovation of the problematic Coan Lake seawall that has been an irritant to park goers for several years.

City Council unanimously approved a resolution to award Cross Lake Construction’s bid to install a new seawall at the three-acre pond in Heritage Park at a cost of nearly a quarter-million dollars, funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the City’s buildings and grounds fund.

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The seawall has been deteriorating for some time. Some problem areas had been already been removed by the City, while other portions had lifted out of position and/or broken. Michigan’s horrible winter of 2013-14 severely stressed the seawall, as did the severe summer storm in September 2014.

“We recognize that Heritage Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the entire region,” Mayor Sollars said. “It is heavily used, not only for recreation purposes, but for literally anything you can think of during the warm weather months. Wedding and prom photos, fishing – you name it, Heritage Park-goers are interested in it. We know that we need to spend some time and give the park some TLC.”

In addition to the seawall construction, the City focused on making repairs to the bridge and the deteriorating areas surrounding it in the historical area of the park, the white wooden fencing at the Petting Farm and the walking path. 

In conjunction with Wayne County Community College District’s Downriver Campus, the waterwheel will eventually become active. At some point decorative lighting will be added to the waterwheel, similar to carnival wheels in other parts of the country (Seattle, Santa Monica), except on a smaller scale.

“We’ll get to that, through a partnership with the college, once we get a working wheel,” Mayor Sollars said. 

Through another partnership with WCCCD, the City and college plan to work jointly to connect the park’s walking/jogging/cycling path to the college campus. When that is finished recreation lovers will have a complete connected pathway from points in Heritage Park, through the wooded areas, into the back lots of WCCCD and back out to the sidewalks along Northline Road that reconnect with the park. Currently, the pathway is unfinished along the northern boundary of the park and WCCCD.

“Runners and walkers will have a long-distance route without having to cross City streets, and it will be a boom for the ever-increasing cycling crowd,” Mayor Sollars said.

And there were more renovations. Power was run to the Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion, home of the Taylor Farmer’s Market, the concerts during the Taylor Summer Festival and many other events. The original plans for the Sheridan Center did not call for power, but the overall vision has since changed to include more than just a huge pavilion. The Sheridan floor is also being resurfaced.

The floor of Pavilion A, located between the Sheridan Center at the playscape inside the ring road of the park, will be replaced. During December, that same pavilion was re-roofed.

All of these improvements don’t even include the most obvious, the Jeffrey Lamarand Splash Pad, currently being installed off of the south patio of the Sheridan Center. The new splash pad will open on Memorial Day weekend. It will be made up of a unique baseball diamond design, recognizing the deep Little League baseball tradition in Taylor. It will include an infield, bases, huge balls and bats and even a scoreboard.

When the splash pad was conceived, the City also decided to move the under-used inline skating rink from Northwest Park to Heritage Park, where is now sits behind the Sheridan Center.

“The community leaders who created and improved Heritage Park in the past created a wonderful recreational legacy for our community,” Mayor Sollars said. “Now, it’s our turn. Maintenance is one thing that we have to do to keep the park in good condition. But the other things – the connecting of the pathways, the renovations at the Sheridan Center, the splash pad, the eventual lighting of the waterwheel – those add new special features that our residents, and others, will enjoy for years to come.”
coan lake seawall web