Montcalm County to close Krampe Park on June 1 unless volunteer steps up

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 6:21 pm on Thursday, May 18, 2017

The gates are locked at Krampe Park and will likely be locked again for good on June 1 if no one volunteers to adopt the park to help with Montcalm County budget cuts. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

WINFIELD TOWNSHIP — Krampe Park on Winfield Lake is set to be closed June 1 unless someone steps up to adopt the park.

Since the summer of 2016, Montcalm County officials have been looking for someone to adopt six of the county’s seven parks — Artman Park in Howard City, Bass Lake in Richland Township, Carl Paepke Flat River Nature Park in Montcalm Township, Krampe Park in Winfield Township, McCarthy Park in Montcalm Township and Schmeid Park in Lakeview. The county maintenance crew is no longer to take care of the parks due to budget cuts.

Tall pine trees tower over the entrance to Krampe Park on Winfield Lake in Winfield Township. The Montcalm County-owned park is located on Winfield Lake in Winfield Township. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Parks & Rec Committee Chairwoman Betty Kellenberger of Carson City reported to the county’s Economic Development & Physical Resource Committee on Monday morning that with the exception of Krampe Park, all county parks have been adopted.

Reynolds Township is adopting Artman Park on Tamarack Creek on the west side of town, thanks to donations from the township and several other community members. Randy Heckman will be paid with those funds to mow and maintain the park.

Jim Muscott and family members are taking over Bass Lake Park near Vestaburg.

The Witzel family and Daniel Lyndrup are taking over Flat River Nature Park on the Flat River.

McCarthy Park has been adopted by representatives from the Turk Lake Bar, Larsen Trucking and FOP Lodge 149. The county’s maintenance crew has agreed to take care of leaf clean-up at McCarthy Park since that park is full of trees.

Officials from Camp Ford Lincoln — which is also a county park, but is self-sustainable due to funds generated by campers — have agreed to maintain Schmeid Park, since both those parks are located in Lakeview.

That leaves Krampe Park.

“It may need to be closed because we don’t have anybody adopting it,” Kellenberger summarized.

“How do we close a park?” asked Commissioner Tom Lindeman of Greenville. “Do we put 6-foot fences all around it and close the beach and just let it go back to junk?”

“I don’t know how to close them,” admitted Maintenance Director Scott Wright. “We just don’t have the time every week to do all these parks. It’s not just the mowing … people don’t realize how much trash comes out of those parks every week.”

Commissioner John Johansen of Montcalm Township asked Wright and committee members if it was agreeable to them to have the county’s maintenance department take care of Krampe Park through May and if no one has volunteered to adopt that park by the end of May, the park will be closed on June 1. Everyone was agreeable to this proposal, but Chairman Patrick Q. Carr wondered if the county could be doing a better job in providing more detailed requirements about what is expected from someone who adopts a county park.

“I think it’s possible to have more success or find more people to adopt those if we can provide more specific guidelines about how to get involved,” he said. “People I’ve asked have concerns about what that means. I think there are people out there who want to get involved, but they don’t know what they’re getting into (such as mowing leaves and trash pick-up), or they can’t do the physical stuff but they would pay to have other people do the work.”

Krampe Park is located on Winfield Lake in Winfield Township. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

“There have been different solutions to different parks,” Kellenberger noted. “They’re not all being done the same way, as far as mowing. The one that makes the most sense (how often to mow) is ‘as needed.’ Specifying once or twice a week, once or twice a month doesn’t make sense. We don’t know how much rain we’re going to get this year.

“I don’t know about the trash issue, I don’t know about the options for that,” she added.

Anyone interested in volunteering to adopt Krampe Park can contact Kellenberger at (989) 584-3484, or contact your local commissioner.

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