It’s not that often that average citizens have a chance to directly weigh in on the future of government operations but that chance is now here for Lapeer County residents with the release of a new parks and recreation survey.

These surveys are common whenever a municipality updates their parks and recreation plan and those plans are typically required to apply for and receive grant funding—something nearly every village, city, or township relies on to make park improvements possible.

County Commissioners have opted to use federal pandemic funds for many parks-related improvements in recent weeks, authorizing the purchase of everything from pool pumps and grills to lawnmowers and tractors. They also plan to use American Rescue Plan Act monies to improve the pedestrian connector path between General Squier Memorial Park and the Polly Ann Trail, with help from Dryden Township, plus undertake a needs assessment for bringing internet and Wi-Fi services to county parks.

It’s been some time, due to budget concerns, that Lapeer County has been able to devote much money to park upgrades, so those investments, plus the survey which hints at possible new additions to be considered—an indoor recreation center is mentioned—seems to hint at a brighter future for the county’s parks system.

Certainly citizens have shown their appreciation for parks facilities and have done what they can to support them. In recent years, Boy Scouts—looking to earn their Eagle Scout status—have done everything from building benches to line the Polly Ann Trail to installing new playground equipment at General Squier Memorial Park. Additionally, volunteers with the Friends of the Polly Ann Trail group host fundraisers for trail upkeep and volunteer their time to promote it’s use. For many years, they’ve worked valiantly to secure state grant funding for trail improvements.

Now it’s time for other Lapeer County residents to do their part and take the online survey so that county leaders can be well-informed as they make decisions for the future.