Scio Township planning improvements at Marshall Park

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A look at some of Marshall Park's land from Zeeb Road. photo: Google

Scio Township has some planned improvements for Marshall Park that will aim to make this newer park another attractive spot for residents and visitors.

In taking an important step toward these, the Scio Township Board approved an agreement with the Washtenaw Engineering Company at its July 13 meeting in the amount of up to $12,750 for the engineering, construction documents and construction oversight services for the Marshall Park project.

The voter-approved millage is paying for this and the funds are budgeted for parks and preserves.

On the township website, Marshall Park is described as a 10-acre parcel that features convenient access off the Zeeb Road pathway along with having a collection of distinguished Red Cedar trees.

The park land is at Marshall and Zeeb roads, and it extends toward Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.

The project will seek to utilize an early 1900’s barn that has fallen into distress and is not financially economical to preserve, according to the plan. The barn will be torn down, but planners will look to reuse/reclaim parts of it as well as use other necessary materials needed for the proper construction of one or two new pavilions for the park at a size of 16 feet by 16 feet. A stone base will go with the pavilion(s) along with a picnic table.

Andy Turner, the chair of the township’s park advisory board, introduced this agenda item at the July 13 meeting and said this agreement starts the process to make Marshall Park a community destination. He said there are still many decisions to come, such as details like design and placement, but he added, this is a good first step.

Township board trustee Alec Jerome said he also likes this agreement and overall project. He noted the part of the plan to reuse and reclaim the old barn is a good example of the township wanting to have more sustainability in its planning. He agreed with Turner and said this project will be a great step forward in helping to improve the township’s overall park/pathway system.

In the description on its website, the township says, “This park will serve as a trailhead for strategic routes along numerous future Scio pathing opportunities. Marshall Park will also provide a place to gather, rest, find shade, picnic, seek shelter, or even take a short hike on a nature trail within the property,”

In the long-term, the overall plan for Marshall Park has the township wanting to develop it with picnic pavilion(s), bike racks, a natural play area with wood climbing structures, a rustic trail system that would comply with ADA requirements, boardwalks to protect wetland areas, a drive and parking area, completion of phase 2 of the Zeeb Road Pathway, benches and wayfinding and park signs.

In another park related decision, the township board approved up to $6,000 for work at the Sloan Preserve by Freier Forestry for land renovation and parking lot restoration. One thing that will be done is the removal of the existing entry sign with a new one put in. There will also be parking area improvements.

One change from the initial proposal was made during the meeting and it had the township board taking out the use of any herbicides in getting rid of weeds at the Sloan parking area.

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